23 Sep 2018 | Digital editions, magazines, websites, e-zines, handbooks and contract publishing for the leisure industry

Leisure Opportunities issue 745, 2018 is now out!

Blogs:

Leisure Opportunities bloggers:

Liz Terry
CEO,
Leisure Media

Kate Cracknell
editor-at-large,
Health Club Management

Eva McDiarmid
Chief Executive,
ASVA

Kurt Janson
Policy Director,
Tourism Alliance

Ufi Ibrahim
Chief Executive,
British Hospitality Association

Philippe Rossiter
Chief Executive,
Institute of Hospitality

Aleatha Ezra
Director of park member development,
World Waterpark Association

Ian Taylor
CEO,
SkillsActive

Gareth Edwards
Director of Education,
Springboard

Jennifer Fields
Communications Coordinator,
Association of Zoos and Aquariums

John Goodbody
Sports Journalist

Peter Ducker
Chief executive,
Institute of Hospitality

Suki Kalirai
Interim CEO,
SkillsActive

Sam Coulstock
Customer Relationship Director,
Springboard

Stephen Studd
CEO,
SkillsActive

Edwina Hart
Minister for Business,
Welsh Assembly Government

Tim Lewthwaite
Publications manager,
Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Lisa Starr
Senior Consultant,
Wynne Business

Linda Cendes
Program Assistant, Comms,
AZA

Julie Becker
Communications and Events Manager,
Ecsite

Anna Bjurstam
Owner,
Raison d'Etre

Michel Buchel
President of Ecsite and CEO of NEMO, Amsetrdan,
NEMO

Dieter Buchner
Founding Partner,
Urban Healing

Jean-Guy de Gabriac
Founder/ CEO,
Tip Touch Academie

Leah De Silva
Business development director,
Springboard

David Grevemberg
CEO,
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Anni Hood
Global wellbeing advisor and consultant

Simon Johnson
CEO,
Business in Sport and Leisure

David Kerr
Principal,
David Kerr Associates

Nick King
Director,
Sports Think Tank

Fredrik Lindahl
Treasurer & Administrator,
Finnish Cricket Association

Kerry Mabbley
Customer Relationship Manager,
Springboard

Chris Marriott
Director ,
The Sports Consultancy

Rhona Mennie
Business relations manager,
Springboard UK

Peter Moody
Partner,
Brook Street des Roches LLP

Matt Partridge
Executive board member,
CLOA

Tom Pinnington
Associate director,
Capita Symonds

Neil Richmond
Founder,
Neil Richmond & Co.

Hugh Robertson
Minister for Sport

Louise Routh
Marketing and communications director,
Springboard UK

Dee Smith
Head of Programmes,
Springboard

David Stalker
CEO,
ukactive

Chris Trickey
Chief Executive,
SAPCA

Phillip Villars
Managing Director,
Indigo Planning

Andrew Wade
Partner,
Lawrence Graham LLP

Tom Walker
Journalist,
Leisure Media

Charles Wilford
Co-Head, Leisure Team,
Gerald Eve

Duncan Wood-Allum
Director,
Sport, Leisure and Culture Consultancy

Earning loyalty in 2015

06 Nov 2015
by Kate Cracknell, editor-at-large, Health Club Management
Your customers aren’t being disloyal if they don’t only use your gym; things have moved on from the one-stop shop

Are contracts really the key driver of member loyalty, as numerous retention reports have stated over the years? ukactive’s latest Business Performance Benchmarking report suggests not – or at least, no longer. It found that gyms with a minimum 12-month fixed-term contract saw an average membership length of 11.2 months – far shorter than the 17.2-month average enjoyed by gyms that didn’t require a 12-month commitment and that offered more flexible contract lengths.

It seems the drivers of loyalty are changing. And while those drivers will vary from one customer to the next, one increasingly recurrent theme is the desire for flexibility.

The fitness sector has begun to respond, recognising that loyalty should be an active choice rather than a forced hand. The low cost-led shift away from contracts was a positive first step, and even where contracts have stayed in place, forward-thinking operators are introducing more flexibility: DiR’s à la carte membership, where members pay only for what they use, is a good example. But more can be done.

One new trend – a short hop on from flexible pricing – is ‘sympathetic pricing’. This involves imaginative discounts and rewards that go beyond telling people you care, actually proving it by directly addressing customers’ specific pain points – and earning their loyalty as a result. For more on this, turn to Health Club Management 2015 issue 11 page 36.

But the latest leap in consumer expectation demands even more flexibility from all operators – because the younger generations in particular no longer want to belong to just one gym. They want to mix and match, keeping enjoyment levels high by bringing variety into their routine.

As The Futures Company pointed out in the last issue of HCM: “To win with those aged under 30, gym owners must embrace – even encourage – a certain degree of promiscuity of membership.”

The boutique studios have recognised this. With flexibility at the very heart of their model, these operations are garnering huge loyalty by creating strong brands and enthusiastic communities – this in spite of a premium price tag and commitment-free ‘pay per class’ set-up. Joey Gonzalez, CEO of Barry’s Bootcamp, explains how in his interview on Health Club Management 2015 issue 11 page 26.

The key here is to understand that your customers aren’t being disloyal to you if they don’t only use your gym; operators need to play to their strengths to ensure they stay in the exercise mix, but at the same time realise things have moved on from the one-stop shop.

So if you’re an operator, what’s the best way to go about embracing this desire for variety and flexibility? Certainly the likes of ClassPass offer a route to market that caters for the cherry-pickers – but how do you best use these tools to ensure they benefit your business rather than undermining it? On Health Club Management 2015 issue 11 page 44, Stephen Tharrett and Mark Williamson of ClubIntel offer their advice to anyone considering working with what they call the ‘internet middlemen’.

A final thought on loyalty comes in our trendwatching feature on Health Club Management 2015 issue 11 page 36, which points to the need for far deeper engagement with consumers. Did you know 63 per cent of people only buy products and services that appeal to their beliefs, values or ideals? German women-only club My Sportlady certainly appreciates this, offering heart-warming inspiration on Health Club Management 2015 issue 11 page 58. It’s time to define what your brand stands for – your customers’ loyalty depends on it.



Tags: Health Club Management  health & fitness 

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