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Blair’s POV: Trends, the Member Experience and An Optimistic Future


Each month Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXM, sits down with Rachel Zabonick-Chonko, the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine, for a frank discussion on the current state of the fitness industry.


Top of mind thoughts:

  • All of the obvious trends we saw before the pandemic have accelerated because of the pandemic, i.e. Peloton, Apple, online content, etc.
  • How will this impact the fitness industry? How can we make it impact us in a good way? What part of the marketplace will it impact?
  • The business we should be in is helping people create exercise habits.
  • Brick and mortar gyms aren’t going anywhere. People want to get together.
  • You should have a healthy amount of anxiety about your business model and how online fitness will impact you.
  • Our image is a challenge. We have to rebrand our entire industry. We have to serve our communities better. We have to put out a better product. Reach outside of your four walls. Our rebranding has to be authentic.

Opportunities in 2021:

  • Younger people are coming back to gyms in droves.
  • People 60 to 75 years old aren’t coming back as much as other groups.
    • This is a huge opportunity to figure out how to get them back in clubs.
    • It has to be more than a new marketing message.
    • This population could benefit the most from exercise due to the pandemic.
  • You have to create the desire for people to exercise.

Clubs should be taking the member experience more serious now than ever before:

  • Know your market.
  • Have marketing intel.
  • Consistently communicate with your members.
  • You can control member experience.

An optimistic future:

  • People want to get together.
  • People have to actually move their bodies to exercise; it can’t be digitally outsourced.
  • Exercise gives people independence.

For more insights from Blair McHaney and to learn more about MXM, the world’s leading experts on Operational Member Experience Management, visit mxmetrics.com.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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