Will & Max Knight: Increase gym member loyalty using rewards

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“Consistently keeping up with content is quite difficult. Rewards can give fitness clubs another angle to speak about with exercisers that isn’t directly involved with the gym offering itself. “

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Are incentives enough to keep exercisers engaged with your brand? Apparently so! We welcome Max and Will from Athlete Perks, the community that rewards gym members for living a healthy, active lifestyle with access to some of the hottest perks and discounts in the UK.

Listen to the full episode now:

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The episode is also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts:

 

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Read the full transcript below:

Will Knight  0:01
I think members are wanting a bit more from their memberships now, and they expect it, it’s becoming the standard. You know, we see that from the gyms we’re, we’re working with at the moment, and it’s going well. So test things out and speak to your members, ask them what they’d like to see. And see if you can go from there. I mean, people want to feel listened to. So if you then implement something that they’ve asked and requested for, they’re gonna feel even more valued. And I’m gonna respect you even more for that.

Craig McNeill  0:36
This is mPowered, the fitness podcast designed to help you step up your gym game. And I’m your host, Craig McNeill. We might be off to a rough start to 2021 with the pandemic keeping us shut indoors. But with leisure clubs reopening on April the 12th, maybe don’t ditch the online content and classes just yet. But definitely start thinking about the memberships you will be offering once we go back into the gym. Joining us today, are Max and Will from Athlete Perks. The community that rewards gym members for living a healthy, active lifestyle with access to some of the hottest perks and discounts in the UK. That’s right. In today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about incentives and how they’re helping fitness clubs increase brand loyalty among gym members. Stay tuned to discover what are the most wanted brands right now. And what makes a reward scheme successful.

Craig McNeill  1:33
And welcome to mPowered, we’ve got another awesome episode for you guys to to listen on to. And we’ve, for the first time we’ve got two guests with us today. Max and Will, how are you guys?

Max Knight  1:46
Thanks for having us on. It’s an absolute pleasure to be here so much appreciated.

Will Knight  1:52
Yeah, we’re good thankyou. Excited to have a chat today and hash a few things out really.

Craig McNeill  1:58
Okay guys, so we’ll start off with knowing a little bit more about you both if that’s okay? So, in terms of backgrounds, and where you you’ve got to give athlete perks? Will, Max, would anyone like to kick us off?

Will Knight  2:12
Sure, sure. I think as the older brother, erm yeah, I’ll take that spot. And so to give you an idea, Craig, we started Athlete Perks in 2017. And it was really, it really started as a result of us – we were playing a lot of sport and training a lot of the time. And we’re also pretty skint at the time. And so we saw the pros, you know, they obviously get all the sponsorship deals and everything. And we thought it’d be awesome to help ourselves and our teammates out a little bit. With the view, obviously, to expand the offering. Because we did know, there’s a lot of other people in a similar boat up and down the country. So really started at that sort of level, with a bit more of a focus on sort of team sports. But as we started to grow, and more brands came on, and we we started to realize that actually, okay, this could be a bit of a service for for gyms and training facilities as well. So we started reaching out to other gyms all around the South. I mean, I think we probably peppered everybody to see if they wanted to give their their their members access to the Athlete Perks service. And now the Gym Group were the first to actually give us some time. and we eventually, after numerous meetings with them, eventually rolled out a service to all of their members across the country. And again, that was that was probably mid to late 2017. And since then we’ve we continued to grow year on year. And we’re now obviously working with the likes of yourselves, with Membr and integrating to apps and gyms in over 300 gyms across the country.

Craig McNeill  4:07
Yeah. Wow. That’s incredible. And I just pick out a little bit of pain there, your, your kind of training background, and you were jealous of all these pro athletes who just get thrown all the equipment and clothing and you a little bit of pain that you were jealous.

Max Knight  4:27
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. I mean, you know, here’s us sort of traveling about and obviously playing at a good level. And you know, it’s still a hobby at the end of the day. But you know, we thought if we could take the strain off our bank accounts a little bit, you know that that would be excellent. And that’s essentially where it’s evolved into. We really want to and the whole ethos and mission for Athlete Perks is surrounded by rewarding and supporting those in the UK who live a healthy active life, as well as providing a little bit of an incentive for those who might be teetering around the edge there thinking about sort of starting on their fitness journey as well. I mean, we know we’re not going to, you know, propel anyone to Olympic gold or, you know, help them get that PB. But if we can help support them and save them a little bit of money on the products they know and love, especially in this time when, essentially, you know, finances are a little bit harder for on everybody. And then you know, that that’s excellent for us. And, you know, we’ve done our job there

Craig McNeill  5:37
Awesome Will. Right, being a younger brother, I know that younger brothers are better than the older brothers as well, so Max, give us a little bit of insight from of your background buddy. Sorry, Will!

