HFB 2013: Building sales through customer connection

Graeme Newell will give a seminar at the Health and Fitness Business on how to connect with customers to build sales.

For the first time Health and Fitness Business Expo organized a show Preview Guide. Included was this article by Graeme Newell, who will give a seminar on how to connect with customers to build sales. A full list of educational workshops can be found here. The complete Preview Guide can be found here

Here’s a scenario: a 30-something woman decides to buy an elliptical, but when she arrives at the store, she's instantly on her guard. The strange world of the fitness store is packed to the rafters with unfamiliar equipment and things she has never seen.


Posters of world-class athletes hang from the wall. Most of the employees speak an insider language she doesn't understand. This place is more than just a little threatening, and she's thinking to herself, "You know, that elliptical at Target didn't look too bad."

Her safe and familiar chain store is the place where she does her shopping each week. It's just easier to buy there.

This typical fitness store scene can scare away many casual consumers who don’t understand the ins and outs of the fitness world. However, the casual fitness enthusiast is one of the important groups fitness retailers must embrace if they hope to compete.

To gain their business, we must build a complete in-store experience that is not centered around the gear, but is centered around the emotional motivators that drive different customer groups.

Great retailers are successful not just because of the products or services they provide, but because of a feeling that emotionally connects with their customers. Great marketers build life-long relationships. For example, Nike doesn’t just sell shoes and fitness products. Nike sells strength and perseverance. Brands that make emotional connections are the
ones that survive.

In the fitness industry, brands need to remake themselves into a lifestyle, not just a line of products. It’s not just about the equipment and its parts. It’s about the determination to stick it out, or the joy of being adventurous, free and healthy. It’s about the memories and connections between like-minded individuals. Currently, most fitness stores sell similar products and promote those products instead of their individualized attitude. This makes it hard to differentiate from store to store.

In my seminar, we’ll determine who the audience is in the fitness community. You have many customer clusters: the casual, the competitive, the family man, the exerciser. We’ll show you the core motivators for each of these groups. What drives them and how can you use those emotions to brand your store? We'll show you how to set your store apart.

Graeme Newell shows companies how to build fanatical customer loyalty through emotional marketing research. Check out his web site, speaking videos, training videos and white papers.