GET FIT TECH
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and also get the Fit Tech ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Technogym
Technogym
Technogym
Get Fit Tech
digital magazine
features

Consumer culture: Unique challenge

Ken Hughes, expert in consumer culture and human behaviour spoke as part of the Technogym Talks series of webinars about how operators can navigate the new consumer landscape

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 5

The coronavirus pandemic, lockdown and aftermath have given human behaviourists new insights into global consumer behaviour,” said Ken Hughes.

“For fitness business owners, this is an important time in your working life because there’s been a lot of disruption and everything has changed quickly.

“If you stand still, you’ll be moving backwards. When everything stops, the winners move into the space. You need to get ready for the next 24 months.”

Predict and prepare
“The captive economy, with consumers in lockdown, is unique,” he said. “It’s global and spans all ages, beliefs, languages and locations.

“You need to appreciate consumers’ concerns and anxieties. Data from YouGov shows only a proportion of people will feel comfortable with the idea of going back to the gym.

“Understand what they want, need, and expect during recovery, and you will thrive,” he said.

Action now
“Consumers are rethinking what is important,” said Hughes – “make sure you’re one of the things they need, rather than one they can do without.
“Devise a strategy and start investing in key stages: the next six weeks, the next six months, and the next two years.

“Understand the strong desire for human connection and you can grow the business more than you ever thought possible. 2021 could be a significant year for your business.”

#1 Attachment

• The current situation offers you a shortcut to building lifelong brand loyalty. When people are scared, sad, and lonely they naturally want to attach themselves to someone or something that offers stability and security.

• Make sure your business is the one they go to for help. That attachment will last far longer than the pandemic.

ACTION POINT: Think about how you can be there for them as a positive influence, give them ways to attach to your brand emotionally as a way to soothe their worries about fitness, health, nutrition and wellness.
#2 Freedom

• Freedom is important to us and has suddenly been taken away for the foreseeable future.

• This overnight loss of freedom and choice has significant emotional and mental ramifications, leaving consumers in a cycle of grief. You need to understand which phase your customers are in.

• Customer experience will be more important than ever, so multiply your efforts by 10. Customers want their freedom back and your brand, business and team need to be that point of human connection, giving them solutions that reinstate freedom and choice.

ACTION POINT: Give customers freedom to book, choose and access services in a way that puts them in control.
#3 Autonomy

• People feel safe when they know what’s going to happen. The pandemic has removed this sense of autonomy. Your customers can’t see what’s coming, and don’t know when it’s going to end.

• Two of their main environments – home and work – have collided, and many are locked in.

• People desperately want to get a sense of control and autonomy back over key areas of life. One of these areas is fitness and health. This gives you a huge opportunity if you get the conversation right.

ACTION POINT: Make customers feel involved, allow them to feel in control, make your services flexible so they can choose.
#4 Community

• Community has always been a key value for health and fitness brands. It’s now time to leverage this to strengthen the retention of existing customers.

• Humans need connection. Your customers are missing people during shutdown. Your gym gave them one of their tribes to belong to.

• You need to reinforce the relationship between your business and your customers, and capture those moments of community and connection.

• During this challenging time, don’t forget to build connections and emotional links.

• People need to feel that they are part of your community.

ACTION POINT: Write a list of things you’ve done to make your community feel special – you urgently need to contribute to community connection and keep this going.
#5 Digital

• Digital has always been a business advantage, and now it will be pure survival. Don’t fear digital. Create a ‘phygital’ business, where the physical and the digital combine to offer consumers what they need.

• Consumers are getting used to having digital experiences. You need to digitise your business to thrive during the pandemic and beyond. The gym and your other physical assets are the core of your business. But have that as the hub, with digital strands.

• The gym is not your product. Customer wellness is and delivering on their wellness is your solution. You need to be active in every part of what they need.