Max Knight  5:50
No, of course, I think. I think Will sort of, you know, really explained that, you know, about Athlete Perks, pretty, you know, down to the point there. And obviously, I’m yeah, I’m the youngest, the youngest of the two. And now, we’ve always wanted to talk about more of the business side of things, and maybe ourselves up near my brother, you know, we we, we always wanted to do a business together or start a business together. And it just came down to seeing, especially Wills ideas come to life around us, I remember when Will talked about savings for, I think it was sort of students, and if they did you know, if they, you know, behaved well, you’d get x points, or something like that wasn’t it Will?

Will Knight  5:59
It was like a reward system.

Max Knight  6:44
Yeah. Yeah, it’s quite similar. Yeah, and I actually saw that, I think it was in like year nine, or 10. And we always used to talk about ideas. And I saw that come to life at an assembly. And they talked about this new thing. And all of our ideas, we used to talk about were sort of, actually happening. So it took one day, we both decided it, just get on with it. And so round about five years ago. So 2016, we decided to get a logo, and set up and go from there. So I know Will’s already sort of spoken about it already and how we’ve come from there. But a lot has happened. And you know, which is exciting, I think, at this point where Yeah, we’re really excited for for this year. I know even though we’re in a bit of a pandemic, it’s been a really exciting year for us.

Craig McNeill  7:00
Absolutely.

Will Knight  7:07
Yeah, there’s a lot on that horizon. It’s been Yeah, pretty, pretty, pretty pivotal. So looking forward to it.

Craig McNeill  7:37
What’s the what’s the age gap between you guys?

Max Knight  7:40
Five, five years? (Yeah) We’ve actually got a middle brother Charlie, and these two years, two years older than me. And he was we were like, twins when we were older. Err, when we’re younger even! So Will was like the big bad brother, the bully of us three.

Will Knight  8:00
(laughs) They did alright Craig, seriously, could have been a lot worse.

Craig McNeill  8:06
You moulded them Will into the men that they are today.

Will Knight  8:10
Yeah, well, I like to think so Craig yeah. When I think back to those, er, you know it’s thanks to me. I wish that was the case It’s definitely not his erm, yeah, a lot better than me in a lot of areas.

Craig McNeill  8:23
So a little bit of a mPowered tradition now. We kind of get an interesting fact, from our guests. So I’m going to go to Max first. Max give us an interesting fact about yourself. For the for our listeners.

Max Knight  8:35
Okay. I’ve been hypnotized. Now, I know you’re thinking and I think you’ve probably the sort of pocket watch going side to side. But it’s actually completely different and, you know, actually struggled with some really bad sleeping problems around about sort of seven years ago. And I tried everything I tried, sort of listening to whales, dolphins, even sort of calming music to acupuncture. And, and the last thing on my list was hypnotherapy. I thought, to be honest, it was a lot of you know, not to, not to swear, but you know, it just wasn’t it just didn’t work. And I went and had my first session and yeah, it completely changed my life.

Craig McNeill  9:20
Awesome. Will, give us an insight.

Max Knight  9:25
Well, that’s a bit of a bit of a difficult one to follow, to be honest. So it’s a great one. And like massive, life changing one. But I did meet the legend that is Scott Parker in Gatwick Airport in about 2007. We had a little chat, and I did tell him, you know, good luck for the rest of the season. He took it on board and he did in fact, have a great season with West Ham that year. And I like to think he holds those words in high regard. I mean, he’s not doing so so well in management right now. But you know, perhaps Scott, if you’re listening, and you need a little little tip or some some motivational words, give me a shout mate!

Craig McNeill  10:12
That’s pretty ironic that you just said Scott Parker because I’m an Everton fan. And last night we got beat by Fulham

Will Knight  10:20
That’s a hell of a result? Well, yeah. For Fulham of co urse! You guys have done that.

Craig McNeill  10:27
I think I need a I need some hypnotherapy now after what you’ve just done Will.

Max Knight  10:33
Okay, I can I can help out with that.

