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Entries in marketing (16)


Hone Your Organizational Skills to Create Successful Marketing Campaigns

This post is an IHRSA Institute preview.

A strong, integrated marketing strategy is key to the success of any business. Unfortunately, creating and implementing that strategy can be a challenge for smaller health club businesses, which often don’t have the resources to employ full-time marketers. 

Continue reading "Hone Your Organizational Skills to Create Successful Marketing Campaigns."

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Stevenson Fitness’ Small Group Cycling Goes Head-to-Head with Boutiques

When Stevenson Fitness first began offering small group training a few years back, it was an emerging trend. Throughout the industry, clubs were promoting small group classes in order to supplement one-on-one personal training sessions, and Stevenson Fitness leadership saw an opportunity. 

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Identify Your Health Club’s Ideal Client to Maximize Marketing Power

The following post was written Lindsey Morando, cofounder of Get It Done Gals, for our Best Practices series.

Question: Many club operators feel as though they’re marketing everywhere, but not getting anywhere. How can I avoid this?

Lindsey Morando: When it comes to marketing, it’s all about visibility, and there are endless ways to make your business more visible.

It all starts, however, with your business’ “why.”

What’s your mission, your passion, your story? 
Facts tell, but stories sell.
Think about the ways you can share your story with the members of your community that will engage them and evoke emotions. You have to be honest, and open, and transparent.

There’s a reason why social media has changed recently. Facebook Live is incredibly popular right now, because people want more realness and authenticity, rather than perfectly edited and scripted videos.

It’s equally important that you identify your ideal client (IC) and get inside their mind: decide whom you should be catering to and market to them.

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5 Gym Branding Tips from Johnny “Cupcakes” Earle at IHRSA 2017

Johnny “Cupcakes” Earle doesn’t own a gym, but if he did he’d have a gift shop filled with products that he designed. His gym would also serve delicious, healthy food, play good music, and offer a number of events to help build a community.

(Sounds like a great business plan, if you ask us.)

Earle explained how his business, Johnny Cupcakes, grew from a "joke" to a multi-million dollar, highly exclusive t-shirt brand driven by a community of world-wide collectors in his Friday, March 10 IHRSA 2017 keynote presentation, sponsored by Matrix Fitness. In addition to sharing details about his road to business success, Earle suggested several actionable tips for health club owners. Here are our favorites: 

1. Humor and design matter. “Humor and good design are very inviting elements to a brand new customer—especially millennials. If they’re looking at a gym with the same typography as TGI Friday’s, they might not want to go to that gym.”

2. Create a seasonal marketing/promotions schedule. “Whatever type of business you have, you can always utilize the different seasons and pop culture and sports as new ways to reach out to past, present, and potential customers. You can raffle off tickets at your gym for a baseball game and have a new prize every month for existing members and new members, you can have events—there are so many things you can do.”

3. Generate word-of-mouth marketing. “Try new things to give bloggers and writers a reason to write about what you’re doing. If you’re doing the same thing you’ve been doing for years, why would someone write about your business? If you take some of your marketing budget to do new experiences, it’s advertising because people do the talking for you.”

4. Tell your story. “You don’t have to have a stuffy, simple mission statement. You can have a mission statement, but give [potential members] your history. Let someone who’s signing up for your sports club know you’re a person, too.” 

5. Never stop creating new experiences. “People thrive off new experiences—they yearn for it. Whether they’re going out to eat or to a sports club or to the movies, they’re looking for the most unique experience that they can have. Their time is valuable. Why would they support a business that’s been doing the same thing for years? If you want new results, you have to do new things.”


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Real Members Feature in Blink Fitness Ad Campaign 

Blink Fitness’ 2017 Ad Campaign Features Real Members
Earlier this week Blink Fitness launched its 2017 marketing campaign, “Every Body Happy,” according to a release. This year’s effort features 16 Blink members who auditioned for the campaign on social media in the fall by flaunting their confidence. From more than 2,000 submissions, 50 semi-finalists were called back for an in-person casting call event where they shared their personal fitness stories in front of an influential panel of casting agents.

A survey commissioned by Blink Fitness and conducted online by Harris Poll last month showed the following sentiments, which Blink says illustrates that it is onto something greater:

  • Roughly eight out of 10 Americans (82%) say their relationship with their body could be improved.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents said they find it discouraging to work towards unrealistic body images they see in the media.
  • Almost nine in 10 Americans (89%) who currently work out at a gym feel more confident about themselves when they leave the gym than when they first walk in.