• Digital has destroyed some direct-to-consumer industries. Don’t let that happen to the physical activity sector. Make sure you’re crucial, so consumers can’t bypass you. Consider hiring equipment or sourcing it for customers to buy. Sell nutrition and supplements. Create a community. Give value. Link everything back to your facility.

ACTION POINT: Reshape your business by adding digital assets. Use it to build a community, strong social media, virtual home workouts, personalised online assets and anything else your customers need.
#6 Health

• Health has always been an important value, but the pandemic has skyrocketed it to the top of many people’s lists.

• Many are now interfacing with fitness for the first time, or returning to it because of this new drive. This creates a great opportunity for you to interact with 100 per cent of the population.

• Give advice, present solutions, show them what they need to do.

• When this is over, people will want more opportunities for health and fitness, but some fears and anxieties will remain. People will want to be healthy to protect themselves from illness.

• Start thinking of your business as part of a health solution, offering ways to keep people well and prevent illness. Use this health-based messaging in your communications and social media. People will want to attach themselves to health-focused businesses.

ACTION POINT: Think about how to amplify positive health attitudes and consumers’ need for health in fitness.

Watch the Technogym webinar from futurist Ken Hughes here:
HCMmag.com/KenHughes

If you would like to get each issue of Fit Tech magazine sent direct to you for FREE, plus the weekly Fit Tech ezine, sign up now!
Gallery
More features

Super soft

As gyms reopen, restrictions on numbers are demanding more of their software. HCM asks the experts how their systems can enable gyms to cope with post lockdown requirements

Les Mills Showcase

Bannatyne has driven member engagement with Les Mills during the lockdown

Unique challenge

Ken Hughes, expert in consumer culture and human behaviour spoke as part of the Technogym Talks series of webinars about how operators can navigate the new consumer landscape

Wattbike partner on world-first group cycling software

Wattbike has partnered with Intelligent Cycling to transform indoor cycling with innovative new technology that enables automatic personalisation for riders in a group cycling class

Pivot to digital

The coronavirus pandemic has inspired a huge pivot to digital right across the industry, from sole traders to large chains and trusts. Kath Hudson looks at some of the offerings pulled together in lightning fast time to keep members active and sane

PureGym scales up Funxtion’s digital integration

With the spread of COVID-19 forcing more people into isolation, PureGym worked with FunXtion to rapidly include a digital on-demand workout offering to support members at home

Soft power

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing gyms across the world to temporarily close their doors, staying connected to your members digitally has never been more important. Software suppliers tell Steph Eaves how they’re contributing
interview

Christopher Ruddock, INCUS

The NOVA is the first triathlon wearable worn on the upper spine. This allows unique measurement of the left and right sides and unlocks new understanding of body balance
people

Markos Kern

Founder & CEO, Fun With Balls
Like gaming, it’s very addictive, but this time in a good way. Imagine shooting space invaders on a squash court or kicking a soccer ball to kill some monsters

Lover app

Sexual wellness enters the mainstream with the launch of new Lover app

Class action

Jean-Michel Fournier, CEO of digital fitness outfit Les Mills on Demand, envisions the future of group fitness tech

Get connected

Sony and Precor are collaborating. Henrik Bengtsson, head of business at Advagym, tells Wendy Golledge about Sony’s latest foray into fitness
interview

John Foley

Founder and CEO, Peloton
We were creating an entirely new category
interview

Toni Knowlson, Amazon Web Services

These insights give fans access to the inner workings of their favourite teams
interview

Lauren Foundos, FORTË

We give data reports showing the most popular instructors, so they can get credit for driving users
interview

Changing the game

We cannot lose sight of the most important people in this equation – the athletes. We must ensure this data and technology delivers benefits to them
interview

Krissy Cela

I’ve never tried to cover up my imperfections, I’ve been as authentic as I can be throughout my influencer journey
people

Motosumo

Kresten Juel Jensen, CEO and co-founder and Nick Coutts, incoming chair
Everyone’s on their smartphones, so we saw this as a massive opportunity to gamify group fitness

