Monday, 11 November 2013

Do gym members need rewards?

We've been interested by the furore created by news that Tesco plan to use face-scan technology to target ads at petrol stations. The tech is not new, and the concept does not bother us; after all, you’ll see much more targeted ads on your web-browser every time you look.

Nevertheless, this started us thinking about loyalty and customer rewards in other industries. What rewards do you enjoy? What is it about the service, experience, or product you receive from your favourite brand that makes you want to shout about it from the rooftops, or just tell all your friends?

Tesco are seen by many as being evil (just read the comments under the news articles). Unfortunately, the fitness industry is also often considered unethical because of the way a few clubs use contracts as a retention tool. Generally speaking, this is a fallacy, as many clubs are primarily interested in making people fitter and healthier. Projects like Gymtopia are helping to show that clubs want to do good, and provide a platform to change this public mis-perception.

GymMiles (ActivePoints) has been around for some time, and show above average attendance for members on the scheme compared to those who are not registered. GymPact is a more recent cash reward system out of the US. You use your smartphone to make a pact to visit the gym (or log exercise, e.g. RunKeeper) a certain number of days per week. If you make it, you’re rewarded. If you don’t, you pay!

Looking at clubs, Nuffield have run their Fitness & Wellbeing rewards for some time. Compare your initial Health MOT with another 3 months into your membership, and if you achieve your goals, you could get a free month’s membership, free PT, or free guest passes. The Gym Group ran a loyalty card on classes earlier this year, much like a coffee club card, where 8 class attendances would get you a free PT session.

What loyalty or reward schemes flick your switch or float your boat, and which turn you off or sink like a stone?  Should clubs offer rewards and incentives or just try to ensure members get results, which is reward enough?
Add your thoughts in the comments below, whether fitness related or not. Or click here to take our survey on member rewards. All comments and survey responses will be entered into a draw at the end of November to win a free copy of our book Stick Around.

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