It's very, very difficult to make money in the fitness industry. In order to thrive, you really have to have a niche and sell it. You've either got to be at the high end or at the low end; otherwise, you're not in at all. We're at the very low end: Members have access to a great club for 10 bucks a month, and I don't see that changing. We keep it as simple as possible, so that there are as few areas to disappoint as possible. When we started out, we included perks that everyone else had, such as day care and yoga classes, but none of that made sense for us.
Having read that quote, now check out the commercial below, a creative follow-up to the famous "I lift things up and put them down" ad which I featured on the blog awhile back. (Thank you to student Meredith Soper for pointing me to this commercial). What you see is a company that is clearly trying to identify its niche... and clearly specifying what it is not (and who it does not seek to target). In a very tough industry, leaders must pay particular attention to the clarity of their target market and the boundaries of their strategy. Making clear choices becomes all the more important when you have fewer potential profits because of an unattractive industry structure (such as in the fitness center industry).