Get smart

A new, smart exercise mask will analyse breath for a wide range of performance-related indicators, as Tom Walker explains

Tesqua upgrades its in-club experience

Tesqua Health and Sports Centre, Netherlands, has partnered with FunXtion, experts in digital fitness, to create an immersive, instructor-driven, group exercise boutique concept within its existing facility
people

Sri Peruvemba

BeBop Sensors: VP of strategy
Our gloves allow users to have digital hands in virtual reality, and to manipulate objects as though they existed in real life
interview

Ali Yetisen

Lead researcher, Technical University Munich
The tattoos use a dye that changes colour according to changes in levels of three elements found in the blood
people

Jean-Michel Fournier

CEO, Les Mills Media
In the long term, the fitness industry will utilise technological advances in augmented reality and holographic telepresence

Sight & sound

The audio visual aspect of your club is one of the biggest factors in keeping members motivated and engaged with your offering. So how can you optimise this? We asked four of the top audio visual suppliers in the industry for their tips
Featured supplier: Let's get restarted: Physical Company offers advice on keeping gym members safe
As countries around the world gear up to relax their lockdown rules, there remains a question mark over gyms and studios, which in many markets will be one of the last sectors to be given the green light.
Featured supplier: EGYM presents Corona Gym Solution, for the successful re-opening of fitness studios
Finally, the time has come: fitness and health facilities around the globe are gradually resuming operations.
BMF with Bear Grylls - Mission to reboot the fitness industry
British Military Fitness
BMF with Bear Grylls has put up a £1m fund to get personal trainers, fitness instructors and class instructors back to work and earning money. Read more
Company profile: Bungee Super Fly
We have developed our own Bungee harness and cords with CE certificate....
Company profile: Harlands Group
Harlands Group is the leading provider of membership management services to leisure operators, processing over ...
Software
Book4Time Inc: Software
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
03-05 Aug 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore
30 Sep 2020
Exhibition Centre Cologne, Cologne, Germany
01-04 Oct 2020
Exhibition Centre, Cologne, Germany
07 Oct 2020
Palais Brongniart, Paris, France
Featured supplier: Let's get restarted: Physical Company offers advice on keeping gym members safe
As countries around the world gear up to relax their lockdown rules, there remains a question mark over gyms and studios, which in many markets will be one of the last sectors to be given the green light.
Featured supplier: EGYM presents Corona Gym Solution, for the successful re-opening of fitness studios
Finally, the time has come: fitness and health facilities around the globe are gradually resuming operations.
Company profile: Bungee Super Fly
We have developed our own Bungee harness and cords with CE certificate....
Company profile: Harlands Group
Harlands Group is the leading provider of membership management services to leisure operators, processing over ...
BMF with Bear Grylls - Mission to reboot the fitness industry
British Military Fitness
BMF with Bear Grylls has put up a £1m fund to get personal trainers, fitness instructors and class instructors back to work and earning money. Read more
Get Fit Tech
Sign up for the free digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and the free weekly Fit Tech ezine
Sign up
Software
Book4Time Inc: Software
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
03-05 Aug 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore
30 Sep 2020
Exhibition Centre Cologne, Cologne, Germany
01-04 Oct 2020
Exhibition Centre, Cologne, Germany
07 Oct 2020
Palais Brongniart, Paris, France

