The Health and Fitness Industry seems to become a more and more crowded place every year. With increased competition in the market knowing your key point of difference becomes even more vital. At its essence your point of difference defines not only what your offering is, but who you offer it to and how you present it. So what is your point of difference? What makes you unique? Why would one client choose your facility over another?
While the easiest to define, it is by far the hardest to achieve in an absolute sense. Locating yourself in a position where there is no or limited competition can have tremendous benefits as long as there is a client base to support it. If you’re the only facility within a three hour drive, simple proximity can be enough of a point of difference to give you a sizeable advantage.
The rise of 24/7 Gym chains has proven a demand for low cost facilities and that a focus on price can be a viable strategy. While simple to measure, as competition increases in this area, low-cost gyms will need to highlight another point of difference, or risk entering into a potentially damaging price war with other low-cost operators.
Exclusivity involves creating scarcity. Either through price or membership limits, you restrict the number of people that can use the facility. This is commonly used for up-market offerings.
Difficult to attain, but of great value, is the creation a community and of a community spirit within your facility. While there are many strategies to accomplish this, the successful result means the members aren’t just attending for health benefits, but for social ones as well. The are engaged and feel part of the whole, rather than simply a consumer.
Also known as an inch wide and a mile deep, being a specialist means developing an expertise. While you will limit your overall market appeal, you will have a specific target demographic. This gives you the opportunity to tailor your approach to meet the needs of that particular group.
Being ‘customer-focussed’ is a claim that many businesses would make, but few will actually deliver on. Not to say that most businesses have poor customer service, although this can be the case, but that every business provides some level of customer service. To qualify as a point of difference, it has to go beyond the ordinary. Not simply solving issues as they arise, but preempting them and being actively involved with your clients. Done correctly, it can creates an incredibly loyal customer base. There are certainly other ways to differentiate your business, but, hopefully, this gives you a moment to reflect on what your focus is and how you’re utilising it.