Craig McNeill  10:38
So in terms of our topic, we all love rewards. And that’s, and that’s obviously from a well known concept of it drives our behavior to to do something more. And what have you seen as the most wanted rewards, and has there have been a change in behavior around pre COVID and post COVID r egarding rewards?

Max Knight  11:03
No, good. Good question, Craig. And, you know, in terms of sort of most wanted rewards, or sort of most used, we do have a broad audience. So popular and wanted offers, do sort of vary from person to person, due to sort of the demographic, gender and interest. And yeah, however, to give you a bit of an overview, protein supplement offers, like My Protein, you know, The Protein Works, Protein World, I use very often, the reason being, our members tend to sort of restock on a monthly basis. And they’re typically quite low cost, you know, with an average order value of around about 60 pounds. Whilst other sectors of awards are popular, you know, for example, active wear or equipment, typically use, just don’t perk these kind of products every month, people don’t tend to buy trainers or new leggings quite as, quite as often as they buy supplements. But but you never know, you know, there could be an ultra marathon runner, and could be, you know, burning through their shoes. And then in terms of, you know, most use, and yeah, most wanted, interestingly, sort of free trials work well, they, they allow users to try the products for free or for a small price instead of sort of cashing out on the new product or service. And they haven’t tried. And so for example, you know, we work with a brand called Tribe. And they have products that are ranging from protein bars, to energy bars, and shakes. And we have a two pound, two pounds trial box, where members can, can try the product before they buy, and sort of committing to the 12 packs of protein bars. So I actually made this mistake myself. When I when I first started going to the gym, I bought 12 things apple and cinnamon protein bars, which I didn’t actually end up liking, I think Will luckily loved them though. But to link back to the question sort of most wanted, and most used, you know, reuse, reusable offers are fundamental when we onboard a new brand. And, you know, the key for us was has always been to provide members with, you know, high value valued reusable perks, so they can save again and again, and not just once. In terms of sort of post COVID. You know, obviously, everything was up in the air and we didn’t really know what to expect. And, you know, whilst the usage of many of our perks remained relatively the same. So things like supplements, and protein, activewear. They, they did just just perform pretty steadily. And we know we did see a huge increase in the equipment side of things. I think it’s pretty obvious, you know, a lot of people were trying to kit out, or, you know, buying new sort of dumbbells for the, for the home equipment side of things. And because gyms weren’t open, they needed to work out so that yeah, they had to kick themselves out a bit. There’s actually a stat from eBay, which compares them their March and April numbers from 2019 to 2020. And it showed sales of dumbells alone had increased by just shy of 2,000%. So it was crazy. So we saw our site. So massive increase in interest in you know, the home equipment side of things post COVID. So we actually obviously catered for that interest and made sure we had a equipment offer on board. So we started working with a brand called Physical Company, our members can actually save 15% off. So this is key for now as well as gyms are closed, but in addition to the rise of the interest of home equipment, post COVID, we also saw sort of meal subscription models like Mindful Chef and Hellofresh grow in popularity, mainly due to the convenience, you know, people didn’t want to go out and shop, especially on the first lockdown. There’s obviously a lot of worry with users. So that that performs really well, I th ink as well, Mindful Chef has just been acquired by Nestle. So I think they did. Yeah, they did really well, during the, during the pandemic

Will Knight  15:32
was quite good to them?

Max Knight  15:34
Yeah

Craig McNeill  15:35
Well, that’s the thing, it’s a shift of, of habits, not just from an exercise point of view, but from purchasing habits as well. So it’s really interesting, just to kind of point that out, really, it’s kind of a, an interesting topic for gyms to provide their me  mbers tools to sell and buy equipment. Because, you know, that’s, that’s the holy grail of coming to a gym, because you can’t replicate that anywhere else. But um, obviously, you know, the stats don’t lie today in terms of people that are buying them.

Will Knight  16:08
Yeah, definitely, I think, um, you know, I’ve been speaking to a range of gyms and, you get, you get quite a mixed response on that. We see a lot of gyms we speak too are all for that, you know, you’ve probably seen them renting out their kit, well, not renting out sort of lending their kit to their members, or, you know, you’ve seen some of the larger chains, I think I  saw Gym Box recently have been I’ve recently launched an at home gym, I don’t know what you call it, it’s like a service for them to come in and design your at home area, as well. So obviously, they, you know, they see the value in it. But other gyms have been being less less keen on it and a bit more like, Well, actually, I want we want our members to miss the equipment that we’ve got on offer, so they haven’t been quite as open to, you know, giving their members like the the discounts on on kit, or, you know, perhaps given them that that sort of option.

