Ryon Packer, chief product officer of ABC Financial Services, contributed to this article.
Every year the holidays seem to start earlier than ever. Pumpkin spice lattes hit the market in August instead of October. Thanksgiving reminders pop up before Halloween. Christmas jingles hit the airwaves well before snow starts falling. Like it or not, the marketplace is laying the groundwork to maximize opportunities for the seasonal demand on their goods and services. To them, it’s an imperative.
For some retailers, the few weeks of holiday shopping sustains them for the year. This isn’t the best scenario, but in today’s competitive online and offline marketplace, you have to make the most of every advantage you have. Party City, the costume and decorative paraphernalia chain, may be open all year, but without Halloween, they would have problems maintaining the concept year-round. And, incidentally, Party City started marketing their Halloween-related products in August.
The holidays are generally a slow time for health clubs. Traveling, heavy feasts, parties, all of it can distract potential members from thinking about fitness. But, as any industry veteran can tell you, the November-December holidays are the calm before the storm. The first quarter of the year is what retailers would experience if Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Thanksgiving were all-in-one. It’s the time of year where more consumers are considering joining a health club than any other time.
To capitalize on the first quarter, health clubs should have a carefully considered plan in place. It’s never too early to lay the groundwork.