Most gyms are completely content to simply offer good workouts and that leaves an incredible opportunity for those of us that want our facilities to be more than “just a gym.” The bulk of the general population doesn’t enjoy working out, but everyone enjoys a great experience. While the others duke it out over who can come up with the “best” workouts, you can easily elevate your facility by going just a step or two further. By understanding that the best experiences are those which appeal to multiple senses and create strong associations, you are poised to put your gym in a class of its own.
I think the fact that there is a common negative scent known as “gym smell” is a clear indication that most gyms are doing it wrong. With that in mind, imagine how surprising it would be for current or potential clients to acknowledge that a place where people work out and sweat all day actually smells good. Keeping your facility clean is a huge step in the right direction, but adding a couple neutral air fresheners in key places and supplying premium scented soaps can go a long way. As simple as it sounds, this one little adjustment will bring a slew of compliments from your members.
There’s a reason why Disney World is the number one destination for family vacations in the United States. Often referred to as “the happiest place on earth,” everything at the park from the landscaping to the employees appears perfect. As a matter of fact, Disney even refers to their employees as “cast members” because it is understood that everyone is part of a wonderful performance that is put on every single day. The most important priority is for every guest to feel welcome.
Your gym should be the same way. It should be organized with a purpose, the colors should reflect your brand, and your staff should appear inviting. All issues should be handled behind the scenes, smiles should be part of the uniform, and the landscape should seem almost “perfect” every time a client walks through the front door.
There is a lot more to our sense of touch than just what we put our hands on. What about those things which we perceive via our skin; the temperature of the room, the firmness of a chair or gym mat, even the quality of an item based on its weight and solidarity? If perception is reality, then we must strive to create the appropriate perception.
Think about how you want your clients or members to feel in your facility. Craft the feeling of comfort by maintaining a cool, neutral temperature and choosing furniture that begs to be utilized in your lobby area. Enhance confidence by using well-built equipment that feels strong and secure and doling out high fives at the right time. Finally, elevate the feeling of importance by providing premium fabric towels for workouts or for use in restrooms while most other businesses offer paper towels.
I’m sure that most people reading this are already aware of the affect that music can have on listeners, especially during their workouts. In addition to creating motivation based on the style and tempo of the music, humans can also create memories that are remembered via specific songs. This is exactly what happens when you hear a song and it brings you back to another time that you remember so vividly. What if you could help clients create these memories at your gym? You can.
By playing music appropriate to your clientele (which means you should change it throughout the day to accommodate your audience) and using positive and supportive language during workouts you will be able to create long term memories and change the way your clients feel about working out.
If people are tasting different items at your gym, then your problems may be outside the scope of this article.
All joking aside, the only thing that your clients should taste is cool, clean water. However, it is important to note that the majority of how we perceive taste is due to our sense of smell. With that in mind, it is imperative to make sure that you are following the recommendations in the “smell” section of this article. You don’t want to your gym to “leave a bad taste” in someone’s mouth.
Most businesses, including gyms, are laser-focused on providing a quality service or product and often drop the ball when it comes to providing a full five senses experience that leaves the customer wanting more. However, this allows a unique opportunity for enterprising facility owners to separate themselves from the local competition. Providing an experience that appeals to all five senses will create lasting memories for your clients, strengthen your brand, and make your business more than “just a gym.”