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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Ahead of the curve

What are the key consumer trends for health club operators to latch onto in 2014?

By DAVID MATTIN, TRENDWATCHING.COM | Published in Leisure Handbook 2014 issue 1
IKEA put up 2,000 ‘posters’ which were actually flat-packed cardboard moving boxes – with discounts for furniture – on the day many people move house

POINT & KNOW
Forget information overload: consumers can’t get enough timely, useful information. They’re taking advantage of smartphone-associated technologies such as QR codes and augmented reality to access real-time information about their surroundings. And with 56 per cent of UK consumers owning a smartphone, exploiting this trend will be a must for many businesses in 2014.

The potential applications of ‘point and know’ in the fitness industry are (almost) endless. Take just one example: San Diego County Parks and Recreation in the US has opened a new ‘QR Code Fit Trail’ system at its 4S Ranch Sports Park. Consumers simply scan a QR code on the Fit Trail and get free videos with guided exercises from a certified fitness instructor.

GAMEPROVEMENT
Rising numbers of consumers are turning to games to unlock new mindsets and drive new behaviours, as well as overcome obstacles and challenges.

Fierce competitiveness will not appeal to all, or even most, consumers – for some, it’s only about playing against themselves to get healthier, happier, more ethical or more fulfilled. However, fitness and the ‘gameprovement’ trend are natural partners. Fitocracy (www.fitocracy.com) is a good example of this – an online network that turns fitness into a game. Users can connect with others by joining workout groups with pre-defined goals – weight loss, for example – and compete against friends to earn points and reach goals. In addition, the site will set users quests to complete, and award badges for milestones reached.

Expect ‘gameprovement’ to spread and evolve throughout 2013.

MAXIMISED MOMENTS
With so many experiences on offer, consumers have never been more saturated by choice when it comes to finding ways to spend their time. For many in 2013, the response will be variety, speed and intensity, as single experiences are replaced by multiple, mix-and-matched experiences that provide sensory, information or indulgence overload.

Expect to see more brands and businesses applying this trend in the year ahead. Take Manicube, for example (http://manicube.com). Launched in New York in 2012, Manicube is a company that offers 15-minute in-office manicures. For US$15, customers can enjoy a prep, polish and dry, with Manicube offering iPads to entertain clients while they wait.

It shouldn’t be too hard to think of a few ways to offer ‘maximised moments’ in your organisation too.

QUANTIFIED SELF
Self-measurement and analysis of personal metrics has fundamentally changed the way early adopters relate to their physical and mental selves, with ongoing implications for the fitness industry.

In 2014, mainstream consumers will also take notice, as the ‘quantification’ trend pushes further away from its hard-science roots and towards a culture of wellness and lifestyle control. Expect, also, an increased focus on elegant and useful visualisations of personal health data.

Notch (http://notch.me), for example, is a website that takes a user’s data from the personal tracking devices Fitbit and Runkeeper and turns it into personalised infographics. Membership of the site is free: users just have to connect their Fitbit or Runkeeper accounts when they join. Notch then generates images and fun facts for users, such as ‘Last month you walked the length of the Panama Canal!’ Users can share infographics via social media.

SERVILE BRANDS
Any consumer-facing organisation knows that consumers are more demanding, time-starved, informed and choice-saturated than ever before. No wonder brand loyalty is low. In fact, in a survey of consumers across 32 countries, just 28 per cent rated brand as a purchasing driver (Ernst & Young, March 2012).

That’s why brands are increasingly having to go beyond great customer service, turning themselves into lifestyle servants focused on catering to the needs, desires and whims of customers, wherever they are and whenever they demand it.

There are many ways to turn ‘servile’, from letting consumers try everything before they buy to saving them time, money and stress across all aspects of life, not just during their interactions with you.

One example: last year, IKEA put up 2,000 ‘posters’, which were actually flat-packed cardboard moving boxes, around Montreal on 1 July – the day many property leases expire. The boxes were printed with slogans that encouraged people to take them home and included discounts on new furniture, moving tips and dinner offers for those without a kitchen, they could even be turned into chairs. The campaign increased IKEA’s traffic by 14 per cent and sales by 24.5 per cent – the same effect as opening an entire new IKEA store in that market.