Craig McNeill  17:07
Yeah, sure. Absolutely. And, again, these habits would have probably taken 10 years to change in what has changed in 10 months last year. So, you know, it’s incredible to sit back and reflect on on those changes. And it’ll be interesting to see what the next 10 months look like, I guess,

Max Knight  17:26
I think it’s Yeah, it’s a hard one really, you know, obviously, the the equipment side of things is, was pretty obvious. And it’s hard to know, with, you know, things like hybrid gyms, and you know, what’s going to happen, and, you know, to give a bit of confidence to the listeners, you know, working with one of one of the, the Gym Group, they saw that their members stayed relatively the same, and we saw our usage stay relatively the same. So it wasn’t actually like a drastic change. I’d like to say we do obviously have to cater for these new interests, erm whatever they may be. And so yeah, like you say, Craig, we’re, we’re looking forward to but also a little bit hesitant on what’s going to happen in the next 10 months.

Craig McNeill  18:15
Absolutely. Yeah, definitely. Cheers Max, really good insight. Will, if I can come to you, and kind of pick your brains on, what’s your thoughts and what and what’s your findings in terms of how do incentives help directly the gym owners, and also the PTs within within that facility? What have you seen, what have you heard? And what have you heard from feedback of how it adds value to membership and, and how they actually then promote it to their members?

Will Knight  18:45
Sure. Sure, I mean, it’s, it’s almost as you’d expect, really, I mean, as we’ve already said, you know, we provide gyms with a platform that allows them to give back to their members and almost, you know, reward them for their efforts with some of the best brands the UK,  the world has to offer. I mean, that’s why we’re trying to get to anyway. And I think to liken it to another industry, we’ve we’ve all seen the use of incentives or rewards being used in, well particularly from employers to their employees, I mean, where they do the best they possibly can to help with their staff retention. I mean, we’ve all seen the awesome offices with a ping pong table, some of them have even got a slide in there for free breakfast and coffee or, you know, free beers on a Friday. And then you know, strictly in a more working sense, flexible hours, and supportive, supportive style job training, and a whole host of other perks really, and now I’m listing it off kind of makes me feel like, er perhaps I sold myself short working, er working for myself here. But gyms in the industry, as we all know has gone in a similar direction. I mean, with competition now greater, not only with gyms and other gyms, but now especially with the rise of, as we all know, home workouts and online offerings as well as the Wyze and, you know, Class Pass and other similar services, and even fitness trackers, I mean, when they’ve evolved even further to, to become what they are now from starting of as essentially glorified step counters to now you know monitoring your sleep and even, you know, your your rest and recovery too. So as a result of all that competition, gyms are having to do more and more to ensure their members are engaged to increase the likelihood of retaining their custom. I mean, I think Craig you and I spoke about this the other day, actually, what I think gyms typically lose about 40% of their membership base a year?

Craig McNeill  20:42
Yeah, yeah, in terms of the data that is, and that’s consistent, you know, over over years, 20 odd years, that’s been consistent in terms of the commercial side.

