“Active agers” as a niche fitness market — what do you think?
Conventional wisdom says we want to narrow our niche as much as possible, so that we’re providing a specific service to a hyper-specific market.
And I can’t tell you how often I talk to a new gym owner or trainer who wants to “train everybody.” I try to tell them why that might not be the best idea (unless you want to be Planet Fitness; not that there’s anything wrong with that). Sometimes the message gets through, but sometimes it doesn’t.
In my business, Prime Fit Content, I help fitness professionals who want to reach the over-50 market. But is “over 50” actually a niche?
I don’t think so.
There are too many people over 50 to tie them all together in a sweeping generalization. In the United States alone, we’re talking about 100 million people! And the populations are similar throughout the Western world, in countries like Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.
But as an umbrella, it’s still worth looking at active agers as a niche fitness market.
The key is to be aware of the diversity within it and decide which of those you want to service. Can you service all of them? Can you market to all of them with success?
I have identified four categories of over-50 fitness consumers, broadly speaking.
- Out of shape, between 50 and 70
- Out of shape, over 70
- In shape, between 50 and 70 (like the man in the photo on this post. Does he LOOK LIKE a broken-down old man?)
- In shape, over 70
(Now, I generally draw the line at what you might call a fifth category – the super-elderly and infirm, who generally are not in the market for mainstream fitness services.)
These four cover new retirees and empty-nesters, including those who are studs in the gym and those who’ve never set foot in one.
These four include longer-term retirees who want to get in shape for the first time — and super-agers alike.
What unites active agers as a niche fitness market
They’re all dealing with a range of similar life-stage issues, to different degrees – among them:
- Hormonal changes
- Slowing metabolisms
- Social isolation
- Becoming grandparents
- Wanting to feel, move, and look better
I’m not suggesting you have to pick one of these four categories and drill down your business to provide niche-level care for those folks alone.
I haven’t done that with Prime Fit Content – although I wonder if it would make my services more helpful to gym owners. For now, it’s something I’m slowly considering for, perhaps, my next iteration, when I have the market reach and staffing to do so.
For now, I produce such a great volume of content for my subscribers that it includes valuable material that’s relevant to all of them. Each business that subscribes to Prime Fit Content can then choose what’s right for them
I at least want you to be aware of these differences – and educate your staff about them. Realize that a 50-year-old person might be helpless his first time in your gym – OR he might still have kids at home, might still be in top physical condition, might still look like hot AF naked, etc… AND SO MIGHT A 75-YEAR-OLD.
The boundaries of “over 50” are helpful to our businesses and our marketing but still broad enough to keep us on our toes and treating everyone like an individual – from the Silver Sneakers set to Ironman triathletes.
NOTE: I discussed this with Rick Mayo, founder and CEO of Alloy Personal Training Franchise System, on his podcast. Listen here.