latest news

Technogym has announced the launch of live streaming and on-demand classes. The new content will be delivered via the Technogym ...
Polar has announced the launch of Polar Unite, its new fitness watch. The watch features personalised workouts, wellbeing guidance, connected ...
Tenzing Natural Energy, the drinks brand behind the Tenzing Clean Air Tracker, has recently added new functionality to its free ...
The PGA Tour has recently bought 1,000 Whoop bands for its golfers, after PGA Tour golfer Nick Watney said he ...
Fitness and athletic apparel firm Lululemon will acquire at-home fitness tech firm Mirror in a deal worth around US$500m (€446m, ...
Sports footwear and clothing firm Under Armour has used its expertise in high-performance textiles to produce a facemask designed for ...
Three industry firms – Active IQ, fibodo and Study Active – have teamed up to create a free, bespoke online fitness ...
After four years in development, FORME Life is launching a home fitness studio concept designed to blur the line between ...
Wearable wellness tech giant Fitbit has unveiled a low-cost, easy-to-use emergency ventilator for use during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fitbit ...
DataHub has launched a contact tracking app, specifically designed for the fitness and physical activity sector. The customer-facing Tractiv8 allows ...
Samsung Electronics is making its digital fitness platform available for free on its entire 2020 range of smart TV models. ...
Equipment giant Technogym has introduced a number of new features to its Mywellness platform, aimed at helping health clubs and ...
More news
features

Consumer culture: Unique challenge

Ken Hughes, expert in consumer culture and human behaviour spoke as part of the Technogym Talks series of webinars about how operators can navigate the new consumer landscape

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 5

The coronavirus pandemic, lockdown and aftermath have given human behaviourists new insights into global consumer behaviour,” said Ken Hughes.

“For fitness business owners, this is an important time in your working life because there’s been a lot of disruption and everything has changed quickly.

“If you stand still, you’ll be moving backwards. When everything stops, the winners move into the space. You need to get ready for the next 24 months.”

Predict and prepare
“The captive economy, with consumers in lockdown, is unique,” he said. “It’s global and spans all ages, beliefs, languages and locations.

“You need to appreciate consumers’ concerns and anxieties. Data from YouGov shows only a proportion of people will feel comfortable with the idea of going back to the gym.

“Understand what they want, need, and expect during recovery, and you will thrive,” he said.

Action now
“Consumers are rethinking what is important,” said Hughes – “make sure you’re one of the things they need, rather than one they can do without.
“Devise a strategy and start investing in key stages: the next six weeks, the next six months, and the next two years.

“Understand the strong desire for human connection and you can grow the business more than you ever thought possible. 2021 could be a significant year for your business.”

#1 Attachment

• The current situation offers you a shortcut to building lifelong brand loyalty. When people are scared, sad, and lonely they naturally want to attach themselves to someone or something that offers stability and security.

• Make sure your business is the one they go to for help. That attachment will last far longer than the pandemic.

ACTION POINT: Think about how you can be there for them as a positive influence, give them ways to attach to your brand emotionally as a way to soothe their worries about fitness, health, nutrition and wellness.
#2 Freedom

• Freedom is important to us and has suddenly been taken away for the foreseeable future.

• This overnight loss of freedom and choice has significant emotional and mental ramifications, leaving consumers in a cycle of grief. You need to understand which phase your customers are in.

• Customer experience will be more important than ever, so multiply your efforts by 10. Customers want their freedom back and your brand, business and team need to be that point of human connection, giving them solutions that reinstate freedom and choice.

ACTION POINT: Give customers freedom to book, choose and access services in a way that puts them in control.
#3 Autonomy

• People feel safe when they know what’s going to happen. The pandemic has removed this sense of autonomy. Your customers can’t see what’s coming, and don’t know when it’s going to end.

• Two of their main environments – home and work – have collided, and many are locked in.

• People desperately want to get a sense of control and autonomy back over key areas of life. One of these areas is fitness and health. This gives you a huge opportunity if you get the conversation right.

ACTION POINT: Make customers feel involved, allow them to feel in control, make your services flexible so they can choose.
#4 Community

• Community has always been a key value for health and fitness brands. It’s now time to leverage this to strengthen the retention of existing customers.

• Humans need connection. Your customers are missing people during shutdown. Your gym gave them one of their tribes to belong to.

• You need to reinforce the relationship between your business and your customers, and capture those moments of community and connection.

• During this challenging time, don’t forget to build connections and emotional links.

• People need to feel that they are part of your community.

