I guess by now you’ve realized that it’s true, technology waits for nobody! And with Millennials (generally defined as people born between 1980 and 2000) gaining on Boomers in population, weight loss & fitness businesses need to focus on how to market to this ever-rising tech-savvy crowd. So why do weight loss discussions still tend to focus mostly on children, middle aged or older adults? That’s the million-dollar question. The obesity epidemic for the Millennial generation is a big problem, so if you’re a weight loss provider or fitness center, time to sharpen your tech skills, read up on the latest hip-hop music, latest popular apps, latest fitness trends and hire yourself cool, young fitness coaches. If you haven’t done much to update your program, don’t wait any longer because per your average Millennial, traditional weight loss clubs and fitness centers are only considered something of their parents’ generation.
So, what’s different about the Millennial generation that makes them more at risk for obesity and other chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease? According to Health US News, Millennials are heavier than their parents were at their age and the top universal contributors to weight gain in this group include factors related to environment, genetics and lifestyle/socio-economic factors (higher stress levels, poor sleep habits and unhealthy eating related behaviors). Many of these life style behaviors are attributed to, “failure to launch”. Yes, it’s true, the average Millennial is still living with their parents well into their late 20s, postponing the transition into responsible adult.
- Millennials value convenience. Create a program around simplicity. Consider hours that will be accommodating to this younger generation or simply provide a counselor or nutritionist that will work with them via video chat, or better yet, will go to them.
- Millennials like low price tags. Gone are the days when high prices meant high value. This generation is more educated than other generations, many go way beyond undergraduate school and earn MBAs and Doctorate degrees. They are big savers. For this market, you may need to consider reducing your program fees or running specials just to get them near the door. Sell them on a 2 for 1 deal and they can buddy up. That’s what you call a win-win.
- If your business is a weight loss center, add some gym-type activities to your program. According to The Nielsen’s survey, Millennials make up 48% of all the 18+ regular exercisers who do gym-type activities, while Generation X comprises 32% of this market and Baby Boomers just 20%.
- Invest in a new savvy sound system, especially if you have a fitness/cycling class, music must be right on target for this Millennial clan. Gone are the days with Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons leading the pack. Focus on streaming trendy music for workouts and hire cool fitness instructors of the same age.
- Whether a nutritionist or fitness instructor, make sure who ever it is you have on roster will show up and motivate these youngsters. Millennials like to go in, get results, get out. No fuss, no muss. Hire a drill sergeant that goes beyond just motivating and make the work out sessions short and effective.
- Consider all na-tu-ral. This savvy generation is all about healthy natural foods. They shop at whole foods markets, nourish and grow their own veggie gardens and read up on food nutrients just for entertainment. Make sure some meal plans are set up to attract this generation and invest in a natural fruit smoothie bar and protein shakes/bars with some natural ingredients. Ready to Eat, Ready to Drink, and on the go products are convenient and very appealing to this age group.
- Do you have free WIFI, incorporate a fitness tracker like Fitbit or have a food and exercise journal app as part of your program? These are the high-tech gadgets and programs that will appeal to most Millennials – their I-phones & tablets are never far from reach. Remember, it’s all about simplicity & convenience with this group.
One thing is for sure, regardless of the higher risk of obesity for this generation, they benefit from the many advances in nutrition research, technology and exercise science that goes way beyond what Generation X and Baby Boomers ever did!
Looking for some weight loss products to include in your program that will excite the Millennials?
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