How do I Compete in the Gym Market With High Price Memberships?

expensive memberships

Have you got something special to offer your members? Does it justify a high price memberships? The way that people justify your prices depends on how your frame your offering. This blog gives you a few tips to make sure your customers aren’t being scared off by your higher prices.

Step 1: Work out your competitive advantage

Do you provide a boutique service that no-one else does? Is your service super intimate and personal? Is your facility different in any way? Define what your facility does super well – better than anyone else in your area – that justifies your more expensive membership prices. Your competitive advantage should be the basis for your unique value proposition, which is what you need to communicate in your marketing.

A Brand Perception Map can be a helpful tool to figure out your strengths. To do this, you list all the facilities in your area, and give a rating to each based on a range of strengths such as price, facility cleanliness, age of equipment, customer service etc. You’ll also get a great insight on what your competitors’ strengths are, and where you sit in the marketplace from your potential members’ perspective.

That way, your more expensive gym memberships won’t be perceived as a turn off, but a more enticing call for stronger benefits than your competitors.

Step 2: Make sure your staff are onboard

Few things are as disappointing as bad service – but it’s even worse when you get bad service from a company that boasts about their amazing service. Make sure everyone is on board with your messaging. Your potential members will react much better to consistency.

Step 3: Advertise

When a potential member comes across your ad, there are four different goals you are looking to achieve – and you need to be mindful of each of those when designing your campaign. Whether it’s a facebook ad, a newsletter drop, or a competition, think about the following:

  • Create awareness. Set your net wide, get people talking, even if they’re not your target market.
  • Get people interested. That’s where your competitive advantage comes in. Your messaging, featuring what makes you special, should be compelling enough to perk the interest of the market you’re trying to attract.
  • Increase desire. Make them want to sign up with you. You could do this by offering an exclusive deal or creating a sense of urgency.
  • And finally, you need them to take action. Make it easy for them to sign up to your club, by linking directly to an online signup page.

Step 4: Sell your memberships the right way

Do you find that you’re constantly trying to sell to your customers? As soon as their sessions are used up, you need to work the hard yard to keep them buying more. It’s exhausting work, isn’t it?

You can get around this by looking at an alternative sales model, such as including individual sessions on a regular basis – with a recurring electronic funds transfer. So instead of a once weekly PT session that they paid up front for 5 weeks; why not set up a monthly recurring payment that includes one weekly session? Or include an extra charge per month for those who want to come to Spin classes.

Casual sessions are a great, low risk way to get additional revenue and inviting members to try out your service. But it presents a very easy way for your members to stop giving you that extra business. Build their addons into their recurring membership, while inviting them to reduce to ordinary at any time so they don’t feel trapped. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference that one extra step to cancel will make to your bottom line.