Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bottled Water and Personal Training


I had an interesting convergence of events this week.  First, I'm trying to get my head around web 2.0 marketing tools and understand exactly how they will potentially shape business in the future.  This blog is part of that process, and now you can follow me on Twitter @donmoxley.  I'll talk more about Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in a future blog, but my advice to you is get an account at each, (they're free) and at least start listening.  One of the leaders in social networking technology is Guy Kawasaki.  Guy is best known from his days as the Chief Evangelist at Apple computers.  He now has a site called ALLTOP.COM.  Alltop describes itself as a magazine rack for the web.  A place to go to find out what’s being written about a particular topic.  I went there and started browsing topics of interest to me.  Fitness, Fitness Business, Exercise and Personal Training.  The only topic I found covered was fitness, and when I started to look at what was there, I felt like I was just seeing the same stuff from a lot of different trainers.  A lot of different water hoses with the same water coming out of each.
The other event happened when I was watching a Sunday morning program on MSNBC called Your Business.  Your business is a regular for me, I DVR it, and find a lot of very interesting information in the show every week.  What caught my attention were the comments of guest Lynda Resnick, CEO of FIJI Water.  She was discussing unique selling propositions and that Fiji water "fell to the earth 200 years ago, has laid in the aquifer, and has been untouched by man until you drink it." If you listened to Dr. Mitchelli's "Water. Water, Everywhere" podcast, well, there seems to be a difference in their perception of the product.   One sees it as a high quality, couldn’t be anything wrong with something from somewhere so far away.  And the other questions the quality of what is in the bottle because of the conditions of the water available to the locals.  Very different views.  But that's Ok.  Our different perceptions is the spice of life and ultimately what creates opportunity.  Look what a unique selling position does for water in a plastic bottle!  
Have you thought about what your customers' perceptions are of their experience in your fitness center, or how they perceive your professional fitness staff?  The bad news may be that most of our fitness center members say that the equipment feels complex and makes them "feel stupid" and personal trainers are "intimidating."  Looking at the product from the shoes of the consumer rather than the shoes of the seller or expert might be a good change of perspective for our industry.

Dr. Michelli identifies 4 factors that when combined give the plastic bottle and what comes naturally out of your spigot, an opportunity to create a unique selling proposition.  Convenience, portability, transformational experience, and a sense of mystery.  I started looking at these and feel that we as fitness professionals have the opportunity to use technology at our disposal to create the same factors and create unique selling propositions.

Let’s start with convenience and portability.  I've always felt that comprehensive fitness won't work if it's only available in one place.  If clients' only opportunity to be active and measure the impact is at the gym, they're trapped.  We have to help our clients be more active at home, at work, and while away on work or vacation.  This is why anyone who calls themself a fitness professional should make sure and have a heart rate monitor on the wrist of every client.  It's not there to simply tell the heart rate; it does much more.  The modern heart rate monitor is a "fitness computer."  It not only tells you how hard you're training, it can tell you how much you've been training, if you need more, and more importantly to the user, when it's ok to stop.  It's a tool that can guide not only exercise but recovery and eating habits as well.  It can tell you when you should probably rest instead of workout.  I remember seeing Oprah talking about when she was traveling in Africa, her treadmill wasn't there so she didn't work out.  With a monitor on my wrist, my best workouts come when I'm away from home and able to experience new places while I get my workout in!

Sense of mystery.  A lot of the modern tools of assessment give us a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of the mysteries of fitness.  BodyAge "helps our clients be 5 years younger on their next birthday!"  Isn’t that better than just saying your fat and out of shape?  The portable fitness analyzers like that available from New Leaf help us define a starting point and "fine tune" a program.  These concepts are big hits with our clients and are valuable tools to us as professionals.  Tools like Polar OwnZone help me personalize day-to-day training programs.  When we can combine technologies, assessment, program design, and execution, making the fitness process as easy as "put the key in the machine and hit start,"  well that's the ticket isn't it?   Many manufacturers are embracing a more integrated and sophisticated approach.  SCIFIT takes flexibility and fine tuning to the next level by giving you the ability to do both strength and cardiovascular training on a single piece of equipment, while keeping the trainer in the middle of a process that provides “authentic evidence” of improvement to the exerciser.

Helping people transform themselves by setting goals and achieving them.  Helping them become "different people" by defining themselves through what they have done, what they can do, and what they want to do.  Not by a number on a scale.  And helping them do it on their terms.   Now there's the ultimate unique selling proposition that will get more customers into our industry and keep our clients coming back for more.   If we do it right, there are a lot of people out there that will gladly pay "4 times the equivalent cost of a gallon of gas, for what comes free from out of the tap."

I’d love to hear how you make your “transactions” with your clients more memorable.  Feel free to comment!


No comments:

Post a Comment