How to Differentiate Your Sports Business from Competitors

Your business is centered around a competitive mindset. You teach your athletes and clients to compete like champions, and you scout talent and competition on other teams–but when is the last time you’ve taken time to scout your business competition? And after analyzing your competitors, how can you use those insights to differentiate your business offerings? We’ll define 3 key ways you can give your business the upper hand.


3 Ways to Give Your Business the Competitive Advantage

Define and Distinguish Your Unique Experience

Take a look at your current offering’s branding, mission, and values. Do they support your business’ goals, and distinguish your clients’ experience from competitors? You may be a personal trainer in a town with several other similar trainers or gyms who offer the same type of programming. Ensure that what you’re offering is distinguishable from these other studios by showcasing the differences that make your classes and sessions unique. 

An important step in the process to better understand your competitive landscape is to identify key competitors (as well as their strengths and weaknesses), and define action items to gain a competitive advantage. 

Along with this, be sure to clearly and specifically identify your ideal client or athlete segment in order to be successful at finding and connecting with them, as well as offering the experience that they’re looking for.

Use this Competitor Analysis Template to analyze your competition and define action items to gain the advantage.


Create an Enticing Brand, From Start to Finish

What makes Pure Barre, Barre3, and The Bar Method different when their experiences are so similar? In cities with multiple franchise locations, what entices customers to choose one over the other? A key piece of the decision to be a member at one over the other lies in the branding experience. 

As Ashley Selman, Founder and President of Evolution Trainers, says, “Consider the lens through which a prospect will view your studio, and design it accordingly. Make sure that the facility and all its accoutrements make them feel welcome and comfortable–as though they already belonged.”

Your brand should entice them, and support your goals and mission. This will play a key role in differentiating your offerings from those of the studios, gyms, and facilities around you. Plus, a strong brand will create a powerful personality and culture that will create a customer base of brand advocates.


Cultivate a Loyal Community

People want to feel connections to their favorite brands. They aim to emotionally invest in studios, gyms, and trainers that cater to their needs, and more importantly make them feel that they are important. 

Likewise, every customer should be treated like royalty, at all times. Customers will not advocate for an average brand. When it comes to customer service, everything should be dialed up to 100. The quickest and most cost effective marketing tools are your customers. Treating them with anything less than the utmost respect will damage that resource.

Knowing the names and interests of your clientele will help them to come back again and again, and inspire them to view their business as a community–which is arguably the strongest competitive differentiator you can have.

For more insight into how to build a strong client base, be sure to check out our Guide to Turning Members into Brand Advocates!


Ensure Your Systems Keep Clients Coming Back

The final competitive difference you can offer to elevate your business against nearby studios and gyms is to offer a seamless user experience that keeps your community happy. It’s an easy way to separate your offerings from the competition, and can ensure a strong brand experience.

It may seem like a no-brainer, but many sports and fitness businesses provide very little detail about their offerings on their website. The prospective client most likely understands the business’s niche, but when they go to book, there’s always an overwhelming number of options to schedule. This can be especially intimidating to new members who may not be familiar with the different class options, or beginners starting their fitness journey.

The online scheduling process is a big part of the whole experience – especially for new members – and by using a seamless scheduling software like Upper Hand, you can promote your differentiated brand and offerings, gaining a clear advantage over the competition and turning one new member into two.

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