If you’re ignoring the millennials in your classes or writing them off for a perceived lack of funds, think again.
By 2020, millennials are projected to spend more than $1 trillion (or 30% of total retail sales) per year. This age group, roughly defined as anyone born between 1981 and 1996, is shaking up traditional business with their innovative attitudes, and they’re entering the prime earning years of their lives.
Millennials’ spending habits may look unconventional to the generations before them, but their eschewing buying a house or making other large financial commitments is good news for your business. They have larger disposable incomes than their age group usually does. Here are seven tips to cater to this important cohort.
Create an experience
Millennials prefer to spend on experiences over things, so make your studio an experience. You know how important Instagram is for brand awareness, so curate an environment visitors want to snap and share — for example, try enlisting a local artist to create a signature wall or mural. If that’s not in your budget, consider setting up a corner as a photo booth and creating branded props for your clients to use in their photos. Consider scheduling events such as live DJs, invite in ‘influencer’ trainers, or host talks on issues important to millennials like work-life balance.
Invest in training
Nearly 40% of millennials participate in personal training or small group training, according to data from the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, an industry trade group. Create compelling personal training packages, and create small group programs that focus on building a community beyond the hour they’re working out together with optional outside-the-studio time to hang out with your instructors. Your clients will feel like they’re a part of your studio family.
Think beyond your four walls
Take inventory of your online presence. Is it easy to navigate your website, sign up for classes in a few clicks or follow your social media profiles? Millennials are digital natives, and these are expectations they’ll have for your studio. They could make the difference between a one-visit participant and a returning client. You’ll also want to devote extra attention to your digital marketing and social media programs and even segment messaging to this population if you have that bandwidth. If you’re a CrossFit or circuit training studio, think about posting your Workout of the Day online to incentivize traffic. Bonus: encourage your following to repost, comment, like and share!
Create a lifestyle
Millennials want a brand to be part of the conversation — they want a brand that speaks with them, not to them. Design merchandise based on client feedback, and imagine their day beyond the hour they spend in class. What are the challenges they face? What are other brands you can align with? Search for like-minded brands as you stock your changing areas with beauty and grooming products. Consider the nutritional needs associated with your particular workout — someone strength training will reach for protein while a yogi may want the latest turmeric drink. Partner with a local meal delivery service as a pickup point, cutting one step out of your client’s busy day. Around the holidays, partner with local beauty vendors for your clients to book post-workout blowouts right at the studio.
Reduce your environmental impact
Seventy-five percent of millennials say that they make spending choices with the environment in mind. Consider making eco-friendly swaps such as investing in sustainable equipment like yoga mats made from recycled water bottles or clothing made by brands that support sustainability. Ditch plastic bottles and make sure to provide water bottle filling stations for reusable water bottles.
This might not apply to all types of studios, but consider how you can meld mindfulness into your offerings. The digital native generation is constantly tethered to their phones, so think about how you can offer mindfulness. Even if it’s not a regular class on your schedule, you could create special meditation events — or even just have your instructors take a minute at the beginning or end of class to encourage clients to be mindful.
Millennials will be fiercely brand loyal. Incentivize their loyalty to encourage repeat visits. Create an in-studio challenge that rewards clients for showing up to class, with prizes at the end. Celebrate your customers throughout their lifecycle — make a big deal about birthdays and major milestones like 50th and 100th (and more!) classes.