15 June 2012

Marketing an Image. Part 2

Posted by Jody under: Business .

While I’ve never been to a Crunch facility, my image of Crunch had been positive due to its having carved a unique niche with its innovative programs. Now, that image is blown for me. And, as we all know, image is everything. In fact, the image you present has everything to do with the ability of your business to attract, convert, satisfy and maintain your customers. But there’s also a bigger picture to this image issue. Yes, you have to worry about projecting an image to your current members, but you also need to paint a positive image in the eyes of the population at large for the industry as a whole. Eighty-five percent of our population doesn’t frequent a fitness facility. And, they never will, if they associate the fitness industry with the image projected in the Crunch direct mail marketing piece.

Perhaps the articles in this issue can help you to overcome sucha Crunch flub. One of these articles by Guy Brown (Marketing Your Brand, p.30) emphasizes the importance of planning your marketing messages. In Brown’s interview with Brian Smith, president of Red Hot Marketing, Smith emphasizes establishing a “key connection point” to satisfy a consumer’s fitness need or goal. His technique is to use behavioral marketing to understand “what drives individual consumer decisions as they relate to fitness,” which, he says, can “result in a 5 to 20 percent increase in marketing response.”

I believeCrunch “connected” with some of its target market. But it was already doing so with the image it projects inside of its facilities, for instance, with its “peek-a-boo” showers and some of its racier classes like cardio strip tease. However, for the untold other number of recipients of its direct mail piece, it tarnished the image of our industry. It’s time fitness professionals started looking at the bigger picture to help fitness centers appeal to the majority of the population, not just the population to whom they’ve been catering for the past 30 years — the biggest cause of the industry’s growth woes. If you do this, customers will run, not walk, to your facilities. If you don’t, well, you’ll just continue to confirm in most individuals’ minds why they don’t frequent fitness centers.

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