Commentary

How To Sell Fitness? It's All About Energy!

As January spills into February, New Year’s resolutions may be also be falling away, but people still want to be fit, and marketers across categories, from gyms to food to clothing, still need to sell fitness. How should they talk about it when resolutions may already be more about 2017 than 2016?

We recently asked women 45+ what fitness means to them, and we learned something interesting for marketers, whether they are selling gym memberships or health bars or yoga pants:

Fitness for Boomers and other women at midlife means energy. And that’s how you should sell it.

The Biggest Motivator

We asked women, “What are the biggest motivators for staying healthy in midlife?” And their #1 answer (for 78% of them) was “I want to have energy.” Nearly as many said “I want to feel good about myself” – but feeling good appears to mean having energy as much as anything else. Energy represents all the other good things that women want to feel in life. It means they’re taking less medication, able to travel, and more likely to see their grandchildren grow up.

The Biggest Lifestyle Barrier, Too

When we asked women, “What is the biggest lifestyle barrier to staying healthy in midlife?,” we also heard about energy. Twenty-four percent of respondents (more than any other group) said that “not having enough energy” was the reason. The only other answers that came close were “too much stress” (19%) and “not getting enough sleep” (16%). Women are more focused on simply feeling better than any specific level of weight loss or fitness.

Energy, and the lack thereof, is both the motivator and the barrier to feeling healthy after 45.

If you’re marketing foods, talk about how they affect energy levels.

If you’re marketing gyms or devices or fitness regimes, talk about the energy boost they provide.

Anything related to health and fitness has an energy angle, and marketers need to communicate it.

Energy May Even Be a Better Way to Discuss Weight Loss

Weight is an issue for many women of all ages, and especially for women in midlife. In fact, 40% of women 45+ who feel overweight say that they did not feel overweight before menopause. These women see weight as a life stage issue and not a permanent condition. 

For them, weight gain has taken away energy that makes them want to get fit. And 41% say that they lack the motivation required to do it. Maybe that’s because the primary motivator is not losing weight, it’s gaining energy.

Talk to Consumers About How They Want to Feel 

Many marketers spend too much time telling consumers they should be someone else rather than reminding them how they want to feel.

When we asked women what they wanted in skincare products, it wasn’t to look younger or “prettier”; they wanted to avoid skin damage and they wanted to look healthy. 

So it shouldn’t be surprising that when it comes to fitness, women aren’t motivated so much by how fitness will make them look as how it could make them feel. 

If you sell them that feeling, you’ll get business from these women, and others. Who wouldn’t want a workout partner that makes them feel great?

1 comment about "How To Sell Fitness? It's All About Energy!".
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  1. Jim Gilmartin from Coming of Age, February 8, 2016 at 12:56 p.m.

    I agree with the concusions reached by Stephen. Creating gateways to higher energy and good feelings for 50+ women will result in higher sales for providers and increased positive word of mouth.    

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