Do you still think of millennials as ‘the young generation’ – a group of people you might turn your attention to a few years down the line?
If so, it’s time for a reality check.
While definitions vary, the consensus is that, in 2019, millennials are aged anything up to 40. Meanwhile, the oldest members of the subsequent generation – Gen Z – are aged anywhere between late teens and early 20s, depending on whose definition you use.
As a gym or other fitness provider, this isn’t your future target market. This is your primary audience right now.
Already, between them, millennials and Gen Z account for 80% of all gym-goers. But while an impressive percentage of a comparatively small total – the roughly 15% of the population who are members of a gym – what this actually points to is a huge opportunity to blow the market wide open, growing the whole sector exponentially by harnessing the enthusiasm of these generations for all things health and fitness.
And these generations really do offer the potential for this sort of growth. As far back as the mid-1990s, millennials overtook Gen X to become the largest generation globally, but Gen Z is now predicted to overtake millennials this year; Bloomberg estimates Gen Z will rise to 32% of the global population in 2019, surpassing the millennials on 31.5% – and this a conservative estimate based on the comparatively late 2000/2001 as the generational split.
Millennials will, adds Bloomberg, continue to represent the bigger proportion in the world’s four largest economies: the US, China, Japan and Germany. However, overall the fact remains:
These generations account for over 60% of the world’s population – and they are characterised by their prioritisation of health and fitness.
However, don’t assume that means ‘if we build it, they will come’. Fitness providers of all shapes and sizes have important decisions to make when it comes to packaging their offering in a way that appeals to these generations.
One thing it inevitably means is the need to embrace technology. Gen Z is, after all, the first entire generation unable to remember a world without the internet; we may have classified the millennials as ‘digital natives’, but Gen Z goes a step further into digital entrenchment.
And this isn’t a passing fad. Hot on the heels of Gen Z comes Gen Alpha – those born after 2011, who have grown up using smartphones and tablets instead of books; we’ve all seen the babies on YouTube trying to swipe or click on the pages of printed magazines.
How will this generation interact with your fitness business when, in just a few years’ time, they’re old enough to use your facilities?
The long and short of it is, purely analogue fitness businesses are becoming less relevant by the day.
From the millennials onwards, consumers quite simply expect products and services to be available when and where they want them, accessed from the palm of their hand through their trusty smartphone. Why should fitness be any different?
The answer is: it shouldn’t – and isn’t, with vast reams of fitness content already being accessed online and through apps. The consumer has moved on.
Set against this backdrop, the need to ‘digitally transform’ is clear – but it can be hard to know where to start in bringing your fitness business into the digital age.
Wexer can help. From on-site virtual group exercise to the new Wexer Web Player – which makes world-class workouts available any time, anywhere, through any internet-enabled device – our digital ecosystem helps you create a seamless experience for your customer. One that aligns with today’s on-demand mindset.
Our advice: Don’t think of this as future-proofing. Think of it as a re-set button you need to push today.
To find out more about how Wexer can help your business catch up with the needs of today’s fitness consumers, contact firstname.lastname@example.org