Will Knight  20:53
Pretty, pretty significant. I mean, so to sort of take that back to your question, the use of incentives or rewards, whatever you want to call it and their implementation is a really simple addition, that can be provided in a seamless manner, with next to no added work for the gym owners and, in our case anyway, for free. I mean, we know that the teams we work with have a million other things to be thinking about and getting on with, especially in these testing times. So if we can take that take that added work away, and give them a little bit more headspace around it, while still providing them with a quality service that improves their overall offering. And as you said earlier, that whole ecosystem, then, then we’re happy, I mean, we really wanted to make Athlete Perks and our service, to bring this back to us, erm a bit of a no brainer, really. So being quite quite with our approach about building that, building it out to well with the gym owner in mind, like I was saying, take that work away from them, and give it to them in a very seamless manner, free of charge, and excellence so. So really, the benefits lie with us giving them immediate added value for the gym owners to implement on top of what they’re already offering. And in doing that, that, obviously directly adding another popular feature that further enhances that ecosystem that makes up the overall member experience. I mean, as we know gyms are now, they’re no longer just a gym. And that community feel and atmosphere is what everyone is striving to create. So with the implementation of a rewards program or incentives, not only is a typical member getting access to the gym’s great facilities, your classes, your coaching, which is all what we know used to be the standard, but also perhaps your at home and online offering too and with the gyms we work with, obviously, full complementary access to a growing list of perks and discounts on the brands their members already know and love, which, you know, obviously can be a nice talking point or recommended to them after workout or when speaking to their PT, you know, or perhaps you know, in the in the email journey. Now, as a result of that immediate added value, I guess in a more intangible way, the gyms that implement this and the gym we work with, tends to benefit from an increase in member engagement. Now, as we all know, a lot of gyms big and small are using their apps as the hub of the user journey now. I think your previous guest Leon Rudge was speaking pretty heavily on this as well. Especially with the likes of the obvious, you know, contactless entry being a massive thing at the moment. And over the past year, as well as like new features such as the, I don’t know what, how busy the gym is. Now, we can integrate seamlessly there as another feature in that app and become a key part of that overall experience that drives more members there. So not only do they check us out, and hopefully make use of our perks that they see their gym owner has given them, but then they’re also more likely to see other new features or as, as we’ve seen, after speaking with a number of the gyms we work with, they’re more likely to book a class, you know, log their goals, record workout, or, you know, check the latest challenges the gym has on, I mean, again, the the key takeaway there is that they’re participating in other actions that help increase their app’s stickiness, and therefore assisting with age-old issue gyms have with engagement and, and ultimately retention. So, long story short, I know that’s a bit of a long answer there, but I think it is quite a broad topic. I mean, we, the implementation of incentives or rewards or y’know, shameless plug here, the implementation of Athlete Perks. We give added value immediate added value, increase engagement, and hopefully as a result of that increase, er get, you know, the gyms we work with see an increase in member retention as well.

Craig McNeill  25:08
Yeah, absolutely and I really, really like your, your analogy of, of the workplace and employees and employers and how employers have really, really kind of stepped up unknowingly really kind of in the background, because, you know, they don’t, they don’t sing and shout about it. But you’re absolutely right, the incentives to work at a workplace that it’s become very, very important in terms of if you are looking for a career change, or job change that that’s actually now on the job description. You know, it’s that important, and they see it as a huge swing why go and work for this company, rather than another company. And gyms and the leisure industry should learn from different industries like that, and your example was brilliant. I didn’t think of it in that way. And you’re absolutely right, it’s thinking of the, your incentives, once you’ve got a member paying the membership fees, you know, what are they paying for? Well, the gym is probably one or in the top three of those all the times, but then don’t just have one, or don’t just have the top three, have have 8, have 10 different things that your member base will use. And that active user all of a sudden could be challenged that, you know, the stat that you mentioned before is pretty standard that, you know, also, what isn’t a nice stat to hear is how many people actually pay a membership and come to the facilities? It’s quite, it’s quite low. So actually, does that challenge that statistic? And if a member has used something like Athlete Perks, are they seen as an active user, an active member? I would say so because they’re in the gym’s ecosystem, they’re using something that the gym has provided? And that that goes another place that for me.

Will Knight  27:03
Yeah, no, no, absolutely. I think, like you say, if we can, if they start using other features that the gym’s providing them with, then I think, from their point of view, that that engagement is, is incredibly valuable, because they’re just more likely then to engage in, in other areas. And ultimately, as as you alluded to there, you’re more likely to actually attend to the gym. And, and use the facilities on offer.

Craig McNeill  27:31
Okay, Will, so in terms of we’ve, we’ve got our listeners excited. And we’ve, we’ve got them understanding that this is this is something that they need to provide their their members if they’re gym owners, or personal trainers to influence the gym that they’re working at, what what have you heard, seen, and witnessed that kind of the most creative ways that gyms have kind of implemented rewards in the gym member strategy?

