When I had been working at Zen Planner for a little over a month, I had the opportunity to go out on the road to capture video testimonials from some of our customers. With our video crew (Avalanche Productions who I can’t recommend enough), we went from New York to Los Angeles and back to Denver. We visited gyms and boxes at 5am and at 8pm. We watched dance fitness classes, intense WOD’s at many CrossFit locations, Muay Thai boxing matches at MMA studios and a teenage dance troop. While on the road, we heard and saw folks doing some simple and some amazing things to grow their fitness business. I thought I’d share a few here and in upcoming blog posts.
Try a different type of giveaway
The most innovative brand-building giveaway I saw was at CrossFit NYC (CFNYC), also known as The Black Box. They offer an airline-style barf bag that says, “Stay calm and have a mint.” In other words, these WOD’s and this CrossFit location are not for the weak of heart. Fortunately, I didn’t see anyone use one of these bags, but if I were a member of this CrossFit business, I’d have that bag as a medal of honor. CFNYC also does a ton of retail business and has all merchandise attractively displayed at the front desk for easy retail purchases.
Be clear about what you offer
The last time I was in a martial arts studio was when I was 13 and taking a karate class in Boston. When I stepped into NYC Quest Dojo, I was transplanted to a traditional dojo, in the middle of New York City. NYC Quest Dojo is clear about what they offer and who they want to attract on their website. “We approach life mastery through martial arts with a carefully developed 3-fold set of disciplines:
- 1. Physical Training to gain a sense of peace, security and safety in life
- 2. Intellectual Study to understand how to find safety and success
- 3. Intensive Exploration to actualize your human spirit in the world
From the first interaction a potential client may have when looking at their martial arts website, through to when you visit the dojo, it is obvious that there is much more than self-defense classes going on here. “You will find our school an up-lifting place to spend time with friends who share your commitment to personal advancement.”
Reinforce an environment of wellness and health
This seems obvious, right? If you are going somewhere to work out, you don’t want to be greeted by the front desk person eating a burger and fries from the nearest fast food place. But, I’ve actually had this happen when walking into a big box health club in the past. When you enter THE WORKS personal training studio, you’re greeted with an enormous poster of a very attractive woman that says, “Your body is your best outfit.”[clearfix]
While I was waiting to interview the owner, Jennifer Searles, the conversation I overheard was about the best kind of salmon to top one of the employee’s salads. From the poster that greeted me, to what the employees were eating for lunch – Every interaction I observed stressed that Jennifer and her team are clearly committed to health and wellness.
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