The membership model that many gyms, health and fitness organizations have employed for decades is in the midst of a seismic cultural, technological and economic shift. Millennials, now the largest living generation in the US, are redefining value by prioritizing experiences over material things, customization over one-size-fits-all and social engagement over the exclusivity and certainty of the membership model. At the same time, technological advances that enable the “sharing economy” are increasing competition for Millennial dollars, as more affordable fitness options become widely available via services like ClassPass and fitness training apps. While Millennial spending on fitness outpaces the group’s overall consumption level, 72% think gym memberships are too expensive.
So how can organizations that are dependent on membership model revenue painlessly transition their business models to capitalize on the wants and needs of this new fitness generation?
With both the new generation and Gen X’ers now seeking more convenient, flexible and low-cost fitness options, there is opportunity for membership-based organizations to offer fitness experiences at varied pricing levels that meet the needs of the predominant demographics, attitudes and behaviors of people nearest a particular facility.
And while technology has facilitated the “sharing economy” and enabled people to live their lives online, it can also empower organizations to adapt and succeed by delivering data and insights that reveal what people want a fitness facility to deliver. Because people do live online today, organizations can benefit from adopting software like ACTIVE Net that can directly engage people through marketing and manage scheduling and payment of a la carte programming, for example.
Busy people today demand health and fitness programs that they can value, based on affordability, schedule flexibility, relevant programming and online accessibility. Deploying a software service that meets the needs of this audience is critical to any organization’s ability to transcend the current membership disruption trend.