Fitness is big business. The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) puts the number at over $21B. That was about three years ago. It is projected to go nowhere but up from there. Even so, that is only dealing with health clubs. The industry is so much bigger. It should also include items such as:
• Athletic shoes and clothing
• Diet pills and supplements
• Sports leagues
• Instructional and inspirational books and videos
If we were as obsessed with education as we are with fitness, everyone would have an advanced degree in something. But as obsessed as we are with fitness, we get further away from achieving it. We are the most overweight and diabetic that we have ever been as a society.
Part of this can be blamed on the way fitness is sold. It is marketing for maximum profitability, not maximum achievement. Most people get into the fitness market for the same reason that people want to become doctors: They want to make a difference. If you would like to make a difference with your product and not just get wealthy, consider these marketing tips:
Provide a Useful Label
If you are marketing any kind of consumable, it is a given that you need supplies like bottles and a bottle label maker, along with professional packaging and retail signage. But the label is not just for making your product look good, it also needs to serve the purpose of helping the customer better use the product.
Consider a highly regulated prescription bottle. It tells you the name and contact number for the provider and the pharmacy, the name of the drug, the number of pills and the number of refills, and instructions on how to take the medicine. It even gives you information about possible side effects.
Don't wait for your industry to be even more regulated before providing useful label information that helps your customers better use your product. It is not just about the number of bottles you sell that matters. It's about how much difference you make for the good.
Sell Health, not Vanity.
There is a time and place for selling the idea of looking your best. There is a lot of money to be made in selling appearance. When it comes right down to it, appearance is a lot easier to sell than health. But having good looking customers is not a metric of success. What you need are healthier customers.
This is one of the major challenges facing figure competitors preparing to compete. The competitors get so caught up in the competitive aspects of it, they do all sorts of things that ultimately endanger their health.
It is important to help athletes fight this tendency by focusing more of your marketing efforts on the health benefits than the aspects relating to body image. Make sure health is the one takeaway your customers get from your marketing efforts.
Market the Reality, not the Dream
You have often heard it said that the key to success is to sell the dream, not the product. That makes perfect sense if all you really want to do is make another $29.99. Some companies are only interested in selling the first 90 day supply. Their ambitions don't go beyond that because by the end of 90 days, the customer has awakened from the dream, and is no better off than they were before they tried the product.
These days, authenticity is what sells. If all you have to sell is a fake pep talk and a bottle of magic pills, forget it. Rather, tell people what they can really expect, and what to do to get the best results. This generation is burned out on dreams. If there's anything we've learned, it is that selling dreams leaves people overweight and diabetic.
The health and fitness industry is booming. You don't have to worry about making money. Instead, fine tune your marketing messages with useful information. Sell health over vanity. And market reality over dreams.