Reinventing the Fitness Industry

fitness industry

The fitness industry is not known for reinventing itself. With competition so fierce in today’s market, you’d think an individual or brand would step in and create major disruption. Perhaps this industry needs to rethink that and follow the lead of other industries that explore continuous reinvention.

A great example is country music. Whether you’re a fan or not, this genre completely reinvented itself, crossing all barriers by being more inclusive and broadly appealing. Think baseball hats versus cowboy hats, lots of tattoos versus one or none, and even some rapping — all new staples of country music. That’s some serious disruption that has created millions of new fans. It’s hard to fight those results.

The 1980s were about big box gyms. It wasn’t until the 1990s that boutique fitness became a “thing,” but they didn’t cause too much disruption. Then CrossFit happened, causing a bit of a stir.  However, it wasn’t until boutique franchises came into the picture that everyone felt the pinch. None more so than big boxes. And yet, they persevere, albeit without much alteration to their blueprint.  

With all this noise in this highly successful but crowded space, what can these facilities do to stand out? They can’t keep lowering their prices, as we can all agree that’s a race to the bottom. They can’t offer more “cool things,” because more things cost more money, and sometimes, more just isn’t better.  

What if these dinosaurs of the fitness industry looked to what the consumer needed? Instead of thinking for the consumer, they could study consumers’ behavior to try to better understand what drove them to search for a different solution to their fitness needs.  

With obesity and diabetes leading the charge as the new epidemic of our time, one might consider how to capture this untapped market. It only makes sense to address this very real and very lucrative solution the majority of consumers need for literal survival.

It is reported that nine out of 10 people join a fitness facility to “lose weight and get healthy.” And because fitness isn’t the sole solution to mastering those goals, the missing link should be clear, and yet the majority of fitness clubs do not properly address this. If the fitness industry ever needed to reinvent itself to capitalize on what consumers are searching for, this seems about as obvious as it gets: use nutrition.

Today’s fitness industry would greatly benefit from solving the needs of the consumer through a solid nutrition solution. By doing so, this could, in effect, reinvent the way the industry is solving the needs of the consumer and giving them what they have wanted all along: someone to solve their problems. Could this be the “fitness industry 2.0?”

One can only hope.

Carolyn Fetters is the CEO and founder of Balanced Habits™, who has partnered with 175 fitness businesses, with various business models, all across the US and Canada. Reach her at carolyn@balancedhabits.com or www.balancedhabits.com.

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