It doesn’t matter what part of the planet you live in, an increase in health issues, both terminal and non-terminal, has become a global problem. From the menace of cancer, diabetes and childhood obesity; mental health ailments, cardiovascular diseases and all the trauma that came with COVID-19 pandemic, the world is looking for solutions, with great blame games in high places.
It has been proven that physical activity and good exercise regimens reduce the risk of these diseases. This means everybody needs to engage in regular exercise, making gyms and fitness instructors almost indispensable. This is a no-brainer.
These growing health concerns have accelerated the growth of the global physical fitness industry, and with the coronavirus pandemic in the mix, keeping physically and mentally fit has become a top priority for many; thereby also increasing the demand for fitness centers and trainers.
This industry is largely classified into two sectors – fitness centers (also known as gyms or health clubs), and weight loss. As cited by Market Research, the total U.S. weight loss market grew at an estimated 4.1% in 2018, from $69.8 billion to $72.7 billion, and is expected to grow by 2.6% annually through 2023.
According to Statista, the global market size of the industry has been steadily increasing in recent years, exceeding 96 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.
In Africa, the problems are the same. The solutions are the same. But considering the prevalence of poverty, would many people be able to afford to pay for gym subscriptions or hire a trainer, you might ask? Well, as much as it may be a valid concern, and a natural question to ask, it would be very myopic to also think that all of Africa is poor.
With a fast-growing middle class, a consumption-driven section of its population, the continent is fast becoming a huge market for fitness and wellness business.
If you’re already in the fitness business or considering it, here are five kinds of customers you should focus your marketing budget on. Plus, locating your business close to the areas you can attract a good number of these potential customers would be a game-changer for your revenue.
1. Working class professionals: These are up-scale mobile, relatively young and socially active individuals, usually within the 25 – 45 age bracket; educated and having a 9 – 5 job regimen or operating their own businesses. This group is the middle-class income earners, relatively comfortable and economically stable. These can afford a reasonably-priced gym membership. Their goal is not only to stay fit, but they also want to hang out and interact.
2. Women: Ladies are more obsessed with their physique and weight than the menfolk. So they’re naturally an easy target. For some, they added weight after childbirth, some want to shed weight ahead of their weddings and other important dates, while others just want to stay in shape so they can have the perfect body to flaunt their clothes. The list is endless. Women are probably the most loyal customers to fitness businesses.
3. Fitness Enthusiasts: These are fitness addicts, generally athletes, bodybuilders, and people who structure their mental wellness around exercises. To them, this is the only way they relieve stress and get off a bad mood. These are the first set of people who show up when a new gym opens in their neighbourhood.
4. Old Folks: Maybe the right thing to say is “senior citizens” or people from 50 – 80, as nobody wants to be called ‘old’ these days. These guys know that regular exercise could keep away heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes and other illnesses associated with aging. So they appreciate a gym membership. However, additional services that could keep this set coming are amenities for health maintenance and monitoring like checks for blood sugar, blood pressure and bone density.
5. Expatriate community: Most foreigners in Africa for business or pleasure, especially the ones from Europe and America, already have a fitness culture. They’re constantly looking out for fitness centers within their neighborhoods, making them a good target for fitness businesses.