AUTO-ME
Data means power: the power to delight consumers with meaningfully tailored, or even entirely bespoke, products and services that truly reflect who an individual consumer is, and what they want.

British Airways’ Know Me programme involves BA staff using data – whether the customer has flown BA before, whether they have experienced problems and even Google searches – to tailor the in-flight service to the individual customer.

When it launched, reception to the idea was mixed, with some seeing it as more creepy than cool. But 2014 is sure to see more examples of this kind of ‘datashaping’, as brands frantically try to respond to consumers’ ever-increasing demands for bespoke service.

INTUITIVE INTERFACES
This trend is all about technologies that enable consumers to interact with their environment in more natural and intuitive ways. That means an end to the need to ‘learn’ to use a device; instead, intuitive devices understand speech and gestures, making them instantly accessible.

In June 2012, for example, Nike and Microsoft introduced Nike+ Kinect Training, an at-home exercise game for the Xbox 360. No need for users to change the way they exercise, or for awkward controllers: instead, players’ movements are tracked via sensors as they follow a virtual fitness coach and participate in challenges, which include running on the spot, lunging, dodging on-screen projectiles and squats.

As technology weaves itself around health and fitness behaviours, this trend becomes an increasingly important one for the fitness sector to track.

ALERTING
In 2014, more consumers will turn their smartphones into lifestyle maximisers. One way they’ll do this will be by getting real-time, location-relevant lifestyle alerts that help them get the most from every day.

This ‘alerting’ trend can point to powerful ways to reach out to consumers, and help them achieve the goals they set themselves. Take HeroButton as an example. First released in Canada, this is a free mobile app that functions as a digital assistant. Users create a specific alert and are notified when certain criteria are fulfilled – this could be when a product they’re looking to purchase becomes cheaper, when a group-buying site has a deal that could interest them, or when a favourite musician releases an album.

CONCLUSION
That’s just a snapshot of a few of the key trends at work in 2013/4. These trends will evolve and spread as consumers ºfind new ways to serve unchanging desires for connection, self-improvement and status.

So share them with your team and see what innovations you can come up with to stay ahead of the curve.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Mattin is lead strategist at trendwatching.com. As one of the world’s leading trend firms, trendwatching.com sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings in nine languages to more than
160,000 subscribers.

From Health Club Management Handbook 2013, p60

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
QR codes link to videos that show members how to use functional zones
QR codes link to videos that show members how to use functional zones
New York-based Manicube offers in-office, 15-minute manicures for US$15 / Photo: © PZAXE/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
New York-based Manicube offers in-office, 15-minute manicures for US$15 / Photo: © PZAXE/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
New York-based Manicube offers in-office, 15-minute manicures for US$15
New York-based Manicube offers in-office, 15-minute manicures for US$15
British Airways aims to tailor the in-flight experience to each individual customer / Photo: © EDHAR/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
British Airways aims to tailor the in-flight experience to each individual customer / Photo: © EDHAR/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Nike+ Kinect tracks users’ movements via sensors as they follow a virtual fitness coach
Nike+ Kinect tracks users’ movements via sensors as they follow a virtual fitness coach
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/LH2014_curve.gif
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tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

Ahead of the curve

What are the key consumer trends for health club operators to latch onto in 2014?

By DAVID MATTIN, TRENDWATCHING.COM | Published in Leisure Handbook 2014 issue 1
IKEA put up 2,000 ‘posters’ which were actually flat-packed cardboard moving boxes – with discounts for furniture – on the day many people move house

POINT & KNOW
Forget information overload: consumers can’t get enough timely, useful information. They’re taking advantage of smartphone-associated technologies such as QR codes and augmented reality to access real-time information about their surroundings. And with 56 per cent of UK consumers owning a smartphone, exploiting this trend will be a must for many businesses in 2014.