Will Knight  28:01
Yeah, I mean, I suppose I’ve already started, started to answer that in my previous spiel. But I mean, typically, what we’re, what we’re often seeing now is the main one really is gyms integrating Athlete Perks into their apps. I mean, as I was mentioning earlier, app use became pretty much essential last year with most gyms and training facilities, either requiring us all to use that contactless entry with the QR codes, or, you know, even having to book a slot, erm, just checking how busy the gym is. I mean, obviously, they were all much needed. Some of those were they were around before COVID. But obviously, it became a lot more relevant. Erm, but for us, that’s been the app integration has been only started happening last year or so, that for us being really exciting and something I really don’t know why we hadn’t done much sooner. To be honest, it’s it’s taken us to that so that next level and become even more more attractive to to owners. I think like you saw you mentioned earlier about how the last last year has kind of advanced us pretty rapidly. And that’s probably part of it. But I mean, I saw the other day, there’s a study around around 75% of, of app users are now using their mobile to fulfill their health and fitness goals. And now whether that’s track workouts, record their nutrition or count steps, you know, it’s quite, quite broad. But so for us, it makes complete sense, though, to be heading in that direction, and to further enhance the offerings of the gyms we work with. I mean, to give you some context, that that’s 75%, up from 50% in 2019, that is pretty, pretty significant. Yeah, so yeah, I mean, going back to your question, really, we’re seeing used in the typically, like I said, the integration of Athlete Perks into their apps, but another common way that we’re seeing gyms using their strategies is by their emails, and particularly in their customer journey, whether that’s in a welcome email earlier on to sort of letting them know that, you know, not only do they get full access to the gym, but they also obviously get access to Athlete Parks as well. And, you know, or more sporadically, when we’re perhaps bringing out a new partnership, or we’ve got a flash perk, that’s, that’s worth shouting about. And that’s the same with social media really, we see a lot of a lot of our the gyms we work with sort of post about us in our private Facebook groups, or, of course, in Instagram as well. Like I say, it’s kind of obvious ones those two, but I guess the point really is it gives gyms, another subject to speak about and to engage with their audience. I mean, as we all know, like, consistently, keeping up content is quite difficult. So, you know, it can give them another angle to speak about that isn’t perhaps directly involved with the the gym offering itself. What’s been super effective, though, something we’re more excited about. And we’ve only recently started testing it. I mean, like I said, as as we become more integrated with apps, is the use of push notifications. I mean, you know, his emails are still effective. But I mean, I don’t know about you Craig, but my inbox is pretty hectic, I’ve got 1000s of unopened ones – that’s not my work one! My er, personal one. I mean, you’re sure yours is the same right?

Craig McNeill  31:28
Just to call that out – it’s the personal inbox that’s that’s not opened (laughs).

Will Knight  31:38
But I mean, having a small, short message appear directly on the member’s phone, generally, lets them know about a new exclusive perk or about a giveaway we’re hosting, is an awesome way to drive members back to to the gym’s app, or website perhaps where they’re where they’re more likely to use other features that you have on as we were saying to become more engaged with the brand. And therefore, increasing the gym’s retention rates there. I mean, to give you a stat on that, I mean, click through rates for push notifications are typically around 20%. While email is about 3%. So you can pretty clearly see why that might be a bit more effective there for gym owners to use I think with push notifications it’s a little bit, you got a, you do want to overstep the mark, because where it is so direct, you don’t want to come across as too pushy, excuse the pun. But it’s a really exciting way that we’re starting to see become really effective and will be used a lot more throughout the year. But in a less technical way, we started to play around with in-gym marketing as well. So we’ll take a bit of a multifaceted approach with it. We’ve given gyms tailored videos that they can use on their screens, co-branded posters, and like stickers inside the lockers is going to be a really cool one that we’re going to do with with a gym, just before COVID shut them down, actually. And that was going to have a QR code in that that again, directs them back to the app or the website just again, I know I’m repeating myself, but just further pushing, pushing that engagement. I mean, although we have new perks all the time, and often host flash perks, and these are pretty high value giveaways, which gives owners and staff an easy conversation starter. I mean, as much as we’d like to be. We know we’re not going to be the main talking point for gyms. So we’re not we’re not simply, well we’re simply not the main feature. I mean, there’s there’s more pressing things to speak about. You know, being a gym, obviously, you’re going to shout about your gym and your classes, your equipment, perhaps, you know more how to enter the gym in these current, in these current times more than they’re going to talk about their nice, you know, extras they get with Athlete Perks, but with that multifaceted approach that gyms are having to take, and especially now with more gyms simply wanting to give their members a little bit extra to thank them for their loyalty over the past year or to become just generally more attractive to new members. (Yeah) We can certainly do that for them. And all of that together really is is key to assisting with that member loyalty and retention.

