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Strategic Moves for Success in 2015

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Deneen LapradeDeneen Laprade

The health and fitness industry has reached a level of maturity that, for the first time, enables owners and operators to truly focus on improving and perfecting what happens in their clubs and studios. For decades, fitness as a concept, a product and a practice was growing and developing into the rich industry it has become.

Now is the time to hone your brand through differentiation and craft an identity that conveys your core message. Now is the time to articulate your unique connection to the industry as a whole, and to your community at the local level. Fitness is now soundly rooted in many societies and cultures throughout the world, and the best part is that it has only just begun.

How can you keep pace with the industry as it explodes around the globe? In this article, I feature five areas that can be enacted in most business models. Read through them and decide which of these concepts is a good fit with your club. Take bits and pieces from each if you like. Scratch the surface of some and dive in to others. This is the direction to take to prepare your brand and your club to be a force in the movement that is the health and fitness industry.

Differentiate and declare your differences and your areas of specialization through your brand - Use images and taglines that reinforce your core message. Everything you produce must be "on brand." The culture you establish inside your club, from policies to programming and staff conduct, must always be "on brand."

Do not tell prospects HOW you differ from the other gyms in town; rather, show them what's in it for them. Share the tangible benefits of your memberships using member successes to tell the story. Social media is a very effective tool to use to demonstrate these points of differentiation to expose your club's culture in its natural and unrehearsed state.

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