Read IHRSA’s interview with Blink Fitness President Todd Magazine.

Fitness Industry Poised to Benefit from 2017 Resolutioners

The fitness market is one of the top industries poised to benefit from New Year’s Resolutions, Media Center reports. The article cites a Facebook/Wall Street Journal survey that found the number of gym check-ins on the social media platform increases by 50.0% from December to January. However, the largest decline in check-ins each year occurs in February, when check-ins drop by an estimated 10.0%. Athletic events are also positioned to grow from the influx of resolutioners in 2017. “With the aid of social media, popular outdoor events including the Iron Man, marathons, bicycle competitions and obstacle courses have become a key growth opportunity,” the article states. “The Athletic Event Organizers industry is expected to increase an annualized 2.4% over the five years to 2016, followed by another increase at an annualized rate of 1.7% over the next five years, reaching a projected $2.0 billion in revenue in 2021.”

IHRSA Webinar Preview: Capturing the Resolutionist Year-Round
On Thursday, January 12, Amanda Konigsberg, general manager for Active Wellness, will present “Capturing the Resolutionist Year-Round,” a webinar focused on membership sales and marketing strategies. To avoid your club’s slow season, Konigsberg recommends that you study the cycles in the health club industry and your own demographic area, and use that knowledge to build alternative income streams to counteract the off-season. “Just do not let attention to the alternative stream overtake a focus on the primary business,” she says. Read the full “Capturing the Resolutionist Year-Round” webinar preview.

Genesis Health Clubs Grows as Largest Club Provider in Midwest
IHRSA member Genesis Health Clubs purchased an additional Omaha area club from Nebraska Elite Sports and Fitness Complex in late December, making it the largest health club provider in the Midwest, according to a release. Nebraska Elite Sports and Fitness Complex is a 108,000-square-foot facility that includes a fitness floor, indoor running track, cycling studio, weight and cardio machines, spa, dry sauna, steam room, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and a full-service day care. “This is a very exciting time for our company,” said Rodney Steven II, owner/president of Genesis Health Clubs, “We are so excited to continue to grow in Nebraska. With 10 locations in the state, it’s now our second largest market. We are a locally owned and operated business and we aren’t going anywhere. We plan on remodeling this club to bring in our brand and to transform it into one of the nicest facilities in the Midwest.”


Capturing the Fitness Resolutionist Year-Round

Attracting new members to your health club can often be feast or famine. During the first few months of the year members sign up in droves, but by the summer months membership sales tend to drop off.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

“As a health club operator or owner, you do not only want to rely on your three busy months out of your year to achieve your membership sales success,” says Amanda Konigsberg, general manager for Active Wellness. “While it is incredibly important to achieve your performance expectations during the busy time, goals are budgets and not real numbers. You need to have a plan to achieve during the slowest months as well.”

Konigsberg will share her membership strategies in our Thursday, January 12 webinar, “Capturing the Resolutionist Year-Round.”

How Club Operators Can Avoid Their Slow Season

To avoid your club’s slow season, Konigsberg recommends that you study the cycles in the health club industry and your own demographic area, and use that knowledge to build alternative income streams to counteract the off-season.

Continue reading "Capturing the Fitness Resolutionist Year-Round."

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How Blink Fitness Is Redefining the Meaning of ‘Value’ in the HVLP Segment

When the United States entered the recession in 2008, fitness-conscious consumers had to make difficult decisions about how to stretch their tightening budgets without sacrificing exercise. This conundrum gave rise to the High Volume, Low Price (HVLP) model, and gym-goers began to trade in their high- and mid-range health club memberships for facilities that cost a fraction of the price.

The only problem was that, in some cases, with the low price came a poor experience. For the most part members were willing to put up with overcrowding and dirty facilities in exchange for savings. But the leadership team at Blink Fitness looked at the HVLP space and saw an opportunity.     

“When we launched Blink Fitness in 2011, we challenged the paradigm that ‘you get what you pay for’ in the HVLP segment by offering our members a luxury experience and ‘Mood Above Muscle’ philosophy—a fresh approach to fitness that celebrates the positive feelings you get from exercise, not just the physical benefits,” says Todd Magazine, president of Blink Fitness.

And that fresh approach is reaping results. This month, Blink Fitness will open its 50th club, and it currently has more than 60 company-owned locations open or in development in the New York tri-state area and more than a quarter-million members.

5 Elements of Blink’s ‘Feel Good Experience’

Blink brings its Mood Above Muscle ethos to life with what they call their “Feel Good Experience,” which offers five things they believe no other gym in the HVLP segment is providing.

