Fitness Concepts and Growth Reflect Today’s Societal Shifts

Bryan
Bryan Ercolano

Generational Shifts Create New Opportunities

Take a look around and you’ll quickly notice that we have moved into uncharted waters in franchising as new concepts have emerged in all categories and new categories have emerged. This is driven by monumental shifts in the demographic make-up of our global economy, skewing younger, more tech-savvy and with a penchant for living “mash-up” lives. The largest population on the planet is growing up and demanding ever smaller segments of their lives to be completely fulfilled, not settling for big box brands of the past, but instead searching for niche concepts that meet their exact interests and needs. This is no more prevalent than in the fitness sector, which according to FranData, is leading the charge with more new concepts per year than any other category. For some, this creates the opportunity to innovate with new concepts and improve on existing concepts and hybrids of all kinds. It is an incredibly exciting time to be in franchising and attempt to meet the wishes of this tsunami of opportunity on a global scale.

Answering the Call for Boutique Fitness

As the first franchisee of Trufusion in Las Vegas, Bryan Ercolano, a Project Management & IT Specialist by trade, realized the growing demand for new, engaging and demanding fitness regimes. When the franchisor offered to buy back his franchise, it opened the door for him to truly embrace his entrepreneurial spirit and create a new fitness concept. Enter REDEMPTION Fitness, an all-new high intensity interval training-focused fitness concept, featuring three studio experiences all at one location for one membership fee. “Customers want diversity and choices,” says Bryan, “and the ability to mix-up their work-outs from rhythmic cycling to a bootcamp experience and a fun, yet challenging boxing group fitness class.” According to Bryan, he is providing his members with the opportunity to ‘REDEEM’ themselves in not just a physical transformation, but to improve self-esteem, energy and break mental barriers. With just one location currently open in Las Vegas, he has launched a national franchise program to expand his concept and join the fray of exciting options in boutique group fitness.

What Does The Future Of Fitness Look Like

While there are some significant incumbent brands in fitness, the landscape is changing rapidly, reaching down to a more local and social offering. This is a true reflection of what is happening in society in general. The affinity for big brand affiliation is giving way to “my gym” approaches that fit the lifestyle of rapidly advancing younger consumers where concepts must fit into their lives, not the other way around. If they can’t interact seamlessly with a brand on their phone, it’s just not relevant. Concepts that will ‘win’ in the future of fitness must reflect the demands of a changing consumer while not leaving existing members behind. This is a carefully choreographed dance that many mature concepts will struggle with to determine their future. New concepts emerging on the market have plenty of runway given the oldest Millennials haven’t yet reached their 40th birthday. As the song goes, “The times they are a changing.”

Ben is founder and principal of Franchise Well, a specialized franchise consulting firm that focuses on projects for the betterment of society. He also teaches the Franchise Management Certificate program at Georgetown University and is a Contributor on franchising for Forbes.com. He can be reached at ben@franchisewell.com or you can visit his website at www.franchisewell.com.