How to adjust your business to the captive economy consumer
The pandemy and resulting lockdown have given human behaviourists a fascinating insight into global consumer behaviour. You might not see it as fascinating. To you, it might feel frustrating, uncertain, and deeply worrying. Ken urged us to welcome the opportunities and prepare for success.
For fitness business owners, this is an exciting time in your career, he said. There’s been a lot of disruption and everything has changed quickly. If you stand still, you’ll be moving backwards. When everything stops, the winners move into the space. You need to get ready for the next 24 months.
Predict & prepare for post-isolation consumer demands
The captive economy – consumers in lockdown – is unique, he said. It is global and spans all ages, beliefs, languages and locations. In that sense, we can predict outcomes more easily.
Data from YouGov shows only 30% of people would currently feel comfortable with the idea of going back to the gym. You need to appreciate consumers’ concerns and anxieties, said Ken. Understand what people want, need, and expect during lockdown and recovery, and you will thrive.
Get ready to respond to the new values of the captive economy
Ken talked us through the six unique values of this captive economy, and gave us practical action points.
Customer experience will be more important than ever. Multiply your efforts by 10. Customers want their freedom back. Your brand, business, and staff need to be that point of human connection, giving them a solution that reinstates freedom and choice.
- Action Point: give customers freedom to book, choose, and access services in a way that puts them in control.
People desperately want to get a sense of control and autonomy back over key areas of life. One of these areas is fitness and health. This gives you a huge opportunity if you get the conversation right.
- Action Point: make customers feel involved, allow them to feel in control, make your services flexible, so they can choose.
- Action Point: think about how you can be there for them as a positive influence, give them ways to attach to your brand emotionally as a way to soothe their worries about fitness, health, nutrition, and wellness.
- Action Point: write a list of things you’ve done to make your community feel special – you urgently need to contribute to community connection and keep this going.
The gym is not your product. Customer wellness is. Delivering on their wellness is your solution.
- Action Point: reshape your business by adding digital assets. Use it to build a community, strong social media, virtual home workouts, personalized online assets and anything else your customers need.
When lockdown is lifted, people will want more opportunities for health and fitness. But some fears and anxieties will remain. People will want to be healthy to protect themselves from illness. Start thinking of your business as part of a health solution, offering ways to keep people well and prevent illness. Use this health-based messaging in your communications and social media. People will want to attach themselves to health-focused businesses.
- Action Point: think about how to capitalized on positive health attitudes and a consumer need for health in fitness?
Take action now to grow your business
After lockdown, consumers will rethink what is important. Make sure you are one of the things they need, rather than one of the things they can go without. Devise a “now”, “then”, and “when” strategy and start investing in key stages: the next 6 weeks, 6 months, and 2 years. Understand the strong desire for human connection and you can grow the business more than you ever thought possible. 2021 could be a huge year for your business.