The Undeniable Value Proposition for Association Membership
In an era where there’s a fitness studio, health club or other athletic facility seemingly on every city block, the concept of differentiation becomes a core element in a studio’s ability to attract and retain customers. Your brand promise is key and that promise is inescapably linked to your credibility on the street. In other words, what do you stand for?
This is not an unspoken promise. Rather, it must permeate your business, nearly ooze out of every session, by every instructor, every day. Visible evidence of this promise is not only a constant reminder to your clients, members and prospects, it is also a reminder to your staff of the values that your business – and they as employees - stand for.
"How do I differentiate myself by being a member of AFS?"
Follow these critical steps…
- Promote your brand promise everywhere. What are your core values? Put them on your wall and live by them.
- Proudly display your AFS member logo everywhere and anywhere, including on your website, in your marketing flyers, Facebook page, business cards, and anywhere else you can. You’re a member of an organization that stands for proper conduct and you subscribe to this important ideology. Don’t hide this affiliation, rather, embrace and promote it
- Frame your AFS membership certificate and display it in high traffic areas as a constant reminder to members, clients, and staff of the high standards you hold.
- Talk up your AFS membership, so adherence to the AFS Code of Conduct becomes a common talking point in your sales, marketing, and training protocols.
"What do consumers think of studios and associations?"
AFS surveyed consumers about the relevance of association membership to their local studio. The consumer findings were impressive:
- 92% would prefer to join a fitness studio that is a member of a professional trade association and abides by that association’s Code of Conduct
- Conversely, 73% would hesitate to join a studio that does not abide by a credible Code of Conduct
- 96% believe that studios that belong to a trade association are more serious about consumer protection and client satisfaction
- 58% believe that studios belonging to a professional association run their business better than studios that are not members
- Despite the previous number, 86% of consumers – if given the option of joining two similar studios - would prefer to join the studio that is a member of the association focused on their business
- 84% felt that seeing the trade association’s decal in the studio’s window would have a positive influence on joining that studio
Industry associations by their very nature are formed to provide a collective and compelling voice to drive industry growth, to insulate it from damaging public policy, and promote the industry’s value to the public and potential investors. Further, it allows members to visibly proclaim their adherence to appropriate business conduct, thus enhancing their local credibility.
AFS membership and what it stands for, could very easily become the differentiator for you versus the studio down the street.
If you're not yet a member it’s possible you're already losing sales.
"At AFS, one of our biggest priorities is identifying the successful strategies used by others so our members can evaluate these systems and apply them to their own businesses."
Founder & CEO
Association of Fitness Studios