When you’re running a business in a competitive space, anything you can do to set yourself apart from the rest is going to benefit you. One way to do so? Establishing signature moments that showcase your brand — a.k.a. branding touchpoints. This can mean anything from sending personalized follow-up emails after class to offering little extras to help your members freshen up in the locker room.
Defining the little things that help emulate what your brand stands for can have a big impact on your business. Not sure where to start? We asked a few experts for their tips and advice when it comes to deciding how to define your brand touchpoints. Read on for a few ways to get started on making your fitness studio a stand out experience.
Examine The Customer Journey
Whatever extras you decide to implement at your studio — whether by way of locker room freebies or email communication, you’ll want to make sure there’s reasoning behind them. Brand PR strategist Melanie Downey says a great place to start would be to find out what it is that brought your customers to your business initially, and what keeps them coming back. “Identify your brand vision by asking, what is it that attracts your customers to you?” says Downey. “Look at the customer journey. What was the process that brought them to become your customer? What do they read? Listen to? What social media influences them? When you are marketing yourself, make sure that you’re addressing the points that came up, and make sure they’re in line with your brand vision.”
Once you’ve mapped that journey, Shannon Riordan, partner and co-founder of Global Brand Work says the next step is to get clear on what’s important to your customer base to help find out what additions you can make to enhance the things they value. “You can glean customer mindset with research,” she says. “The important thing is to ask about the drivers of choice versus the fitness gym itself. So, not ‘What do you think about Amy’s Bootcamp Class?’ but ‘When you decide what exercise class to join, what is important to you?’ Then you can present them with multiple choice answers that they rank (ie. price, proximity to home/ work, interior design aesthetics, quality of instructors, breath of types of classes, access to a nutritionist, fresh towels, etc.). This can be done using an online research service, or by reaching out to a known network by email, or even ‘person on the street’ interviews.”
Turn Information Into Action
You’ve taken the time to learn how your customers found your studio and what’s most important to them when it comes to the amenities and offerings of their fitness studio of choice. Now, all that’s left to do is put it into action — and stay consistent with the efforts. “Make sure that every contact your customer has with your brand supports your brand vision and the points that came to light during your customer interviews,” says Downey. “This includes the look and feel of your studio, how they’re greeted at the front desk, the classes you offer, any ‘extras’ you offer, as well as any other contacts you have with them, like email newsletters, birthday cards, social media, ‘challenges’ and even music.”
For example, if your clients tend to be stay-at-home moms, consider making the decor of your studio more of a spa-like, zen atmosphere that offers them an escape. If your clients are looking for high-intensity workouts that can be done in under an hour, pump up the music with exciting beats that hit them the minute they walk in so they’re eager to get started. For those who stress that community is important to them, consider setting up social nights at your studio or gym or giving them a shout-out on social media once they hit certain milestones in their fitness journey.
Any fitness studio can offer classes to students. But leveraging insights from your customers on what matters most to them will help you build a brand that speaks to the needs of your core clientele.