Using gamification to grow your health and fitness business.

Written by Bryan Smith

December 2, 2019

Onboarding tips to help gym and studio owners maximize member engagement, decrease cancellations and drive referrals.


In our most recent post of our GROW BETTER series, we discussed the concept of ROI in the corporate wellness space, and how we can do a better job of PROVING the value of our service.

Today, we are going to go over gamification tactics that we as gym owners can utilize to increase engagement within our membership population and drive revenue.

So first, what is gamification?????

Gamification is the process of taking something that already exists or something that someone already does — running on a treadmill, a fitness class, or sleeping — and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty.

Gamification takes the data-driven techniques that game designers use to engage players, and applies them to non-game experiences to motivate actions that add value to your business.

Okay, okay, so what does gamification provide you as a gym owner?

  • Direct members behavior and influence change
  • Motivate members to compete and challenge themselves
  • Improve member engagement and enjoyment of your facility
  • Reward members for positive behavior and actions
  • Increase member retention and keep members longer

We at LEON break gamification out into three categories:

Social Influence: This incorporates all the social elements that drive your members, including: mentorship, acceptance, social responses, companionship, as well as competition and envy.

When you see a coworker/member that is amazing at running marathons or deadlifting, you become driven to reach that same level. Also, it includes the drive we have to draw closer to people, places, or events that we can relate to.

Examples: Active gym social media pages, Slack integrations, Crossfit WOD’s, group workouts etc.

Development & Accomplishment: This is the act of making progress, developing new skills, and eventually overcoming challenges. The word “challenge” here is super important, as a trophy without a challenge is not meaningful at all. This is also the easiest to implement on a gym level

Examples: Leaderboards, level up’s, new member on-boarding with actionable goals, (in gaming language “quests”) points systems etc.

Rewards and Recognition: This is where members are motivated because they feel like they can win something. Besides being the major drive for wanting to accumulate wealth, this deals with many virtual goods or virtual currencies within systems.

Examples: Exchangeable points, virtual prizes, incentives, ownership.

I know, I know, that was a ton of information… So lets give a real world, simple business case example:

Crossfit on-ramping 🏋️‍♀️

Most CrossFit boxes offer an on-ramping process designed around the idea of teaching and mastering fundamental exercises, that can later be used in a group setting.

Using gamification, we can improve this process, and increase new member engagement, and intrinsic motivation.

Step 1:

Rollout out a vision or “quest” for the new member during the on-ramping process. Tell them where they are going, how to get there (milestones), and reward the member for accomplishing each goal.

I can not stress how important creating a vision is for a new member. Getting fit is a daunting process for most of the population, support them by creating a personal roadmap.

Step 2:

Collect each members social media information, develop a leaderboard system that accounts for where each new member is at in the process, and post results daily to all your social accounts. Engage current members to provide support and guidance.

p.s. this doesn’t work for everyone, so make sure to get approval to post personal updates to social media.

Step 3:

Once the on-ramping process is complete, reward each member, host a group workout/party and publicly congratulate each member on their accomplishment.

Reward everything. Celebrate everything. A new member should feel like they won Publishers Clearing House. (I’m dating myself there aren’t I????)

Simple, trackable and scalable is the name of the game here. We do not need to reinvent the wheel, we only need to get it rolling.

Click the link below to see how LEON helps studio owners and fitness professionals like you compete:

  • Without discounting your services
  • Taking most of your revenue
  • And by understanding that you and your brand are a valuable part of the wellness industry — and not a commodity 😀

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