The potential applications of ‘point and know’ in the fitness industry are (almost) endless. Take just one example: San Diego County Parks and Recreation in the US has opened a new ‘QR Code Fit Trail’ system at its 4S Ranch Sports Park. Consumers simply scan a QR code on the Fit Trail and get free videos with guided exercises from a certified fitness instructor.

GAMEPROVEMENT
Rising numbers of consumers are turning to games to unlock new mindsets and drive new behaviours, as well as overcome obstacles and challenges.

Fierce competitiveness will not appeal to all, or even most, consumers – for some, it’s only about playing against themselves to get healthier, happier, more ethical or more fulfilled. However, fitness and the ‘gameprovement’ trend are natural partners. Fitocracy (www.fitocracy.com) is a good example of this – an online network that turns fitness into a game. Users can connect with others by joining workout groups with pre-defined goals – weight loss, for example – and compete against friends to earn points and reach goals. In addition, the site will set users quests to complete, and award badges for milestones reached.

Expect ‘gameprovement’ to spread and evolve throughout 2013.

MAXIMISED MOMENTS
With so many experiences on offer, consumers have never been more saturated by choice when it comes to finding ways to spend their time. For many in 2013, the response will be variety, speed and intensity, as single experiences are replaced by multiple, mix-and-matched experiences that provide sensory, information or indulgence overload.

Expect to see more brands and businesses applying this trend in the year ahead. Take Manicube, for example (http://manicube.com). Launched in New York in 2012, Manicube is a company that offers 15-minute in-office manicures. For US$15, customers can enjoy a prep, polish and dry, with Manicube offering iPads to entertain clients while they wait.

It shouldn’t be too hard to think of a few ways to offer ‘maximised moments’ in your organisation too.

QUANTIFIED SELF
Self-measurement and analysis of personal metrics has fundamentally changed the way early adopters relate to their physical and mental selves, with ongoing implications for the fitness industry.

In 2014, mainstream consumers will also take notice, as the ‘quantification’ trend pushes further away from its hard-science roots and towards a culture of wellness and lifestyle control. Expect, also, an increased focus on elegant and useful visualisations of personal health data.

Notch (http://notch.me), for example, is a website that takes a user’s data from the personal tracking devices Fitbit and Runkeeper and turns it into personalised infographics. Membership of the site is free: users just have to connect their Fitbit or Runkeeper accounts when they join. Notch then generates images and fun facts for users, such as ‘Last month you walked the length of the Panama Canal!’ Users can share infographics via social media.

SERVILE BRANDS
Any consumer-facing organisation knows that consumers are more demanding, time-starved, informed and choice-saturated than ever before. No wonder brand loyalty is low. In fact, in a survey of consumers across 32 countries, just 28 per cent rated brand as a purchasing driver (Ernst & Young, March 2012).

That’s why brands are increasingly having to go beyond great customer service, turning themselves into lifestyle servants focused on catering to the needs, desires and whims of customers, wherever they are and whenever they demand it.

There are many ways to turn ‘servile’, from letting consumers try everything before they buy to saving them time, money and stress across all aspects of life, not just during their interactions with you.

One example: last year, IKEA put up 2,000 ‘posters’, which were actually flat-packed cardboard moving boxes, around Montreal on 1 July – the day many property leases expire. The boxes were printed with slogans that encouraged people to take them home and included discounts on new furniture, moving tips and dinner offers for those without a kitchen, they could even be turned into chairs. The campaign increased IKEA’s traffic by 14 per cent and sales by 24.5 per cent – the same effect as opening an entire new IKEA store in that market.

AUTO-ME
Data means power: the power to delight consumers with meaningfully tailored, or even entirely bespoke, products and services that truly reflect who an individual consumer is, and what they want.

British Airways’ Know Me programme involves BA staff using data – whether the customer has flown BA before, whether they have experienced problems and even Google searches – to tailor the in-flight service to the individual customer.

When it launched, reception to the idea was mixed, with some seeing it as more creepy than cool. But 2014 is sure to see more examples of this kind of ‘datashaping’, as brands frantically try to respond to consumers’ ever-increasing demands for bespoke service.

