“There is no such thing as neutral design…” 
In this four-part blog series, we explore the environments within fitness facilities and how clubs can create a unique ‘different’.
When it comes to success, everything f*#*king matters. As the fitness industry grows and the number of facilities increase, the battle for member acquisition and retention multiplies.
Having a space that is just full of equipment may no longer be enough to support long term success for a facility.
In the battle for member acquisition and retention there is never going to be one solution as there is always going to be a number of factors that need to be continually addressed
These must be evaluated and actioned, as acquisition and retention of members is a 24/7 pursuit. Taking our eyes off the situation for a moment may lead to a set of circumstances that affect the long-term prospects of both the facility and the staff.
The aim of this series of blogs is to highlight the importance of the design of the gym floor, and the factors that need to be considered when aiming to create a unique ‘different’, that separates one facility from the competition.
Retail destinations do it, hotels do it, theme parks do it – they all think about the end user experience and how the layout, choice of products, placement of products, lighting, flooring, music, visuals and temperature affect the individual feelings of the visitors/guests that use their spaces.
Experiences are services with added feelings and sensations that are unique to the individual and support the notion of differentiation; feelings, not logic, drive behaviour.
Influencing the end users’ behaviours (with good intent) and reducing the sacrifices the exerciser has to make when using the facility, are major objectives for a facility when aiming to creating a gym space.
Whenever we as consumers commit to using a service, we have to make sacrifices. These sacrifices could be anything from the time of day that service is available, to the availability of products and staff. If through gym design and service offering, sacrifices could be reduced, positive feelings will increase within the end user. This is when a service has a greater chance of becoming an experience.
The reduction of sacrifices is an area were facilities may wish to look towards digital to support this endeavour, by reducing the sacrifices that the exerciser is required to overcome to use the service.
As an example, bookings, payments, reminder notifications, session feedback, trainer feedback, additional exerciser motivation (all whilst away from the facility), general facility information and education, are all elements that add up to the overall service offered.
These combined create an individual experience and ‘occupy a space in the customers’ (exercisers’) mind beyond the primacy of the product (fitness).