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Gym Dinosaurs Face Extinction – An Alternative Look at the Fitness Industry
In the beginning, most gyms were pay-as-you-go businesses, competing for customers based on good customer service, great equipment, and competitive prices. But as time went on, some bright spark realized that securing customers on a gym membership meant they didn’t have to worry about any of this for the next 12 months!
Like any other business a gym has bills to pay and the opportunity to generate revenue through membership for the next 12 months was naturally an attractive proposition. However, the problem for gym owners was that only a few customers wanted to sign up for such a financial commitment when there was still the option of paying for what they actually used. As time went on, gym owners began to artificially inflate pay-as-you-go prices to make gym memberships appear to be a cost-effective way to stay fit.
They developed marketing campaigns that made consumers feel they had no choice but to sign a contract if they wanted to get fit, even though many of them knew that their personal circumstances might change, such as moving home or changing jobs, which would make their membership completely impractical. .
Gyms were able to show their ‘generosity’ by offering to waive the joining fee (yes they even reduced it), offered, by raising gym prices and forcing customers into a corner. Promote offers like free induction (lucky you) and ’12 months for the price of 10′, when in fact many customers are uncomfortable signing up for more than two months at a time.
Over the course of a few years Jimny managed to completely shift the risk of their business away from them and instead towards the customer. Once people get gym memberships, gyms no longer have to worry about competing for customers every month. As complacency set in standards began to fall, with membership management companies carving out a niche for themselves by threatening legal action against customers who wanted to leave their contracts early.
Commission-driven gym sales teams will say and do anything to get people to sign contracts, and read the small print back to them months later when gullible customers take them at their word. By an authorized gym office manager.
However, the gym industry is now at an evolutionary tipping point where the membership dinosaurs have been wiped out by the meteorite heading its way, fueled in part by the current financial crisis. A recent High Court case has struck the first blow, condemning the contracts used by Jim Dinosaur as ‘unfair and unenforceable’. But it seems that gym customers are increasingly waking up to the tricks of the gym industry and are starting to rebel themselves by looking for more flexible options, no longer willing to cough up 12 months of payments no matter how often. able to go
The good news on the horizon is that some gym dinosaurs are evolving to meet this challenge. While big clumsy gym dinosaurs will bury their heads in the sand and force gym memberships on people until they’re wiped out, others are showing some real survival instincts.
The rise of budget gyms with no contracts and low prices is a real start, while other gyms are adopting the basic pay-as-you-go gym pass that is starting to attract more people back to their gyms.
While much of this article is, admittedly, slightly tongue-in-cheek, there is almost certainly an element of truth that many will recognize (including some gym operators…) but the tide is indeed turning.
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