Pacesetter

Latest Thinking

Are You an Innovator or Laggard?

One goal every club manager can’t afford to miss is becoming an industry innovator by adopting technology that improves the club experience for members. What does it take to be perceived as an “innovative” GM in 2017?

Be honest:  How many days did your 2017 personal New Year’s resolution last?

Research shows that a mere 8-percent of New Year’s resolutions are upheld. In 2017, though, one goal every club manager can’t afford to miss is becoming an industry innovator by adopting technology that improves the club experience for members.

Today, innovation is one of the biggest drivers of businesses’ bottom lines. In fact, a recent survey of 4,000 working adults in five countries found that 90-percent prefer brands that are innovative, while 68-percent are willing to spend 21-percent more on products from brands viewed as being innovative.  

What does it take to be perceived as “innovative” in 2017?

Consistently staying ahead of expectations.

The days of one and done product or service launches defining innovativeness are gone.  Today’s consumers pay attention to a brand’s “track record of launching successful technology…” because it’s all about what comes next.

Remember Blockbuster, MySpace and Borders Bookstore? Netflix, Facebook and Amazon erased them; all three of the winners are spending a disproportionate amount of time and money figuring out how they’ll innovate next.

So how can GMs innovate in 2017?

The biggest opportunity we have lies in using technology to bring the whole club experience in line with your member’s rising expectations. The lowest hanging fruit?

Offer More Convenience.

With a membership whose households contain Amazon Dash Buttons, Echo Dots and Alexa/Siri (pick your favorite cyber-butler) it should come as no surprise that your members demand convenience. When they head to your club seeking relaxation and enjoyment, convenience cannot end where your club begins.

Thanks largely to app-based technology (and the fact that most clubs are still built for comfort and not for speed), the majority of clubs are perfectly positioned to gain dramatic improvements by simply focusing on conveniences throughout every aspect of the club member’s experience.

What might that look like? Simply put - club managers need to identify ways to give members more time to enjoy the very reason they are there - to relax and enjoy the amenities and camaraderie offered by the club. Booking lessons, ordering food, RSVPing to an event - even getting the car from valet are all opportunities to delight members by giving them back their time. Moving these transactions into a friction free mobile app enhances convenience, signals that your club is paying attention to expectations and instantly separates your club from a fading status quo.

Will you innovate or lag behind?

Smart Clubs around the world are resetting the bar for the member experience - and we can all learn from the creativity they’ve put into play. In fact, I’ll be sharing examples of how they are capitalizing on consumer trends in personalization, wellness, family demographics and technology to completely reimagine the role of the club for the modern family. You can catch the session here.

If your club’s been on the fence about adopting member-centric technology, remember that your members are consumers first - and consumers continue to prove that innovation wins their hearts, minds and dollars.

Photo Credit: Trebomb on Flickr