If you’ve ever spoken to me on the phone, you know that I often talk about SMIT. The Single Most Important Thing. It can be big or small. It can be a long-term or instant. In all things, SMIT is about FOCUS. CLARITY.
Sometimes the SMIT can take a while to identify.
Even though this is a shameless plug for our products, here’s an email that is a great example of how one club owner identified the SMIT about branded products. I’ve paraphrased it for ease of reading.
Well, I finally figured it out. Here’s the single most important thing (SMIT) I’ve learned about branded products over the last two years. It took me a while, but, now I totally get it.
“BRANDED PRODUCTS ALLOW EVERY SINGLE
MEMBER TO TAKE OUR CLUB HOME!”
I’m pretty sure most club owners are not aware of how important this is. I wasn’t.
Branding is more subtle than a big promotion. In fact, it’s almost invisible until you experience the effects of it.
And, it takes awhile for it to gain traction and momentum. But when it does… Wow… it just keeps giving and giving. Here is a brief run-down of how branded products worked out for us.
I’ve always been a big fan of branded apparel as it turns members into Walking Billboards. It’s really a no-brainer and we give all new members a T-shirt. We also give one away to training clients when they purchase 4 training sessions or more. We sell a bunch in our proshop, too.
You told me to get rid of all other branded apparel. So, out went Nike, Addias, UA and the rest. It was a smart move. Some members would wander into our proshop, try on the apparel… then, put it back on the rack and buy it on eBay or Amazon. Now, we only carry our own branded line of apparel and are actually more profitable than ever.
We recently participated in a workplace health fair at one of our corporate accounts. We set up a table with various informational pieces as well as several Daily Journals with our LOGO and Business Info on the covers.
Repeatedly throughout the day, employees, who workout at our club, were demonstrating how to use the daily journal to their fellow non-member employees. It dawned on me right then and there that the daily journal turns our members into enthusiastic sales people who not only demonstrate the journal but actually refer new members to us! Instant sales! Wow… who else do they show their journals to?
Our branded supplement line is a word-of-mouth success, too. Our membership includes several competitive tri-athletes, cyclists and marathoners. While they often tell me how great our supplement line is (they research the ingredients like scientists!) I am always taken aback when non-members (typically athletes) come to our pro shop for the sole purpose of purchasing our supplement line. They are not even our members, yet, some travel up to an hour just to purchase our line of formulas. Especially the Lipotropic Plus, Super L-Carnitine and the HIT Pack. Our sales of supplements are up from less than $1,000 per month to $6,239 in April. Not bad, eh?
The MAP System is like a super-secret, stealth marketing tool. I know you’d like me to tell you how great it is for our weight-management and nutrition programs, but I view it as one of the most impressive referral tools in the market.
This is a true story. One of our members, named Kristen, enrolled in our “Life Management” class which includes the MAP System. The first week assignment is to create 7 days worth of menu plans.
During her lunch break at work, Kristen sat in her cubicle, logged in to the MAP System and began the process of creating her menu plans for the week. Unbeknownst to her, the CEO of the company was standing right behind her. After watching her make food substitutions and create menus, the CEO finally made his presence known. Kristen was horrified and thought she might be reprimanded. Instead, the CEO sat down next to her and asked her to show him more. The whole time she demonstrated the software.. guess who’s logo was staring at them? Our CLUB had literally sneaked into the company by virtue of a user.
Of course you know how this ends. The CEO called me personally to come in and provide a presentation to the HR department and we eventually secured the entire corporate account of more than 350 employees all of whom are active members.
By themselves, these are not earthshakers. But altogether, I’ve learned that branded products is what allows our members to “TAKE OUR CLUB HOME…OR TO THE OFFICE..”
Branded products is exactly how we’ve permeated the market area. Our brand is now in peoples’ homes, offices, schools, churches and just about everywhere!