Where are you now, and where will you be in the future as an operator? High or low (price, service), medical focus, specialization and many other options are available in today´s increasingly crowded market. Being all things to all people is a luxury few fitness / leisure centers can afford these days. The mid-market has been squeezed in a number of sectors, not just the health club business.
Here are some good examples of positioning where clubs have been successful:
1. Aspria (Belgium, Germany, Italy): 8 high end facilities, spa, personal training, design, event wo hotels integrated. The average revenue achieved per member: 150 – 250 Euros per month
2. McFit (Germany, Austria, Spain): 165 budget clubs, €18,90 per month, more than one million members. No group exercise with instructors, but they have recently added cyber classes.
3. Prime Time Fitness (Frankfurt, Germany): two mid-price clubs with excellent, compact (500 sq.meter) business locations, no group exercise but convenient fitness and a high level of supervision included.
4. Health City, Europe´s leading chain with 275 clubs in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain, has two brands offering all inclusive and basic. Several operators are following this strategy, the more successful ones use different brand names to differentiate them from each other.
5. Mrs. Sporty, Europe´s leading franchisor with 600 locations, is a women´s only concept now operating in 10 countries.
Sometimes deciding what not to do or add is the most important decision to make. You can´t be all things to all people.
Marketing can play an important role in your positioning, but as 60-70% of members come via word of mouth, your delivery must be consistent with your message. This means adjusting the service level to the promises you make and the expectations of your client base.
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