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Every brand has a unique story to tell. Its history and evolution are peppered with tales worth telling. Yet we see too few health clubs taking advantage of this powerful marketing approach.
Rather than focus on the humans behind the brand—along with their goals and passions for their business and members—many clubs emphasize equipment, hours of operation, and rates. This approach ignores a club's ability to help others live their best lives and reduces the club's offerings to a commodity. And we know as well as you do, your club is not a commodity!
Health clubs aren’t selling office supplies or widgets, they are providing life-changing experiences to members in their communities. Clubs need to stop talking solely about how cheaply new members can get started and instead focus on how others in the community have already been positively impacted.
SoulCycle, the indoor cycling studio, revolutionized fitness brand storytelling with a multi-sensory narrative that creates a happy, anxious feeling in the viewer called Fear of Missing Out. Fear of Missing Out can be one of the most powerful tools in marketing to motivate people to act. A well-told story captures the senses and creates real emotions. Emotions strong enough to push people to step outside their comfort zone and into the unfamiliar.
There are limitless ways you can express the daily experiences members have inside the club that are powerful and motivating.
Watch how members behave in classes, while working out alone and with trainers. Do they grunt, push, sweat, reach beyond limits, laugh between sets, and look rewarded at the end of another great workout in your club? Are members making new friends, trying new things, pushing hard at self-limiting beliefs and achieving results, all while sweating and smiling? Do they thank you, your staff, and each other for the support they get in the community you’ve built?
These stories need to be shared! So if you aren't already observing and sharing the success stores of your members, it's time to begin!
Naturally price matters, schedules need to work, and to some extent, the equipment matters. There's no denying the fact that these practical matters have an impact. But what really changes minds is that you’re inspiring people to want to be part of something special.
Break away from the pack and start sharing the stories that people will want to be part of. Stories that encourage non-members to become members simply because it looks, feels and sounds like something they don't want to miss out on. Tell stories that make your members the hero of the brand. Their individual successes will inspire others to believe they can have success too.
Share them with the right people and you will bring more of the right kind of members into the club. New members who are there for the reasons that will last. Members who want more out of themselves and life and who believe they can make that happen with you.
We’d love to get your feedback on this topic and your brand storytelling ideas. Please share by emailing us.