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In Print The Essentials

Bringing the Boutique Experience Mainstream


While boutique fitness may have dominated the group fitness scene lately, big-box clubs and fitness chains are figuring out ways to create the boutique experience in-house. If you are eager to create a similar boutique-buzz within your club, here are three key things you will want to consider:

1. Customer experience that is boutique.

Swiping through a turnstile on a first-come, first-serve basis is not an experience nor does it create connection with the customer. Boutiques have figured out how to create connections before customers even walk into the premises, from booking their spot in class online to confirming the day of. Most boutiques also follow up the day after to recognize and reward the customer — a subtle, yet smart up-sell strategy. These touchpoints make going to the gym more like a five-star hotel experience.

2. Class programming and scheduling that is boutique.

Choose four to six programs that will service 75 to 80 percent of the members, along with two or three speciality classes to attract 20 to 25 percent who come specifically for that program. To accomplish this fine balance between program type and talent, you will need to know the latest program trends, what your members want, where your instructors’ talents lie and who your top instructors are. You also need to promote them like a celebrity trainer or instructor.

3. Studio environment that is boutique.

Your group fitness studio should not look or feel like the rest of your club. Color, lighting and sound especially need to stand out differently.

While this may be influenced by a variety of factors, visit a number of the most popular fitness boutiques within your area to gain insight and ideas. This will give you subtle, inexpensive ideas that give your customers a first-class experience.

If you have the ability to sell group fitness separately from your main club membership, you will be moving one step closer to having a boutique within your club.


Mo Hagan is the vice president of program innovation for GoodLife Fitness and canfitpro.

Mo Hagan

Mo Hagan is the VP of program innovation for GoodLife Fitness.

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