There’s a natural order to things.
In nature, the earth orbits the sun, winter follows autumn, and the sun shines on South Florida.
The same natural rhythms apply to the man-made world. Like the tides, the marketplace for goods and services also has a seasonal ebb and flow.
For example, summer ends. Kids are back in school. Modern Family, Blackish and The Big Bang Theory start new seasons and advertisers turn our attention to shopping. As fall takes hold, there’s a cacophony of deals and extended store hours as retailers swarm to capture 40 percent of their annual sales during the peak shopping season.
As we move into late November, gifts are piling up in our closets. Thanksgiving brings loved ones together. The spirit of the holidays — and the impending IRS deadline for tax deductions — precipitates an outpouring of generosity. The Giving Season emerges, and for four weeks, Americans make 25 percent of all annual charitable gifts — worth nearly $100 billion. No wonder my mailboxes swell with appeals from the United Way, the Salvation Army and Easter Seals.
Which then brings the season of expanding waistlines. It starts with Thanksgiving dinner, then segues through holiday baskets from vendors and cakes and cookies at office parties. Then there’s long luscious dinners with family and friends when everyone has time to cook and sleep in the next morning. Finally, it culminates with one final — “oh, what the heck” — overindulgence on New Year’s Eve.
All of this, of course, launches the season that officially begins today: New Year’s Resolution Season. Finally fed up with our lack of discipline, and bloated by all those chocolate-covered nuts, we stampede toward fitness centers, health clubs and gyms like wildebeests racing across the Serengeti.
You’d expect fitness centers to take a page from the retail industry and offer attractive discounts to grab market share. Instead of Black Friday or Cyber Monday, why not Fit Friday or Muscle Monday?
But it turns out that New Year’s Resolution Season is a nuisance for fitness centers. Flocks of people with good intentions flood in, overwhelm the facilities, tie up personal trainers, disrupt workouts among committed regulars, and then quickly drop out and go back to their slothful routines. Who needs that?
So a quick survey of Miami-based fitness facilities like Flight Club, Cross Fit, Flywheel, Barry’s Boot Camp, Crunch and Equinox didn’t find a single special New Year’s Resolution deal. Just the normal hooks, including free trials and volume discounts.
But that’s a soft, flabby pricing strategy. A more ripped pricing strategy would look like this:
▪ Establish “existing member only” times at the gym to keep longtime loyalists happy.
▪ Eliminate free trials in January and February; after all, the New Year’s Resolution market is happy to pay. ▪ Likewise, raise the single, per class price in order to make long-term packages more attractive, especially with regard to six months or longer.
▪ Make unused portions of any package nonrefundable.
▪ And then, when New Year’s Resolution season is over, reinstate regular pricing.
So, without any particular special deal, how was I going to add variety to my fitness routine? To me, Fight Club seemed too aggressive. Cross Fit looked like back pain waiting to happen. And sadly, I fear that I’m not sexy or good-looking enough for Barry’s or Equinox.
But a yoga studio called YogaThat on 41st Street in Miami Beach caught my attention. Their understated pitch said: Feel physically vital and more fully alive, have a clearer mind and more accepting heart, and be more open to the magic of the present moment.
Now that’s a New Year’s Resolution, and well worth $12.30 per class.
Adam Snitzer is a revenue strategy expert and president of Peak Revenue Performance, a consulting firm that specializes in designing and executing innovative pricing strategies. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the company’s website at PeakRevenuePerformance.com.