Craig McNeill  34:30
Absolutely. That’s a great point to kind of finish on it’s kind of, you know, what, what is your reasoning to have this? Is it a thank you? Or is it an incentive for new? It could be both at the same time again, depending on what what what streams of communication you can do. That’s two different messages at the same time. And I was listening to kind of our last episode was about habit formation so I was just kind of doing some some learnings around that and one business coach in the US mentioned that to get your message across, he follows kind of the eight times eight principle. So eight times eight would be, say the same message eight times in different different ways. And only then, and only then will people start to kind of absorb and learn and actually take on your message. You know, don’t just shout about it once or twice, because people won’t remember you’ve got to keep going, you’ve got to keep pushing. And those, you know what you just said there about communications, it could be across all streams, emails, in club, on your social media. It could be on the new member journey, it could be to say thank you for your tough times. Because, you know, you need to keep in contact with the members, even though we’re closed at the moment in the UK. It’s a really good insights their Will. They were really, really, really, really cool. And hopefully, we’ve got some good, good points for our listeners there.

Will Knight  35:54
Aww I hope so, hope so. Yeah we’ve seen we’ve seen, so after speaking with a lot of gyms, particularly recently, yeah, so going back to that combination, as you mentioned, almost as a bit of a thank you for their loyalty. Yeah. Also to, to it as an addition to their overall package.

Craig McNeill  36:14
Yeah, so Max, just thinking about the perks, and how we may have too many at one point, and how do we get that fine line between having enough, but what we don’t want to do is cause too much noise for that member. What’s your thoughts about ‘Can we have too much choice and is that a problem?’ And how are you guys choosing what benefits to add, and how are you getting that fine balance?

Max Knight  36:41
No, great question. And, you know, to start off, it might be be good to have a background of the sort of evolution of Athlete Perks. And, you know, because there was a lot different in the beginning. Now, obviously, when we first started, we weren’t as experienced or, or didn’t have the knowledge on how to onboard or, if too much was an issue. And so when we actually first started Athlete Perks, were in this er, bit of a bit of an odd limbo, where to get more members, we needed more deals, but to get more deals, we needed more members. So the problem here, and was a very frustrating position, it was just a slow process to get the best, you know, to get more members, and to get the better deals. So at the beginning, we just got any, any brands we could get our hands on, and you know, featured them on our site, to help encourage people to join Athlete Perks. And looking back in it, that was the wrong move. But also, you could say it was the only move we we could do, because we were in this limbo. But things have now changed. Like I say we’ve slowly grown. And now we’ve got our foot in the door with some some some big brands that that that members want to see. And so in turn in terms of too much choice, yes, there can be. And I know what people were thinking here, I am going to be talking about the the ‘jam experiment’, if you’ve heard about it. And it’s a good example of sort of a study about too much choice, cos they did a test in a supermarket where they actually displayed 24 different types of jam on one day, and only six on another. And it was actually that customers were 10 times less likely to buy jam, when there was 24 different types, compared to six. So here at Athlete Perks, you know, we try and find a balance when onboarding certain types of offers, you know, as we don’t really want too much of the similar product or service. So to give you an example, and it’s quite relative to what’s going on at the moment was, you know, when we were looking for a, an equipment brand, we had around about five options, you know, five different equipment brands we could have gone with. However, you know, they all sold very similar products and similar equipment. So we just didn’t need five brands on there. So we just chose the one that had everything our members needed, and was also able to provide our members with the best offer. However, with that we still need to cater for our wide audience. You know, we need to cater to the members who may use the big brands that are a bit more affordable, but also cater to members who may may use the niche brands like Vivo Life, how we sort of choose brands though, you know Will and I have our views and perceptions on what brands you know users want or what brands we think our users should try. However, it’s it’s difficult to know unless we ask them so it’s easy; we, you know, obviously, we actually ask them. So we we send out emails, message them, continually ask them like what would you like to see from us. And we do get the obvious big brand recommendations. But we actually learn a lot from the feedback, you know, just an example last week, erm we sent out some messages, tried to connect with our members to see what everyone’s feeling, you know, what sort of brands or services you’d like to have on board. And we had a few members come back, saying they wanted a certain US supplement brand that doesn’t actually sell directly to the UK. So we’re now in the process of, you know, sort of finding that ecommerce store that supplies this brand, you know, so our members, our UK members can still redeem them in the UK. But to loop back to the question, really, and you know, can too much choice be a problem? Yes. Yeah, of course. However, you know, we need to make sure we still cater to our audience doing that, you know, we we just continually asked them, you know, what they like to save on, what brands?

Craig McNeill  41:03
Awesome, really, really insightful. For the jams, I’m sure we’ll pick them back up. Thank you so much for your insights into our episode today. And you guys at Athlete Perks, it sounds like you, you’re doing some really great stuff for our, for our members out there. What, what we normally do when we kind of wrap up and say goodbye to our guests is kind of get one takeaway from, from the conversation that we’ve had, our listeners want to kind of, obviously, absorb everything that you guys have said, but what would what would be the one takeaway from you both for our listeners to go away and kind of action from what we’ve been discussing today?

