One of the things that’s always bothered me, though, are the gyms that ALWAYS have their monitors tuned to Fox or CNN (have yet to train in a Rachel Maddow-friendly facility).
The above ticks me off for two reasons:
- My gym is a refuge where I go to not only push myself to the max and, temporarily, escape the latest crisis du jour, it’s also “me” time that is fundamental to my emotional and spiritual health.
- Despite my focus on successfully bench pressing a little more weight each week, hopping in and and out of those agility drill ladders and using a 20-pound medicine ball to play catch with my personal trainer, I inevitably am distracted by the scrolls running constantly across the bottom of each screen. It’s not a big deal but, god forbid I’m in the midst of quickly scanning the latest Trump outrage when, boom, I’m hit smack in the face by the medicine ball, turn an ankle while hopping laterally across the agility drills or lose my grip and suffer the consequences of a 180-pound barbell that comes smashing down and crushes my chest.
Well, one fitness club has finally listened to its customer base and has banned all cable TV networks from the screens in their 125-string chain of gyms.
In doing so, Life Time Fitness is accomplishing three critical image and reputation objectives:
- Surprising and delighting clients by recognizing our need for down time from the non-stop media hysteria.
- Ensuring clients can focus exclusively on their physical goals and lose themselves completely in their fitness session.
- Differentiating themselves from every one of their competitors (a critical move by any business in any industry).
By going dark on cable, Time Fitness has demonstrated an enlightened approach to enhancing the customer experience. Marketers everywhere should not only be emulating TF’s segment-busting strategy, they should take a much deeper dive into the smartest ways to understand their audiences’ wants and needs.
I could continue, but I know Matt’s got an especially vicious session planned for me at noon. Today, though, I will be extra cautious not to let a cable TV scroll announcing Little Rocket Man’s latest threat distract me from enjoying a total fitness experience.