ACTION POINT: Write a list of things you’ve done to make your community feel special – you urgently need to contribute to community connection and keep this going.
#5 Digital

• Digital has always been a business advantage, and now it will be pure survival. Don’t fear digital. Create a ‘phygital’ business, where the physical and the digital combine to offer consumers what they need.

• Consumers are getting used to having digital experiences. You need to digitise your business to thrive during the pandemic and beyond. The gym and your other physical assets are the core of your business. But have that as the hub, with digital strands.

• The gym is not your product. Customer wellness is and delivering on their wellness is your solution. You need to be active in every part of what they need.

• Digital has destroyed some direct-to-consumer industries. Don’t let that happen to the physical activity sector. Make sure you’re crucial, so consumers can’t bypass you. Consider hiring equipment or sourcing it for customers to buy. Sell nutrition and supplements. Create a community. Give value. Link everything back to your facility.

ACTION POINT: Reshape your business by adding digital assets. Use it to build a community, strong social media, virtual home workouts, personalised online assets and anything else your customers need.
#6 Health

• Health has always been an important value, but the pandemic has skyrocketed it to the top of many people’s lists.

• Many are now interfacing with fitness for the first time, or returning to it because of this new drive. This creates a great opportunity for you to interact with 100 per cent of the population.

• Give advice, present solutions, show them what they need to do.

• When this is over, people will want more opportunities for health and fitness, but some fears and anxieties will remain. People will want to be healthy to protect themselves from illness.

• Start thinking of your business as part of a health solution, offering ways to keep people well and prevent illness. Use this health-based messaging in your communications and social media. People will want to attach themselves to health-focused businesses.

ACTION POINT: Think about how to amplify positive health attitudes and consumers’ need for health in fitness.

Watch the Technogym webinar from futurist Ken Hughes here:
HCMmag.com/KenHughes

If you would like to get each issue of Fit Tech magazine sent direct to you for FREE, plus the weekly Fit Tech ezine, sign up now!
Gallery
More features

Super soft

As gyms reopen, restrictions on numbers are demanding more of their software. HCM asks the experts how their systems can enable gyms to cope with post lockdown requirements

Les Mills Showcase

Bannatyne has driven member engagement with Les Mills during the lockdown

Unique challenge

Ken Hughes, expert in consumer culture and human behaviour spoke as part of the Technogym Talks series of webinars about how operators can navigate the new consumer landscape

Wattbike partner on world-first group cycling software

Wattbike has partnered with Intelligent Cycling to transform indoor cycling with innovative new technology that enables automatic personalisation for riders in a group cycling class

Pivot to digital

The coronavirus pandemic has inspired a huge pivot to digital right across the industry, from sole traders to large chains and trusts. Kath Hudson looks at some of the offerings pulled together in lightning fast time to keep members active and sane

PureGym scales up Funxtion’s digital integration

With the spread of COVID-19 forcing more people into isolation, PureGym worked with FunXtion to rapidly include a digital on-demand workout offering to support members at home

Soft power

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing gyms across the world to temporarily close their doors, staying connected to your members digitally has never been more important. Software suppliers tell Steph Eaves how they’re contributing
interview

Christopher Ruddock, INCUS

The NOVA is the first triathlon wearable worn on the upper spine. This allows unique measurement of the left and right sides and unlocks new understanding of body balance
people

Markos Kern

Founder & CEO, Fun With Balls
Like gaming, it’s very addictive, but this time in a good way. Imagine shooting space invaders on a squash court or kicking a soccer ball to kill some monsters

Lover app

Sexual wellness enters the mainstream with the launch of new Lover app

Class action

Jean-Michel Fournier, CEO of digital fitness outfit Les Mills on Demand, envisions the future of group fitness tech

Get connected

Sony and Precor are collaborating. Henrik Bengtsson, head of business at Advagym, tells Wendy Golledge about Sony’s latest foray into fitness
Technogym
Technogym