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Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. For a class project - worked in a group and responded to a RFP from Frank\'s Gym, a made-up gym in Franklin County looking to expand business model and add a new location in the Atlanta area. After reading through our extensive research and analysis, we hope that you will have more than enough information for your decision to expand to the Atlanta Metro area. Our methodology incorporates both print and empirical research methods and consists of 5 steps, including: researching the location, gathering information about competitors, interviewing the owner of another gym, conducting a survey to identify the needs of potential customers, and developing a marketing strategy and advertising campaign.
The results of our research support the expansion of Frank’s Gym into the Atlanta-area by opening a new location in Druid Hills and provide a useful comparison of competing gyms in the Atlanta-area as well as ideas for marketing and advertising, advice from the owner of a gym with a similar target market and demographic composition, and a summary of the needs and preferences of potential customers in Frank’s Gym’s target age range. Today, gyms have become much more affordable and accessible to people of all backgrounds and a much broader economic makeup. The number of gyms in America has drastically increased in recent years as well as the demand and desire of Americans to get in shape or stay fit.
Gyms have begun to specifically taper their services to meet the exact needs of the client base in their area in order to keep up with their competition.
Frank’s is a state of the art gym with a very modern feel that the market of Franklin was otherwise unaccustomed to.
Most residents of the area had never had the opportunity to attend such a gym due to proximity let alone financial capability.
Frank’s has amazingly been able to provide great service along with competitive amenities at plans that the residents of Franklin can both afford and desire in a gym package. Frank’s has optimized its customers work out time based on the customer’s age, occupation and overall exercise goals to make sure all members have less than a one minute wait time per machine.
The chiropractors benefit by increasing their customer base from free advertising by making sure the members maintain a healthy and injury free workout. Restaurants provide healthy alternatives to some of their previously unhealthy options and in return receive referrals from Frank’s. They have been successful because they have provided this group with service and amenities that rival any other gym in the area at prices that they can afford. They are confident in their business model as well as ability to adapt to the needs of any client base they encounter.
Therefore they are seeking to expand to the Greater Atlanta area where they feel their business model will be equally successful. However, Frank’s is immature when it comes to its ability and experience in marketing and advertising.
Also they need assistance in locating an area inside of Atlanta that will be a fit for their gym. Obviously, competition in Atlanta will be far greater than in Franklin so it is imperative that Frank’s adapt a new business model to account for this as well as change certain factors such as their logo, slogan, etc. All research is based on whether it will be fiscally responsible and advantages for Frank’s to enter the Atlanta market and attempt to be competitive. Factors such as location, competition and proximity to other gyms, and desires of the market will all be considered in deciding if and how Frank’s can become a successful member of the Atlanta fitness center market. Anne Thallman is the owner of Studio 30, a gym in Duluth which has a demographic similar to the Druid Hills area consisting of moderately wealthy professional adults between the ages of 18-44, according to the demographic breakdown provided by the US Census.
100 participants responded and told us about the types of services and amenities that are most important to them when choosing a gym.
Information about the Druid Hills location initially selected in our proposal was gathered from the study of local maps and U.S. Competitor analysis was compiled using the official website of each gym in the Atlanta-area.
We realize that some of this information may introduce some bias as gyms want to promote their best features in order to attract the most customers. For that reason, we focused on the amenities that each gym offered in order to maintain a standard of objectivity in our comparison.
Our survey participants were selected by emailing contacts in the Atlanta-area, Druid Hills, and Emory University area.

Because the majority of the respondents were in the 16-24 age range, our data was somewhat skewed. However, 95% of our participants identified themselves as students or young adults so our data can be used as an accurate reflection of the needs and preferences of the young consumer, Frank’s Gym’s target market. The first being factor is that there are no gyms that are particularly close to the area or centered in this part of Atlanta. The second is that Druid Hills demographic and affluence provides a perfect age range for the demand of the gym as well as monetary competency in affording its amenities.
Branching out into a new territory is always an intimidating task and so it’s good to have an understanding of what the competition is already offering your potential customers. In our research, we analyzed what kinds of services and amenities surrounding fitness centers had to offer. These ranged from large scale businesses like LA Fitness to smaller scale such as A Brand New You. However, specific classes such as yoga, Pilates, martial arts, and personal trainers all come at additional costs.
Members can usually sign up for Group Exercise Programs which usually involves a flat fee that covers a variety of courses for the member to choose from. Analyzing the data allowed us to form our decision for what we felt would be essential items for Frank’s Gym to offer.
Seventy-seven out of the 99 people surveyed also considered televisions on treadmills and elliptical machines to be an important amenity that could be offered, while 61 said a pool and sauna, and 51 said a free weight area was important to them. Each of these rankings was separated into the categories of “not very important,” “somewhat important,” “neutral,” “important,” and “very important” with rankings of 1-2 being “not very important,” 3-4 being “somewhat important,” 5-6 being “neutral,” 7-8 being “important,” and 9-10 being “very important.” Nine out of the 100 participants gave 24hr gym access a ranking of 1 or 2, seven gave it a ranking of 3 or 4, twelve gave it a ranking of 5 or 6, eighteen gave it a ranking of 7 or 8, and twenty-nine gave it a ranking of 9 or 10. According to the importance scale used above, 12.8% of respondents ranked personal training and nutritional services a 1 or 2, considering it to be of very little importance.
An additional 22% responded that they attend a gym 1-2 times per week, 26% said that they attend a gym 3-5 times per week, 12% said they go to a gym several times a month, and 39% said that they to a gym only sporadically. 62.2% of repondents also said that they were not likely to take advantage of on-site childcare or class options for children if they were offered. When asked about Studio 30 she said “It is a One-on-One personal training studio with no membership fees and a pay as you go system.
This fitness studio promotes healthy lifestyle through eating properly, water consumption, good sleeping habits, strength training, and cardio.” She also stated that the most important thing to give clients is results and a gym wants to show clients that the gym is making an improvement in their life. When asked about how to market a business like a gym she said “I mainly used client referrals: no print or TV advertising. The first factor is that there are no gyms that are particularly close to the area or centered in this part of Atlanta.
By opening a central Druid Hills location, Frank’s would be able to compete for the business of residents that have otherwise been members of gyms on the outskirts of Druid Hills or other parts of Atlanta entirely. The Druid Hills demographic provides a perfect age range for the demand of the gym as well as ideal customer income range for affording its amenities. This age group encompasses the most people who are likely to attend gyms due to physical and social factors. Also, the median income for a household in the CDP was $62,953, and the median income for a family was $106,196.
These levels of income show that Druid Hills is a particularly affluent area whose residents are fully capable of affording a gym membership. The last key factor in this decision is the location of our gym to Emory University, which provides a perfect match for the preferences in the responses of our surveys.
While Emory has its own student fitness center, it is only open until 11 pm on weekdays and 9 pm on weekends. Because our plan is for Frank’s Gym to be open 24 hours, Frank’s will be able to directly compete with the Emory fitness center for students seeking access at these later hours. Instructional classes such as yoga, Pilates or even martial arts are also in high demand at just about any fitness center. Combining these classes under a group exercise program will provide customers with a variety of workouts to choose from and give them a chance to build a schedule more suited for their individual lifestyle.

