Gen Z members are pushing the pulse of innovation within the fitness experience. Whether this group fits into your facility’s main demographic or not, they’re more than likely occupying a significant part of your membership revenue.
To quickly review who qualifies as Gen Z, we’re referring to people born between 1997 and 2012. While a large majority of Gen Z are still minor children, I’ve chosen to focus on the same group of 16 to 26 year old’s that Les Mills chose to operate in their study of this group earlier this year.
For practicality of people who can dictate the market based on age, we’ll stick to this subset of 16 to 26 of Gen Z for reference.
While you may think about a younger crowd being a little limited in buying decisions or shaping the culture in your facility, here are some positive notes about this group that could actually help pull your business forward.
- Gen Z exercisers prioritize personal choice, and they value options.
- They do a great job at connecting exercise to its impact on life quality.
- Community experiences hold high value for them.
- They spearhead creation of digital opportunities for trainers and instructors.
Below are three practical ways you can start to model experience toward Gen Z exercisers.
1. Encourage personalization of your space and offerings.
According to the Les Mills report, Gen Z gym goers prove to be more loyal than their elder counterparts. 61% of club members surveyed have been with their facility between six months and two years.
A probable reason for this loyalty? Gen Z exercisers seem to be more resourceful as well as flexible with their exercise choices to fit their lives. With that, these members may select to use your facility half the time and fill in the rest of their activity at home or on a different form of wellness activities.
Tips on club personalization:
- When you’re onboarding Gen Z members, spend more time on the “where do you like or plan to exercise?” questions of the intake.
- Encourage your facility as a part of the journey without having to be all of it.
- Consider more opportunities to serve through your own content or digital assets.
2. Provide space for connection.
81% of this group who are gym goers attend group workouts regularly. While group exercise classes come to mind first — and it’s a well-attended option — the draw to group is more about using exercise as a social space as well. It may be a good time to reassess not only your group offerings, but all of the opportunities for your members to meet and move together.
Examples of how you can make space for quality group offerings:
- Consider simple weekly meet ups that are low lift, a printed running route or workout for example.
- Give small or large group personal training options at discounted rates.
- Host member-wide movement challenges with digital accountability.
- Provide a social media presence with content pointing to group experience and encouragement.
3. Support omnichannel needs.
You can start simple. Think less about creating more options and more about focusing on how this group likes to workout best and remove barriers for them to do it.
How you can begin to think omnichannel:
- Filming and producing your own content can be a great option because your members know your trainers and it adds an evergreen value to your training. While it should feel professional, it doesn’t have to be a full blown production. It’s best to decide what kind of content your members would value most and how you’d like to consistently deliver it.
- Create some process around specific technology and/or tracking tools for your members and students to follow. Communicate digitally to show you’re evaluating progress. This is an easy space to double with a community movement challenge.
- If you have the advantage of your own app, Gen Z would be the group to help you decide how use it best. Content apps are usually pretty full. Help get your Gen Z members off and running by pulling together a list of workouts or features you would recommend along with a frequency that’s appropriate for their goals.
This group is excited about exercising. They’re making connections about how it makes their lives better faster than earlier generations. And for that we should be energized. Your business will become a more meaningful part of the Gen Z fitness story if you take the time to learn about and nurture it.