The Transformation Economy: The Future of Personal Training
Jessica Lis, A.T.C., C.S.C.S.
Fitness Quest 10, Intern
I recently read the book “The Experience Economy” in which B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore (P & G) discuss the evolution of products – products start as commodities and as society changes products transform into goods and then into services. Coffee is a prime example of a product that went through this process. Rather than people buying coffee beans at a market to take home and brew themselves many people purchase brewed coffee at shops or restaurants.
Most personal trainers believe they are part of the service industry. P & G believe that services have now evolved into an experience. If P & G are correct, a personal trainer now needs to make the client’s experience memorable and personalized rather than just provide a basic service. Take, for example, upscale coffee chains that charge two to three times as much for a cup of coffee as compared to a gas station. The coffee shops are charging more because they are providing more than just coffee, namely an experience. Personal trainers can mirror these coffee shops and charge for the experience in addition to the service they provide.
Toward the end of the book, P & G discuss how the experience economy is beginning to evolve into a transformation economy. An example of a transformation would be going to a restaurant hungry and leaving feeling full. Whereas by having an experience, you would not necessarily be any different leaving the restaurant than when you walked in. Personal trainers are in a great position to market their “services” from both the experience and transformation perspectives.
If P & G are correct and people are looking to be transformed rather than just get a service or have an experience, then personal trainers would be wise to help clients transform rather than just provide a service. Rather than simply providing a client with a list of exercises and proper techniques, personal trainers should focus on clients as whole people and help them embrace healthy choices both in and out of the gym. Not only would a focus on transformation leave clients feeling more satisfied, it would also allow personal trainers to charge more for their “services.”