Learnings of Emma Barry

Trends | Door BlackBoxAcademy

03 June 2019 0 reactie

Saturday, May 11th BlackBox Academy had the privilege to host a masterclass at 3SIXTY5 (Personal Training studio) in Huizen presented by the fitness legend Emma Barry. Theme of the masterclass: ‘Innovate like a badass boutique’.

More than 30 fitness professionals attend the masterclass and their backgrounds were diverse: owners of fitness clubs wanting to create a club within a club vibe, personal trainers who have the ambition to open a studio and clubmanagers who want to create a seamless customer journey.

This blog is a short summary about some of the highlights involving trends and attracting great staff of Emma’s presentation.

(Fitness) Trends

Over the past 50 years the fitness industry has not changed much, we are still doing group fitness classes and using the same fitness machines. Emma: “Trust me, the next 50 years the fitness industry will change heaps”. Trends outside the fitness industry will impact the industry and forcing change. For example:

  • Data-driven: More activities will be run digital and automatic. Machines are better, faster, cheaper and more accurate. Boutique fitness studio’s tap great into this trend. Customers can book a class online (sometimes they can even choose a bike they want to ride), pay online and order their protein shake for after class online. Because everything happens online business can now look in to data, data is key to determine preferences, and therefore being able to serve unmet needs in a highly personal way for members. Gathering specific customer information can help you to predict trends and clues to provide a seamless customer service and anticipating future needs to improve member engagement. For example: data will help you send relevant and targeted emails. Did you know that targeted email produces 18x more revenue than global distributed ones?
  • Human + machine: Technology will help us to understand customer needs and because fitness is a people business this combination will be great. Imagine this: you can track your client's heart rate, blood sugar, sleep, level of stress, etc. how much more precise would you be able to coach your client on many different levels?
  • Landscape: The fitness landscape is blurred (industries - wellness, beauty, nutrition, athleisure, music, entertainment – SGT, PT, GX). In creating an experience, boutique studios are offering a range of activities. For example: a customer would join a HIIT training, after the workout they can have lunch in the lounge (fresh & healthy salad and protein shake) and before they go, they can enjoy a cryo recovery experience.
  • Continuum of Experiences: mixed reality
  • Convenience is the new currency: We are getting used to the 24/7 experience, everything we do needs to be quick and easy. For example, you don’t have to do your grocery shopping in a supermarket, you can do your shopping online on your smartphone wherever you are and get it delivered to the door at the time you have arranged.
  • Ecosphere of care
  • Aggregator activity: Aggregators are now at the point where you have more control over the price you are asking for a class (Emma’s advice is not to offer the lowest price for a class on websites of aggregators: always make sure that you can offer the lowest price – for sale days) and decide which classes are offered by the aggregator. Do not offer all classes online. Aggregators are a great marketing tool. Many new customers get in contact with your studio. For many boutiques, 20-30% of their revenue is by the offering of classes on apps of aggregators. In The Netherlands, One Fit is a fitness aggregator and  Class Pass (worldwide) launched in May 2019 in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.
  • Differentiation on pricing (budget boutique): Cheaper boutique studios are coming. Not everybody can afford 30 US Dollars for one single class. People will choose to do for example once a week a SoulCycle class and twice a week a class at Orange Theory (more affordable, the middle segment in the US). 
  • Box in the Box

People - How to attract, select and keep great staff!

Millennials look different towards jobs now! They want to be of added value! Research shows that helping people is by far the most important aspect of working in the fitness sector across Europe. How to keep great staff?

  • Build a fierce people culture;
  • Instructor or influencer? The people that work in boutique studios are the stars. Don't be afraid to give them a platform, create an environment where they want to stay!
  • Great staff attracks and keeps great members;
  • Did you know that 60% of the boutique members are millenials and generation Z?

For millennials the WHY of an organization is very important: Why does your organisation exist? What is the reason for existence? How is your staff contributing to this goal? And if they are doing great, what can you offer them career-wise? Can they continue learning and growing?

Did you know that research shows that the top 3 reasons for people to leave their job is:

  1. I want a new challenge (29,1%)
  2. I do not get enough opportunities for enhancement of my career (21,7%)
  3. I do not get recognition for my performance (16,6%)

Take these points in mind:
•    Purpose over perks
•    Competitive pay
•    Personal development, education and training focus
•    Promotion and career path
•    Freedom to authentically and creatively express their talents
•    Reciprocity


Many, many more items were in details discussed and presented by Emma! Would you like to read more about the changes in the fitness industry and about boutique studios? Emma is proud author of ‘Customer engagement in boutique studios’ published by BlackBoxPublishers. Available as book and E-BOOK on www.blackboxpublishers.com