In a strip mall in south suburban Denver, social media is resolving a need, dissolving barriers and contributing to customer retention and referrals.
People maintaining monthly memberships at strip mall gyms can be categorized thusly:
1. Those who come to work out regularly.
2. Those who come to work out irregularly.
3. Those who don’t come to work out at all.
Does this sound like your client base? People with whom you interact regularly, irregularly and with whom you can’t seem to connect? Which ones pose the greatest risk of considering other options? With which are the inevitable bumps in the road most likely to be resolved?
A gym’s interest is in moving threes to twos and twos to ones. This is applicable to just about any business, cause, political movement, personal relationship…anything, really. The more we communicate, the better we understand each other, the greater the familiarity, understanding and trust. Life is just better this way.
Kosama Highlands Ranch, where I work out on a near-daily basis, heard complaints from its number ones about the music playlists. So it leveraged social media to put the solution right back on the complainants. We are, says the implied message, in this together.
Spotify is a self-described, “digital music service that gives you access to millions of songs.” It is “social” because it allows account holders to “follow” each other, which is a great way to get turned on to new tunes, share music on Internet social networks, build custom playlists and share those playlists with each other.
Kosama uses Spotify to build its playlists and play them back for their classes. Through its weekly email, which includes the weekly class schedule (I notice a consistently lighter turnout on cardio day), it invited its entire customer base to create and share their own Spotify playlists.
Music provides wonderful surprises. It reveals so much about a person. I’m on the floor and in the locker room with Todd three to five days a week for six months, had him pegged as a country guy, and today, when my playlist got lit up, he not only recognized Whisper to a Scream by Icicle Works but offered that he has it downloaded on his phone. Kirk is a fan of ‘80’s hard rock and may have gotten a little too into it when The Cult started in with Love Removal Machine. Several folks could name the song Ah! Leah! but no one could name the one-hit-wonder artist, so the playlist became music trivia. What was the name of the album with which The Fixx scored with One Thing Leads to Another? What was the inspiration for the Old 97’s Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On? Is 6:30 AM too early for Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song? (It is not.) Are we all agreed that I’m Too Sexy isn’t as clever as we originally thought and Mike should delete it from this and all future playlists? (Emphatically, yes).
So while the playlist alleviates a labor burden for the instructors, it simultaneously becomes another reason for community members to get more involved at multiple levels, most importantly showing up to work out. Because, as it is with marketing, financial planning, legal matters, electrical relay training, hardwood floor care or vehicle maintenance, results are only available to customers who actively participate with their providers. We are in this, whatever “this” is, together.
Music works because it’s easy to talk about. It’s a window into the soul of, in this case, the person who otherwise is just the guy grunting and sweating next to you. And sharing playlists provides variety, which resolves the initial issue. But music is just the vehicle in this example. This is about engagement. This one initiative gives Kosama Highlands Ranch the ability to learn more about its community, to make each individual more familiar and comfortable with each other, to make itself more than a place we go once a day—or less, if you’re a two or three—to exercise.
We talk on this blog (and other places) about appealing to emotions; about creating transformational, rather than transactional, relationships. In a nondescript strip mall south of Denver, hidden behind a watch repair shop and sandwiched between a breakfast joint and a beer bar, on purpose or otherwise, Kosama Highlands Ranch is leveraging social media to do just that.
How to use this Information
What is your “music?” What opportunities does social media provide for your business to bring your community closer together, to help it identify with you more meaningfully and permanently? To get more involved in improving its own condition?
Therein lies improved customer retention, increased referrals and a little more enjoyment in every day. Go get it.