Customer Lessons From The High Of Fitness


Creating that Wow for your Customer 

“The experience you provide is your biggest asset. When someone came to SoulCycle, the 45 minutes was probably hard, making them tired, struggle, etc. But in that 45 mins, if you give them even 30 seconds of wow - make them feel that they have made the right decision to come and spin, make them feel on top of the world and hit a personal highfor sure, they will come back."

Julie Rice, Founder of Soul Cycle at Inbound 2018

I couldn’t agree more with Julie Rice. 

As a fitness enthusiast, I constantly seek out new fitness experience. Among the many, the ones that I have found most memorable, and in a sense addictive, are those that have inspired this 'high' that Julie Rice refers to. Whether it is the great workouts at The Quad, the shopping experience at Lululemon, the primal thrill while spinning at Soul Cycle, the badass pump-up at Barry’s Bootcamp or the girl power while wearing the jerseys from Machines for Freedom. The best (fitness) brands inspire this high.

This ‘high’ is not a magic formula but an outcome of a bunch of things these brands do right:

A genuine love for fitness - All these brands genuinely love and believe in the power of fitness. This translates into a passion that drives them on a continuous quest for excellence and thus customer delight.
    1. The Quad, with its scientifically programmed group classes  that take inspiration from the best fitness options from around the world, brings international standards of fitness customised to the little city of Chennai!
    2. Lululemon stores ooze fitness love. When you walk into a store, the first question you are asked is not ‘What are you looking for?’ but ‘How do you workout?’. From the carefully designed pockets for essentials to the breathable meshes in the right places, Lululemon has thought through your every rep and every move.
Promote a lifestyle - These brands don’t just sell a product or a service. They promote a lifestyle - a lifestyle that is active and healthful. They embrace the customer in totality and make an impact in their day beyond the point of direct interaction with the brand.
    1. Barry’s Bootcamp - When they were a one-center outlet, legend goes that Barry used to go grocery shopping with some clients to ensure that they ate right!  Every centre has a Fuel Bar with a variety of protein shakes. The instructors follow up with clients to help them consistently show up. Tees, bottles, towels and even baby rompers welcome you to be a part of the Barry’s family.
    2. Lululemon promotes a fit, organised and active lifestyle - it is encouraged from the moment you walk into their stores. Eco-friendly reusable bags with inspirational phrases such as “Do one thing a day that scares you.” or “This is not your practice life. This is all there is.” Blackboards with fitness classes listed, open-to-all yoga sessions in the parks - with this brand, you are not just buying a pair of crops for $98, you are buying a new lifestyle.
    3. Quad’s Bootcamp -  By having a constant conversation (social media, impact stories, challenges, workshops and games) on the importance of nutrition and value of strength training, they have not just transformed several lives and helped hundreds of clients lose weight and but have become a household name in Chennai.
Intensely engaging experience - These brands create an experience that is intensely personal. Your interaction with these brands cannot but touch you at a very fundamental level. These brands care and they show they care. They make you feel good.
    1. Soul Cycle - With a vision to be the best part of their riders’ day every single day, their spin classes that conducted by one-of-a-kind instructors in candle-lit rooms with soulful music evokes a primal sense of joy in their clients.
    2. Barry’s Bootcamp - The ’Red Light Zone’, the high-energy workouts, the unabashed display of camaraderie during a workout, the badass language to push yourself that little bit more - all of it gives you a high and makes you wanting more and more!

While the examples that I have used are from the fitness industry, I suspect that creating this ‘high’ holds the key to success for all B2C brands irrespective of the industry. One may argue that in an industry which involves physical movement, this ‘high’ makes sense; but I counter that this ‘high’ is simply a state of mind.

'High' is just an excited state of mind that these brands succeed in getting their clients into, that lasts way beyond the actual interaction. It is that elevated customer experience that these brands create which is memorable, addictive and leaves you wanting more.

The journey to this 'high' which could be physical or emotional. That is the power of a brand. 

Going back to Julie Rice, it really is all about the customer experience that the brand creates.

What do you think? Any interesting examples that come to you?

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