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Five Tired Phrases Health Club Owners Should Avoid

Five Tired Phrases Health Club Owners Should Avoid

Get free weekly tips just for health and wellness businesses at Radial, led by Leslie Nolen, provides marketing and strategy makeovers for health and wellness businesses.

If you’re using the following five phrases in your club marketing materials, it’s time to revitalize your copy with sparkling, specific language that zeroes in on why your members love your health club.

1. World-class service. We’ve never met a wellness business that bragged about its rotten customer service. But plenty say they have great service when what they actually provide is lousy service. Let your customer service speak for itself. If you do a great job, your clients will tell their colleagues, family and friends about you.

Instead of giving yourself empty compliments, zero in on specific aspects of your service that really are special. For example, do you have valet parking? Have you streamlined the appointment process? Or perhaps your floor staff routinely hands out bottles of cold spring water to the folks sweating on the cardio equipment.

2. Cutting-edge. When was the last time you saw a wellness business announce that it provided obsolete and out-of-date products and services? Um, never. This phrase is so overused that it’s become meaningless. Instead of this generality, market the features that really do make your business stand out.

If your massage therapists use the silkiest, softest, 100 percent Egyptian cotton towels made, say so. Perhaps your wellness coaches all trained at the Cooper Clinic. Maybe your system of following up with clients for a year is what really produces permanent lifestyle changes, if so, say it.

3. Great value. A great value for one member or client is a waste of money for another. Jenny may love the fun social environment that her $15 per month discount gym membership buys her. Jose may feel that the personal attention from his one-on-one trainer at a personal training studio is well worth $100 per session. And Anna, a heart patient, may value the feeling of security she gets from her $45 per month membership at the local hospital fitness center.

Since value is entirely in the eye of the beholder, saying that you provide the best value can’t possibly be true for everyone. Instead, focus on the aspects of your programs and services that your best customers rave about. For example, if your business focuses on sports-specific training, highlight your track record of success with prominent local high school athletes. Put your rates in the context of an improved ability to win a college scholarship or get playing time or even a starting position on a college team.

4. Amazing results. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. Consumers are extremely skeptical about health and wellness businesses that claim extraordinary results. After all, if it were that easy, we’d be living in a society inhabited exclusively by strong, lean, unwrinkled super-people. If your wellness business says that it routinely helps customers achieve amazing results, include plenty of believable, real-life examples to prove it. That’s what we mean by extraordinary proof.

Think about Curves for a minute. The tagline “the power to amaze” is memorable and attention-grabbing. However, what Curves really promises is the “power to amaze yourself.” That’s very different from guaranteeing amazing weight-loss results.

5. We care. One of the nicest things about health and wellness businesses is that they really do care about their customers. Unfortunately, overuse has drained the meaning from this term. Instead of simply asserting that you care about customers, choose words and examples in your marketing materials that demonstrate to potential customers exactly how you care.

Customer successes and “above and beyond” stories are great ways to illustrate this message. For example, your newsletter might share your excitement at a customer’s weight-loss success story with a picture of her celebration party when she reached a major milestone. And if your business routinely goes above and beyond to help clients, give examples, such as a wellness coach who started visiting an older client at home when the weather didn’t allow him to drive safely.

Above all else, remember: Great marketing copy zeroes in on what customers think makes your health club special, not what you think makes it special.

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