Continue reading "How Blink Fitness Is Redefining the Meaning of ‘Value’ in the HVLP Segment."

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Follow These 6 Steps to Create a Community Marketing Plan for Your Gym

What’s the one of the best ways to get consumers to know, like, and trust your fitness business?

Community marketing.

By sending ambassadors into your community, participating in local events, and otherwise engaging with community members, you will build your brand at a faster rate than simply marketing online. 

Of course, online marketing and community marketing go hand-in-hand. 

“The reason why I am a firm believer in the balance between community and online marketing is because community marketing works a lot faster than online marketing,” says Lindsey Morando, co-founder of business coaching firm Get It Done Gals. “Your online marketing is like your home—once you’ve developed relationships in the community you can invite people back to check out your website and social media.”

Morando will share more of her community marketing secrets in her Thursday, December 8 webinar, “Transform Your Business & Marketing in 30 Days.”

If you want to transform your business using community marketing and don’t know where to start, follow these six steps:

1. Write down all of your ideas. (Yes, all of them.)

“A lot of people have so many ideas but they don’t have that marketing plan in place. First, I tell everyone to 'brain dump' everything on their mind—everything they want to do marketing-wise—on one sheet of paper. Get all your ideas out there.” 

2. Identify ideas that will generate revenue.

Next, Morando suggests honing in on a few key ideas that will move your business forward.

“Ultimately in order for the fitness facility to remain open, you have to bring money in the door,” she says. “Look for opportunity for income-generating activities.”

Continue reading "Follow These 6 Steps to Create a Community Marketing Plan for Your Gym."

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7 Steps to Create a Powerful Social Media Strategy for Health Clubs

Social media can be an incredibly powerful weapon in your health club’s marketing arsenal—if you use it strategically. 

Recently, IHRSA conducted a webinar about how smaller health club companies can develop a strong social media strategy. Here's a summary of the recommendations offered by Kari Bedgood, vice president of marketing and PR at Active Sports Clubs.

1. Engage brand advocates. Sound difficult? It's not. A study by Statista found that 50% of employees post on social media about their place of work, and a third do so without any encouragement from their employer. So you probably have a ready-made pool of brand advocates on hand. Also, find out what your customers are saying on social media and leverage that, too. According to the Statista study, 90% of buyers trust peer recommendations.

Continue reading "7 Steps to Create a Powerful Social Media Strategy for Health Clubs."

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Health Club Branding Can Be Tough—Here's How to Make It Easy

Branding is much more than your company’s name or product—it's who you are and, more importantly, how your club is perceived. 

Differentiate Your Club’s Brand Without Compromising Your Integrity 

Properly constructing your brand involves identifying who you are, creating consistent content, and developing your character and voice. 

“Too often when businesses try to ‘reinvent’ themselves they end up completely losing sight of who they fundamentally are at the core,” says Shannon Malooly, membership and marketing director for The Claremont Club in Claremont, CA. “It’s important for clubs to differentiate themselves in ways that do not compromise their values or their integrity. It’s amazing what a big difference a new shade of lipstick and a haircut can make—there’s no reason to go overboard!” 

Streamline Your Brand Appearance to Become More Identifiable 

When a club is looking to streamline its brand appearance in order to become more identifiable, the first step is to consider its demographics. Think about who your existing market base is and who are the kinds of members you’d like to attract. 

“The last thing we’d want to happen is to turn off anyone,” Malooly says. “By completely changing your brand you risk losing members who have been faithful all along. It’s amazing to think what an effect distaste to a color scheme can have but it needs to be considered before making radical changes.” 

And, when it comes to branding, less is more. 

“Too often we are our own worst enemies by splitting a single hair into a hundred pieces,” she says. “Deem what your final outcome goals are, prioritize and tackle portions of rebranding sections at a time. A rebranding process is meant to drive revenue and increase member perception and value not to break the bank!” 

Malooly will share more of her branding expertise in her Thursday, October 6 webinar, “Branding Reinvented: Providing Passion, Purpose & Promise.” 

In her 60-minute presentation, Malooly will help club owners and operators: 

  • Review ways to reinvent your club's brand without compromising your identity or integrity.
  • Learn how to establish core fundamentals that will fuel your company.
  • Gain insight on how to streamline your brand appearance; become easily identifiable.
  • Discover how to transform your community perception and reputation with a focus that will ignite positive conversation.
  • Explore how to stand uniquely among the competition while maintaining your traditions and values.

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