Leveraging the Medical Condition

The headlines announce to us almost daily the alarming statistics: "64% of Americans are overweight, 30% are obese, $117 billion a year spent on medical costs related to overweight and obesity, $200 billion on costs associated with type 2 diabetes." Yet, less than 20% to 30 % of the population engages in recommended levels of physical activity. What will it take to get more people involved in exercise? The medical community may play a key role.

According to a study completed in 1993 by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, "the single greatest motivation for physical activity, the less actives say, is concern for one's health, and four in ten less actives identify their doctor as the person who would have the greatest influence on encouraging them to be more active." Finding ways to leverage this medical connection seems to be an obvious strategy. However, actually making this connection can be difficult.

Think patient ��then think customer, and you begin to immediately see the differences in perspective and business approach between the medical community and most fitness providers. Others have written about this difference and argued that the "customer" approach of the fitness industry is the only answer. Rather than joining this debate, this author suggests that neither approach is the best, and that both groups must learn a new approach and a new language based on designing "customized experiences."

The Language of Experience

First introduced by Pine and Gilmore in their 1998 book, The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage, designing specific experiences tailored to the individual holds great promise for attracting more people to physical activity. Starbucks, Harley and Disney have successfully capitalized on this experience approach, demonstrating that "personalized experience" is a powerful way to differentiate services.
Click on circles for more details
Site Map