Kind-Of-Massage – A Smiley Face For The Fitness Challenged?

Would a kind-of-massage drive customers to use more of your service?

I had just finished writing a post on how Emoticon Thinking (simple, cheep ways to motivate consumer behavior) seemed capable of saving the environment when a friend brought up Body Empowered Fitness – a young company in the Chicago area. 

This is not a story about getting gold stars for loosing pounds – although you do get positive, personal feedback for success.

This is not a story about social media, web 2.0 and public raving. Nope, more private and, in my mind – more motivating.

The folks at Body Empowered Fitness wrap up your work out with a kind-of-massage.  

A bit of disclosure – I have no first hand knowledge of Body Empowered Fitness nor their kind-of-massage.  But my friend appeared so happy with their system (you could say she had become an evangelist) that I’m intrigued.

Kind-of-massage wasn’t first on Karen’s list of arguments in favor of this particular fitness center.  She counted them off – personal interaction with the owner, working out with trainer at every session, reasonable cost, caring support, fewer machines.  She was actually looking forward to going to the gym! (An attitude far from what my donut strewn mindset can usually grasp.)

And, as an afterthought, she mentioned the kind-of-massage.  It wasn’t top of the list.  It was an extra. I think she almost forgot. But what a reward for coming in and getting things done.  And not a real expensive extra for the center to offer given the close interaction they are creating between trainer and clients. It’s a super effective smiley face for working out.

How does emoticon thinking play out for business?

  • First, Get Your Core Product Right – In this case building a community with fewer machines, more trainer interaction.  No amount of rewards will get customers to part with hard earned cash if the core product is faulty or overpriced.  (If it does, then you are actually in the customer rewards business, possibly a profitable proposition – but is that what you signed-up for?)
  • Second – Emoticon Thinking – What simple, low-cost reward will motivate customers to adopt behaviors that benefit your business? It’s likely this reward isn’t used to make an initial sale.  It is the special touch that builds the relationship and keeps the sale going again and again.  

There is no mention of the kind-of-massage on the website. It was not top of mind for my friend. It was a lucky-strike extra working in the background, encouraging regular attendance and loyalty. 

What kind of emoticon thinking could work for your business?

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