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Jun 13, 2018

Five ways to define your USP in an evolving fitness and wellness landscape

The experts at MINDBODY, a leading business management software provider for the fitness and wellness sector, share advice on five ways to define your unique selling point and continually develop this to make it count in a competitive industry

In a world of modern day fitness trends and changing consumer behaviour, businesses of all types need to ensure what they are offering is interesting, unique and different to competitors.

Learning new skills, adapting existing offerings and staying ahead are all vital components to a successful company in 2018.

Technology is your ticket to the future

Technology has become an increasingly important part of how people work out. Recent research by MINDBODY found that over three quarters (77 per cent) of those aged 18-24 use technology as part of their fitness routine. The use of technology differs depending on the type of exercise; for example, the research found that yogis were the most likely to find technology useful for gaining greater accessibility to classes (22 per cent).

Getting to grips with technology within your business, and incorporating the latest advances into your offering is a great way of keeping things fresh, and ensuring you are always making things easy and convenient for the customer.

Spirituality and fitness are intertwined

Introducing practices that champion overall health and wellbeing is going to help you stand out from the crowd. The more creative you are, the better. Stress-busting yoga and pilates are becoming more and more popular, particularly in today’s fastpaced society, and this is something that can be capitalised on in any element of health and fitness. In fact, MINDBODY data found that 70 per cent of those that do yoga do so as they believe the exercise relieves anxiety for them.

Luke Hughes, of Origym Group Ltd, said: “Since around 2010, the popularity of yoga and Pilates studios has increased by a margin of around two per cent each year, their popularity owed to their inclusivity for all ages, when compared to more competitive, team-based sports.

“Seasoned fitness professionals will tell you that it is no coincidence that the overall popularity of lowimpact, spiritual fitness practices has increased along with the average age of the population. The proportional increases in fact reflect on a society who, regardless of age, are overall more concerned with health and fitness, both physical and mental.”

Bye bye 9-5

Flexible working is on the rise, and tweaking your offering to reflect this change in customers’ schedules could have a huge impact on your business; both in the short and long term. The research by MINDBODY revealed that the most popular time to work out is between 6pm and 6.59pm. However, almost half (49 per cent) of respondents said that they have no preferred time, suggesting that peak times are becoming a thing of the past.

Mixing up your offering to target customers at various times throughout the day could help you get in front of new members who are looking for more convenient times to work out.

Think outside the box

With thousands of fitness, health and wellbeing studios across the UK, making yours different is ultimately what will drive footfall. Get creative and think about services or offerings that can really add value, in addition to your standard class timetable.

Justin Rogers, Creative Director at Ten Health & Fitness explains why the launch of Ten Clinical (which bridges the gap between the fitness and medical community) has been instrumental to the studios growth.

“Ten has always been more than just another boutique fitness provider - with our ability to offer an end-to-end solution, helping people from rehabilitation to full function fitness, we were already well on the way to achieving this. Ten Clinical takes us one step further within that strategy. It also means we can reach a new and growing population for whom exercise isn’t just a lifestyle choice, it’s a genuine need. The response has been amazing so far.”

Jill Simpson, founder of MINDBODY studio Ebb&Flow, in Farnham, has found added value in hosting regular workshops with a permanent in-house nutritionist. She said: “Our in-house nutritional therapist has been invaluable in educating and informing our students about a holistic approach to their wellbeing. They have embraced wholeheartedly the workshops and talks we have arranged about various important topics such as: ‘Nutrition for Brain Health’, ‘Vegan Health’, ‘Balancing your Nutritional Intake and ‘Hormone & Nutrition for Pre, Post and Peri Menopause’.

“All of these talks have been sold out and incredibly well received, therefore it naturally follows that after this education a student will book a private consultation at the studio together with tests, diet planning and then subsequent supplement sales.”

Shivraj Bassi, CEO at Innermost, also comments on why London’s boutique studios are choosing to expand their offering beyond just fitness:“Fitness studios are increasingly diversifying their offering to provide value to customers in different ways and generate additional revenue streams. In-house smoothie bars are a great example of this. We partner with many leading boutique studios in London and internationally, who use our nutrition products to build their smoothie offering. Their smoothie bars provide a hub that helps build not only a community for members, but also a nutrition offering that enhances the studios’ value proposition and compliments their core offering.”

Branch out into new disciplines

Don’t just stick with what you know. While you may be good at it, it’s key that businesses learn new skills, employ the right people and continually develop their offering to attract a more diverse customer base.

Olivia, head of business for Ministry does Fitness comments on why HIITBOX is freshening up its studio offering via events. She said: “The HIITBOX event adds huge value to what we do, it allows us to branch into new disciplines that complement our day to day studio, work with world renowned talent, get creative with fitness experiences in bigger spaces and ultimately grow our fitness brands potential and awareness for the future.”

Charlotte Newton, Senior Manager, EMEA Marketing at MINDBODY, added: “Wellness industry growth shows no sign of slowing down, and in such a competitive space it’s vital that businesses keep on top of industry trends, without losing sight of what it is that their customers want. However, when the majority of time is spent providing an excellent service to everyone who walks through the door, there aren’t always enough hours in the day to do the research!

“We hope that our 2018 Insights Report, along with real life examples from our customers, can help business owners stay head of the game and evolve their business in a way that stays true to their brand.”

To find out more about MINDBODY and how it can help your business, visit https://uk.mindbodyonline.com/business

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