Self-help author and corporate speaker Andy Andrews says for businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition, they need to compete at a level that the competition doesn’t even know exists. If all businesses in your industry are competing with the same general price and with the same product or service, what will you do to make yourself standout from the crowd?
Marketing guru Seth Godin calls this being a “purple cow.” Imagine driving down the road and mile after mile, you pass one black cow after another. Then suddenly, standing there on your right is a purple cow. You would definitely have to do a double take. Was that really a purple cow???
That purple cow caught your attention and you’re not going to forget about it that easily. So, what can we possibly do to be different in the very crowded fitness industry? For us at Human Performance Center, it’s all about that connection and relationship with the athlete and the community that we are in.
I know that is what all businesses say, especially businesses in our industry, but we try to go next level with that relationship building. We take pride in knowing our athletes: Knowing what they like to do outside of the gym. Knowing their families and what their kids are into. Knowing their goals and aspirations. Knowing the type of work they do, and how to motivate them to push past the limits they place on themselves – and to become more than they thought they could become.
That “knowing” doesn’t sound like a big idea – and it is indeed a small, subtle thing – but that is our purple cow.
Here are some more examples: These days everybody quickly and easily pushes a button on Facebook to send a “happy birthday” but we try to send a personalized text message or, better still, a handwritten note, (which few people even consider any more, but whose impact far outweighs the flood of Facebook “happy birthdays.”)
So yes, we celebrate birthdays. But we’re also there when a member experiences a loss. We mourn with our athletes, and we attend visitations and funerals for their loved ones.
For fun with our members, we plan white water rafting trips; we’ll take them to check out the latest military movie for motivation during our Hero WODs; we eat (a lot) together; we enter competitions together; we host movie nights at the gym; and we’re currently planning a trip to play paintball.
These are only a few of the things we do to build relationships. We also want to be heavily involved within our community. We do not want to be just another business in the community but a business that make a difference and something the community is proud of. We sponsor 5Ks and donate our time and resources to make them possible, we proudly provide our fitness knowledge and services to the local high schools to help them prepare during the off season.
Our purple cow almost sounds obvious, but again we try to take it to the next level. Building these relationships has led to good friendships, increased referrals, and a low turnover rate.