INTUITIVE INTERFACES
This trend is all about technologies that enable consumers to interact with their environment in more natural and intuitive ways. That means an end to the need to ‘learn’ to use a device; instead, intuitive devices understand speech and gestures, making them instantly accessible.

In June 2012, for example, Nike and Microsoft introduced Nike+ Kinect Training, an at-home exercise game for the Xbox 360. No need for users to change the way they exercise, or for awkward controllers: instead, players’ movements are tracked via sensors as they follow a virtual fitness coach and participate in challenges, which include running on the spot, lunging, dodging on-screen projectiles and squats.

As technology weaves itself around health and fitness behaviours, this trend becomes an increasingly important one for the fitness sector to track.

ALERTING
In 2014, more consumers will turn their smartphones into lifestyle maximisers. One way they’ll do this will be by getting real-time, location-relevant lifestyle alerts that help them get the most from every day.

This ‘alerting’ trend can point to powerful ways to reach out to consumers, and help them achieve the goals they set themselves. Take HeroButton as an example. First released in Canada, this is a free mobile app that functions as a digital assistant. Users create a specific alert and are notified when certain criteria are fulfilled – this could be when a product they’re looking to purchase becomes cheaper, when a group-buying site has a deal that could interest them, or when a favourite musician releases an album.

CONCLUSION
That’s just a snapshot of a few of the key trends at work in 2013/4. These trends will evolve and spread as consumers ºfind new ways to serve unchanging desires for connection, self-improvement and status.

So share them with your team and see what innovations you can come up with to stay ahead of the curve.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Mattin is lead strategist at trendwatching.com. As one of the world’s leading trend firms, trendwatching.com sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings in nine languages to more than
160,000 subscribers.

From Health Club Management Handbook 2013, p60

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
QR codes link to videos that show members how to use functional zones
QR codes link to videos that show members how to use functional zones
New York-based Manicube offers in-office, 15-minute manicures for US$15 / Photo: © PZAXE/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
New York-based Manicube offers in-office, 15-minute manicures for US$15 / Photo: © PZAXE/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
New York-based Manicube offers in-office, 15-minute manicures for US$15
New York-based Manicube offers in-office, 15-minute manicures for US$15
British Airways aims to tailor the in-flight experience to each individual customer / Photo: © EDHAR/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
British Airways aims to tailor the in-flight experience to each individual customer / Photo: © EDHAR/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Nike+ Kinect tracks users’ movements via sensors as they follow a virtual fitness coach
Nike+ Kinect tracks users’ movements via sensors as they follow a virtual fitness coach
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/LH2014_curve.gif
The latest trends for health clubs revealed – from wearable tech to the quantified self
David Martin, Lead Strategist, Trendwatching.com,trends, health clubs, wearable tech
Latest News
A cross-party DCMS Committee in the UK has called on the government to launch a ...
Latest News
Urban Health Club in Ludwigsburg, Germany, has introduced a 24/7 operation. The €2.8m hub for ...
Latest News
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Latest News
Industry body ukactive has joined the chorus of organisations across a number of sectors calling ...
Latest News
German fitness operator BestFit Group has acquired regional gym chain EuroFit for an undisclosed sum. ...
Latest News
The US fitness industry lost around 58 per cent of its revenues during 2020, due ...
Latest News
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: miha bodytec EMS-PT: an irresistible way to boost your in-club offer
Post pandemic, technology continues to shape the way consumers access fitness. Apps and wearables are helping people reach their goals while digital offerings – which grew exponentially during lockdowns – continue to thrive.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Introducing the Official Hammer Strength Box: a complete small group training solution
With gyms reopening as the fitness industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic, members are seeking social interaction and engaging training experiences in a small group setting.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Company profiles
Company profile: FIBO Global Fitness
FIBO Global Fitness is the leading international trade show for fitness, wellness & health....
Company profiles
Company profile: Physical Company
Physical Company’s mission statement is ‘First for Fitness Solutions’ – a statement that reflects the ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Precor: The power of networking
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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