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Study to explore marketing trends in boutique fitness studios

Study to explore marketing trends in boutique fitness studios
January 29, 2016

US-based researchers have launched a new study which will explore prevalent marketing trends in the fast-growing boutique fitness studio market.

Boutique studios have enjoyed a remarkable rise to prominence in recent years,  with the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association's 2015 Health Club Consumer Report showing that 42% of fitness consumers use a boutique fitness studio on a regular basis.

Stephen Tharrett, co-founder of Clubintel, who helped compile the IHRSA report, sees that the popularity of boutique fitness clubs has been a consistent trend in the industry since the 2009 recession.

Following the release of the IHRSA report, Tharret explained last year “(we’ve) seen a slight decline in the number of people that use ...  fitness only clubs where you’re basically paying to rent the equipment.

“They’ve also seen a decline in people spending money in the club for additional services. So instead of paying to take a CrossFit-like group class, they’ll pay a little more to actually go to CrossFit.”

While many traditional gyms have started to offer group fitness classes either as part of a premium membership or for a small per-class fee, Tharrett said they are still unable to replicate what the boutique fitness studios are offering.

That is, focused, personal attention from experts and a community of people working toward the same goals.

Tharrett commented “there’s a couple of factors that come into play.

“First, and probably one of the more powerful factors, is that it provides a niche, focused form of exercise. You don’t pick and choose what you do.

“That personal attention is one of the more powerful drivers. In all of these cases you have someone working with you to achieve your goals.

“At a traditional club you’re not going to get that unless you pay for a personal fitness trainer.”

Working with the US-based Association of Fitness Studios (AFS), ClubIntel is now looking to work with studio operators to identify how they build their brand image, increase community exposure and generate more regular clients.

The data from the AFS report will be used to help formulate articles and webinars that can be offered to studio operators to help them grow their business. It will also be used to shape workshops that address those areas shown by the report to be potential areas of need.

In addition, the AFS expects that data from the report will help to increase investor awareness and interest in the industry, with many boutique concepts actively seeking backing to fuel expansion in what remains a growth market.

Studio owners and operators are invited to complete the survey, which takes 10 to 15 minute, at https://www.research.net/r/AFSMarketingStudy

Those who complete the survey will receive a complimentary copy of the study’s Executive Summary.

Images: Top image courtesy of Xtend Barre, lower image courtesy of KettleWorx

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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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