With club memberships steadily increasing over the last 15 years (from 32.8 million in 2000 to 54.1 million in 2014), it’s evident that fitness is becoming a bigger part of Americans’ lives. But fitness is more than an hour on the treadmill or skipping ice cream once a week. Living a healthy lifestyle is something that people are thinking about all day, not just when they are actively working out.
Your club can become a part of members’ healthy lifestyles by positioning your club as not just a fitness brand, but also a lifestyle brand. Your club should evolve into a natural part of your members’ lives instead of just a place to work out. Here are three suggestions of how to turn your gym into a lifestyle brand.
1. Create Compelling Content
Recently 24 Hour Fitness launched 24Life Magazine, a publication about healthy lifestyles. Equinox has also announced a new online magazine that is similarly focused on reframing the idea of fitness and wellness. These clubs are not just interested in helping members achieve their fitness goals, but also holistically helping them live the kinds of life they want. While it can be daunting at first to create compelling content, there’s no stronger way to reach your members than becoming a source of helpful lifestyle information that they can share with their family and friends.
2. Sell Branded Merchandise
Many clubs are realizing that their members are proud of their brands and that they want to openly show their allegiance in their day-to-day lives, not just when they go to workout. Where people exercise is now becoming part of their personal identity and social circle. To take advantage of this trend SoulCycle is releasing their own branded apparel and merchandise, from pillows to iPhone cases. You also don’t have to constrain your club to just apparel options. Getting creative was very lucrative for Pure Barre, who created a six-piece skin-care line that became a massive sales success. Take advantage of your cool brand that your members trust by creating quality merchandise for them to show off.
3. Offer Diet Food Options
Working out is important, but it is only half of your members’ battle to stay fit. A good diet is also an integral part of a truly healthy lifestyle. Don’t settle for serving only half of your members’ health needs. Lithe Method sells club-labeled smoothies and other “healthy cheat foods” at their locations. Product sales, such as carrot-cake oatmeal or low-calorie cheesecake, now make up 30% of Lithe Method’s sales. Selling club-branded healthy foods, or even just formalizing diet plan assistance, will help your members reach their fitness goals while creating an ancillary revenue stream for your club.
For more ideas on how to strengthen your club's brand, read our Ultimate Guide to Club Branding: