Even though Zumba(r) Fitness has been around for 12 years, I still hear people say, "Oh, it's just a fad." If you had listened to me five years ago, you would have heard me say the same thing. My mind has changed significantly on this topic! Now, I teach three Zumba(r) Fitness formats and they're my highest attended classes of any format I've ever taught in 22 years of fitness (certified or licensed in >15 formats).
Check this chart, though, if you still think Zumba(r) Fitness is a fad. It's a marketing slide that goes from product awareness to product loyalty. It was presented by CEO Alberto Perlman at the Zumba (r) Fitness convention opening address, 2013. Photo taken by me, altered only to straighten horizon and add the source at the bottom.
1) Product Awareness - what percentage of the public is aware of your brand.
2) Consideration - of those who are aware of the brand, what percentage are interested in trying it
3) Trial - what percentage of the aware market has actually tried your product
4) Loyalty / advocacy / retention. After trying it,what percentage of people actually stick with the product?
All of the segments on the chart are interesting - 91% of people have heard of Zumba(r)?!? Wow!!! That's step 1! If no one has heard of a product, it's pretty hard to get them to come to your classes. :D And of the people offered a chance to try it, half do at some point. Those are great odds! Well better than any other format I teach. Heck, half of the instructors I know have no idea what the formats are that I teach or the products I use (I do some niche stuff), so for 91% of customers to be aware of Zumba(r) Fitness, that's HUGE! The higher this number, the more people have the opportunity to flow into our classes.
The segment I find the most compelling is the bottom stripe - loyalty. The number inside the teal circle - 30%, is the retention rate for Zumba(r) class students. Nearly 1/3 of the people who try a Zumba(r) class stick with it. That's crazy-good retention. The number in the black is the retention rate for the fitness industry - ahem - 7%. No wonder people are getting as many and more results as some of the "intense" formats out there. It's really quite simple. People are sticking to a fitness regime rather than dropping out.
I won't debate with you on whether you like or enjoy Zumba(r) classes; they're not for everyone. 2/3 of the people who try it don't stay. But I stand my ground, based on the fact that Zumba's retention rate is more than 4 times the average client retention rate in our industry, that Zumba is not a fad. It has become integrated into fitness, into music, into pop culture, and its effects on multiple industries have changed them for good.
As a fitness professional, I'm going to take a closer look at that chart and apply it to my other formats to see what areas I can improve upon in order to generate business. For example, my retention in some formats is very high (higher even than Zumba(r)!), but the awareness is low. So even if you're not a fan of Zumba(r) Fitness, I may have given you something of value by sharing a marketing measurement tool with you.