The Importance of Market Differentiation in a Fitness Franchise

Posted December 23, 2019

I would argue that the most important component of business marketing is uniqueness.  Of course there are many important aspects of marketing such as professional imagery and and ad production, but if the product is not memorable based on its uniqueness, then it will fail to gain sizable traction in the marketplace. Market differentiation happens when there is product and service uniqueness.

The market differentiation that the HOTWORX franchise brings to the table has many layers, not just the 24/7 infrared workouts. In addition to that, there are many “firsts” in terms of fitness technology that HOTWORX has introduced to the industry including: the now patented 63-square-foot, three-person infrared workout sauna; virtual instruction for small-group infrared training; the “silent” functional trainer; the Burn Off App; the 30-minute infrared isometric workout; and the 15-minute infrared HIIT, to name a few.

As I write this blog post, we are in the midst of development of our new virtual personal trainer (VPT) program to enhance the functional training area of the studio known as the FX Zone. The VPT program allows customers who have an upgraded membership to create a tailored, virtually instructed, functional training routine that fits their personal goals and schedule as a complement to their infrared training routine. Look for this to become available at all HOTWORX locations early spring 2020.

Perhaps the most important HOTWORX differentiator, though, is the 24-hour availability of hot yoga (along with other, more inventive hot exercise options). With the HOTWORX infrared workout sauna, our members utilize access to a variety of hot exercise options 24 hours a day. This is a huge, first mover, market advantage for our franchise owners and especially for our customers. In the modern world, the traditional fitness studio class schedules are just not convenient for everyone, and even for people who maintain a normal daily work schedule (9am – 5pm work day), they sometimes prefer to work out late at night, super early in the morning, or at odd hours during the weekend. Hot exercise becoming available 24/7 is a game changing difference.

Another way to achieve market differentiation is to open a boutique business. Boutique businesses are known for their uniqueness, and boutiques of all types are gaining popularity the world over. Generally, we understand a boutique to be a small, exclusive business that offers a very specialized form of services or products. What began as a term to describe a small clothing store now gives definition to many other business types such as hotels, advertising agencies, and health clubs.

HOTWORX differentiates itself as a boutique fitness center as well. HOTWORX is a very unique boutique though!

People want a “specialty” experience from boutique studios that focus on quality over size, but they also want multiple workout options. There are very few boutique fitness studios that can offer more than one workout type. Typically they will offer one or two workout types such as yoga, Pilates or indoor cycling.  HOTWORX is unique not only as a boutique, but as a boutique with over 10 different workout types to choose from.

HOTWORX 24 Hour Infrared Studios are boutiques that specialize in small-group infrared training, but the market difference is that there are a variety of workouts and hot exercise types way beyond what is offered at the usual studio. HOTWORX provides the best of both worlds, a boutique atmosphere and the workout variety of a much larger multi-service fitness facility.

If you want market differentiation, be unique!

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Stephen P. Smith, MA

CEO and Creator of the HOTWORX
Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player
Certified Professional Trainer