Max Knight  41:43
Yeah. So I think my takeaway is all these new, these new features and benefits that that gyms can now harness, you know, in in the app, as well as, physically, there’s so much you can use to engage with the audience online, you know, as well inside your gym. So my biggest takeaway would be to use these features, you know, to help build great relationships with your audience, you know, to keep them engaged, and loyal to your to your gym, which obviously just helps generally, with retention and overall member satisfaction.

Will Knight  42:23
Yeah I think mine’s mine’s quite similar. I mean, I’d say, following on from Max there, you know, test those features out, I mean, only use them, you don’t have to use each one, test them out and see how you go, you don’t know until it until you try. And like Max says a lot out there.  And I think members are wanting a bit more from their memberships now, and they expect it, it’s becoming the standard. You know, we see that from the gyms we’re, we’re working with at the moment, and it’s going well. So test things out and speak to your members, ask them what they’d like to see. And see if you can go from there. I mean, people want to feel listened to. So if you then implement something that they’ve asked and requested for, they’re gonna feel even more valued. And I’m gonna respect you even more for that.

Craig McNeill  43:08
Love it.

Max Knight  43:09
And to add, sorry to add on to that, and, you know, come to us as well, if you’ve got any new ideas, or any ideas on how, you know, you might want to, you know, rewards your members in a certain specific way, we’re always open for ideas, you know, we might be able to provide you with a certain offer for a limited time only if, you know, you had a challenge, or whatever it is, you know, we’re very open on our end, to help with ideas and collaborate as you know, as a collective really?

Will Knight  43:41
Yeah, there’s no one size fits all approach, really. So yeah, call us up!

Craig McNeill  43:46
Nice, have you guys got a single book for our listeners to go and find either audio or go and buy an old school copy, what would be a book that you guys would recommend to our listeners?

Max Knight  44:01
So I’m actually currently reading the marketing book, called the Purple Cow by Seth Godin. And for me, it’s just a great refresher to give you some ideas on how to keep things exciting, really, with the user base. And obviously, not go too much into it. But, you know, with gyms, hopefully, fingers crossed, reopening soon, it might be a good read, to sort of get some ideas flowing erm for when you guys reopen.

Will Knight  44:31
And, um, for me, I read last year actually the book called Subscribed by Tien Tzuo. And that’s spelt tee eye ee en, tee zed you oh. Now, that’s a business strategy book that that talks about the subscription model in detail and, and how it’s taking over virtually every industry. I mean, the obvious ones to look at it, obviously, like Netflix and Amazon Prime. You see that in everyday lives. But you know, what fascinates me about that. And what I find crazy interesting is that’s turning and developing into industries such as travel, so like cars and planes, there’s even subscription services for that out now. I think Porsche have got one, you sort of pay a monthly fee, I mean, it is pretty expensive because it’s Porsche. But across the year, you have access to a whole fleet of like 12 different cars. And you can sort of interchange when, when you want, and, yeah, there’s not really too much of a commitment there. Really cool.

Craig McNeill  45:30
Guys, we’ve had a great episode here. Thank you for your time again, and great to hear and hopefully, we may pick up another episode in the future with you guys.

Max Knight  45:39
Thanks a lot Craig. Yeah, it’s been a pleasur e. I’m excited to maybe talk in in a couple sort of six months time.

Will Knight  45:47
Yeah. Thanks again, Craig. Really appreciate it, it’s been. Yeah, it’s been really enjoyable. So thanks for having us both on.

Craig McNeill  45:55
And that’s a wrap on our first season. Thank you for joining us to Max and Will, the UK’s champions of lifestyle rewards. Incentives are not only a great way to increase the member engagement with your brand, but also another way to nurture a more loyal gym community. And here’s a top tip for you – since protein and food supplements make the most wanted incentives according to data from Athlete Perks, why not design your future memberships with focus on meal planning? The fitness industry is changing rapidly, and we are excited to be in the middle of this digital transformation. We hope that our mPowered episodes have given you some extra ideas on how to quickly bounce back from this downtime. A big big thank you to all our subscribers and listeners. Our episodes are available on Spotify and Apple podcasts if you want to check out to revisit previous topics. We’ll be back soon with more episodes ready for 2021, but in the meantime, stay safe and stay active.

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