IN my previous blogs, I touched on the growing popularity of boutique fitness gyms, now will boutiques crack the code and find a way to show avid exercisers they can get a complete workout without visiting multiple competing locations? Will traditional clubs alter their model and create compelling experiences to inspire members in new ways? Or will a completely new model emerge that takes both by surprise?
Lower priced clubs have less to worry about, as they fulfill a very different function along the fitness spectrum. However, gyms that appeal to boutiques’ target segment – exercisers who are willing to spend much more money on experience and environment – need to pay attention.
Boutiques appeal to committed exercisers and fitness fanatics. Unlike exercisers who join after a New Year’s resolution and taper off within a few months, boutique customers exercise multiple times per week and stick with it. And, research shows a big portion of them currently have multiple gym memberships.
This is a phenomenon that’s unlikely to last at today’s levels. One of these types of facilities is going to lose a meaningful chunk of those multi-membership customers. How many other products or services can you think of that fail to meet all of the needs of their single most important customer – the one who spends more and happens to be the most committed to that product or service over the long haul? There aren’t many because somebody usually adapts, creates a better product or service, and ultimately wins.