Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Zumba(r) Fitness. Still think it's a fad?

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.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Zumba Warrior, created by Jani Roberts

One of my favorite courses from Zumba(r) Convention 2013 was Jani Roberts' workout, Zumba(r) Warrior.  Yes, it's a kick-ass workout that will challenge even the fittest participants' aerobic thresholds and muscular endurance in practically every muscle group.  Yes, it's rock-n-roll, dub-step, sexy, bold, edgy, in your face, totally Jani-esque.

But it's more.

The workout is leveled very well.  There are three options for each move, and they're taught in a progressive sequence.  Beginners can stick with the first level, which is challenging but with minimal impact.  Participants wanting more of a challenge can progress as the levels progress, and the earlier levels are sound movement preparation for those that follow.

The premise is quite simple.  After a warm-up stylized for martial arts and bootcamp motions to dramatic music (think, opening music to Cirque du Soleil - yes, I shazammed it!), it's an intermittent workout with a fairly specific rise and fall.

5 minutes of progressive hard work (hard, harder, ridiculously hard anaerobically taxing)
2 minutes of active recovery

Repeat 5 more times, then cool 'em down.

But it's more.

A major theme of the class is "going within."  So intent on your own focus that no one else's movement matters.  It's a familiar concept.  We've probably all heard of being "in the zone."  That's what she means.  I use this concept in my HIIT and weight training classes - don't worry about anyone else, just focus on working hard, whatever "hard" means to you.  Jani takes it even deeper, into seeking the source of your power within, tapping into it, and being constantly aware of it.  So, not just shutting out others' activity, but being mindfully aware of every single move you make.  She had some wonderful ways of describing the internal experience of bodily movement.

I'm an obsessive note-taker.  :D  So I wrote down several of her drills and my favorite cues.  If you're one of my clients, don't be surprised to see some of her 5-minute sequences in my HIIT and CrossCore classes.  An interval sequence might even sneak itself into Zumba(r) Toning.

More photos to come.