On-site childcare, while offered at most of the competing fitness centers, did not demonstrate a high demand in our customer interest survey. Having a younger demographic might have reduced the need for this and could allow funds to be spent in more essential areas. Although, to be able to compete with gyms in the surrounding area, it will be necessary for Frank’s Gym to offer some type of childcare option. If the demand for childcare increases over time, more childcare services and class options for children could easily be added in the future. Since the majority of the customer base will involve college students or recent graduates, a nutrition program or nutrition specialist could prove to be a very valuable asset. College is a time of great change and freedom, and with that many students often find themselves in a position of irregular meal times and choosing whatever is quickest and easiest rather than what might be most beneficial to their bodies.
Offering a program that can educate customers on ways to improve their dietary habits, especially on a tight budget, would be extremely valuable.
Also, many customers have had encountered problems with larger fitness centers involving contract cancellations and hidden fees.
Gyms such as Gold’s Gym and LA Fitness often provide a one month trial membership but require a two year contract when signing up for a membership containing registration and cancellation fees that the customer may not be aware of. Thallman stressed the importance of “promoting a lifestyle, not just a gym,” a tactic that could strongly benefit Frank’s Gym. In addition, Thallman suggested releasing quarterly reports with body fat lost, inches lost, pounds lost, and muscle gained to allow members to see a summary of the progress they have made. The idea is that members will show these reports to their friends, increasing client referrals and membership numbers while maintaining current members.
To promote community involvement, Thallman also recommended using local businesses like chiropractors, nutritionists, and other professionals to gather more business and continue to project the community-friendly image that Frank’s Gym already has.
Based on these results, we were able to choose amenities for the new Frank’s Gym location in order to best target the 18-44 age range.
To gain as much business from the target market as possible, we suggest that Frank’s Gym include all of these services and amenities to cater to both frequent gym-goers and those who only attend sporadically. The survey also provided customer input on a new slogan as 43.3% of survey participants chose “gym memberships individualized for your needs” as the slogan that they responded best to.
This includes the creation of a new website with an embedded program so that clients can track their progress, promotions such as free trial memberships or free personal training session bonuses for signing up, using trainers and staff to promote the gym by sending them to health events and conferences, and sponsoring and promoting events in the community like the Susan G. In addition to each of these suggestions, we recommend a new logo, such as the one created by our marketing director, Mary Grace Koenig.
We recommend that Frank’s Gym use the new logo that we have created and the slogan chosen through our customer survey in their marketing materials and advertising campaign to give the gym an updated and modern feel to correspond with the opening of its new location. The new logo and slogan will also help ensure high customer responsiveness and create a feeling distinct from that of their Franklin County location while still maintaining brand recognition and the same high quality service that customers have come to expect from Frank’s Gym. Also, we recommend that Frank’s Gym begin quarterly reports to help increase customer referrals and gain new members. We suggest that Frank’s Gym offer amenities that are comparable or better than those offered by competitors by offering 24 hour gym access, one-on-one professional training, nutritional guidance, weight training, and Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, and spin classes as well as a pool and sauna and televisions throughout the gym on all of the workout equipment. Currently, only one of Frank’s Gym’s competitors in the Atlanta area offers 24 hour gym access.
The majority of potential customers surveyed said that they would take advantage of this service if it were offered so this could be a means of differentiation for Frank’s Gym if they were to offer 24 hour access to their workout facilities. Furthermore, we recommend that Frank’s Gym implement the marketing strategies we have suggested through the creation of a new website, sponsoring of events in the community, partnership with local businesses, and use of promotions to target the 18-44 age group and meet the needs of the Druid Hills market.

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