With today’s unlimited access to information and opinion, there’s been a massive increase in the amount of people interested in health and fitness. As a result, the industry is one of the most dynamic and fast-paced out there. A big part of F45 Training’s success is our ability tap into the real human need for community and self-improvement, while staying at the forefront of technology and the science of functional fitness. Here are some of the latest trends we’ve been keeping an eye on:
Polarization on the rise.
With many accessible options and ways of thinking, consumers are looking to explore more tailored and niche choices when it comes to health. Cookie-cutter approaches to training are falling by the wayside, as people are able to find programs better suited to their personal preferences. Traditional 'big box' gyms will continue to feel pressure from smaller boutique studios' personalized and unique offerings.
Systems and training like Crossfit, heated yoga, group-based HIIT, and functional fitness will continue to grow as consumers seek experiences and exercise.
Information-based and focused training for different age groups/demographics will further drive this polarization. Gyms may tailor training to seniors or younger athletes by shifting their business strategy and customer experience. In doing so, they will be able to tap into new market opportunities.
Value, not discounts.
While traditional gyms might be struggling to maintain their size, the bottom end of the market is also increasingly competitive. With more entrants and start-ups joining the conversation, a competitive price alone is not enough to win in the lower-cost segment.
The fitness players getting it right are differentiating themselves by the value they offer. They do so not just through their training, but also by using technology to add to their customer experience and relationships. Look for apparel and merchandising, cross-branding, and brand-to-brand collaboration to become more popular as businesses look for more ways to add value.
The F45 Playoffs and our current sneaker collaboration with APL specifically tap into this need and will help us increase the breadth and depth of our customer experience.
The tribe trend.
With the demands of modern life and increased time spent in front of screens, consumers are looking for more social time, too. It’s given rise to a generation of fitness customers who are seeking out group training, and not just because they enjoy socializing.
Studies have shown that athletes who train as part of a group feel more motivated and are likely to train harder than those working out alone. This trend speaks directly to the success of F45 Training, as well as the continued growth of events like the Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and Park Run. At F45, the 'tribe trend' means we will continue to leverage our network and fitness family as much as we can to strengthen our community. It’s a true competitive advantage, one that will allow us to make the most of this opportunity.
Franchise business models have been a key driver of growth in the US. In fact, a recent study showed that more boutique fitness businesses—and even big-box operations—have become part of a new 'franchise drive.' Franchises now hold 15% of the market.
With this space becoming increasingly competitive, F45 Training knows how important it is to differentiate our franchising system from the rest. To do so, we use new technology and make the process as easy for our franchisees as possible.
As with a number of other businesses and services, the health and fitness industry is winning new customers through digital aggregation. In the UK, platforms that offer a pick-and-go, on-demand approach to fitness have seen a rise in popularity.
While these types of platforms will continue to grow, they lack real, one-on-one engagement and the ability to establish an emotional connection with their customer base. As we continue to make the F45 model easily accessible and top-of-mind for new customers, we need to make the most of the fact that we live on the training floor with our members every day. By placing our focus there, the future is ours.