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Understanding Gen Z: How to Convert the Next Generation

gen z

In the ever-evolving landscape of the fitness industry, staying on top of the changing preferences and demands of consumers is vital. Recently, we shared our Fitness Data Insights Report, which shows just how much the world of fitness is changing.

Gen Z, the new kids on the block, will soon become 40% of the spending population. In our research, we’ve discovered a number of data points and trends that anyone who wants to learn more about the newest generation needs to see.

The Gen Z cohort has a global disposable income of $360 billion. According to our research, Gen Z is set to be the driving force in shaping the future of the fitness industry and will have the biggest impact on the fitness industry of any generation

With that being said, let’s get into the details of how fitness businesses can capitalize on this new era of health and wellness.

Note: This is just a portion of the research we have collected in our recent data insights report.

How Gen Z Will Change The World of Fitness

The Gen Z approach, attitudes, and values are different from previous generations. Gen Z is characterized by their individuality, yet they’re digital natives who have never known a world without the internet or mobile devices.

This generation is digitally proficient, has a desire for work-life balance, and is social yet highly expressive of their individuality. These present both challenges and opportunities for the fitness sector. Our research shows that the Gen Z generation represents: 

  • Diversity and Inclusivity: Gen Z consumers value diversity and inclusivity and are far more likely to embrace diverse cultures, lifestyles, and identities than previous generations. 
  • Social Justice and Activism: This generation is passionate about social justice issues such as racial equality, gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and climate change. They actively support these causes. 
  • Individuality and Self-Expression: The Gen Z generation values self-expression and often uses social media to highlight their unique personalities and interests. 
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Many Gen Z members are entrepreneurial and innovative, often pursuing non-traditional career paths. 
  • Work-Life Balance: Gen Z consumers prioritize work-life balance, which includes flexibility and autonomy in their work arrangements. 

It is important to acknowledge that not all members of Gen Z will share all these values or characteristics, but they serve as a good framework to have in mind when thinking of how to engage with these young adults. This was very apparent in our annual research, which you can find here.

32% of active consumers are classed as Wellness Lovers who prioritize fitness nutrition and mental and physical well-being to have balanced wellness.

34% can be considered Fitness Explorers, early adopters who look for new fitness programs, products, and services to include wellness.

Most strikingly, however, is that 68% of this generation want to work out on their own. Group classes and community-based exercises may be a huge market for the older generations, but it’s clear that this cohort would largely prefer to be left (quite literally) to their own devices.

6 Keys to Building a Loyal Fitness Community

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However, this does not mean that you as a fitness business owner just need to set up the gym equipment and then ignore them. As you can see above, they still want to have that interaction through a personal trainer or recreational activities, so it pays to provide as much individual attention as you can.

Struggling to provide a more personalized experience to your members?

ABC Glofox is here to help

Fitness is Becoming More Than Just Fitness

As a fitness business owner, you need to be looking at how your establishment sits within the larger community. Regular exercise and a sense of belonging are one of the most important tenets for keeping depression and other mental health issues at bay. As a fitness business owner and wellness advocate, you need to ensure that your business offering brings this into the spotlight.

Something as simple as opening your class with a few breathing exercises, or sharing content that brings awareness to certain mental health issues can be of huge benefit to growing your fitness community. Additionally, welcoming members of the community that can speak on certain issues can be extremely beneficial not just for growing your audience or business, but for your community as a whole.

For the Gen Z generation, this is more important than ever. Over 70% of their cohort want to see their fitness businesses advocating for social change and providing a space that allows for traditional fitness and mental health techniques to align.

However, we understand that as a fitness business owner, you may not have the time or the tools to provide this to all of your members at once.

If you’re looking for a fitness business management solution that can help you boost your member outreach and save you precious time on admin tasks, then ABC Glofox is the platform for you.

How To Reach Gen Z 

Given the unique personas, values, and behavior of the Gen Z population, club operators must evolve their offering and engagement strategies to meet a new breed of consumers. Some key takeouts from the reports that can be applied to club operations include: 

  1. Offer flexible membership options: Gen Z places a premium on flexibility and a range of tailored options. Health club operators can provide versatile membership choices to cater to different lifestyles, pay-as-you-go, short-term, or long-term memberships prove appealing to this new demanding cohort. 
  1. Expand payment options: Embrace mobile payments and digital wallets and explore purchases through Venmo, Cashapp, Paypal Apple, and Google Pay.  
  1. Diversify Class Offerings: Gen Z’s crave variety and enjoy exploring new experiences. Health club operators can diversify their class offerings to appeal to various interests, encompassing activities like yoga, dance, kickboxing, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). 
  1. Embrace Technological Integration: Gen Z, being tech-savvy, highly value the integration of technology for convenience. Health club operators can embrace technological integration by incorporating fitness tracking apps, virtual classes, and online coaching into their services. 
  1. Focus on social connection: Gen Z values social connection and wants to be part of a community. Health club operators can focus on creating a welcoming and inclusive environment that fosters social connections through group classes, social events, and online forums. 
  1. Champion Sustainability: Gen Zs are environmentally conscious and place a high value on sustainability. Health club operators can champion sustainability efforts by using eco-friendly materials, minimizing waste, and promoting environmentally responsible practices. 
  1. Get Social: Connect with digital natives through the social channels they most use and trust. From information, advice, and engagement, harness YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram and create a “picture” moment wherever possible that helps facilitate their personal expressions of individuality.  

Embracing the Gen Z generation can capture the imagination of creative club and gym owners and directly affect the bottom line.

6 Keys to Building a Loyal Fitness Community

Community is the core of any successful fitness business, but it's not easy to cultivate. Here, we show you exactly how to build a fitness community that will bring your fitness business to new heights.
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"I think Glofox speaks to lots of different fitness businesses. I looked at a few options, but the Glofox positioning was more flexible. Without it the business wouldn't be scaleable”
Mehdi Elaichouni
Owner at Carpe Diem BJJ

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