I recently discovered a nice example that goes very well with my new keynote ‘less is more’. My main message is that we have created a world with too many products, services and choices that leads to very complex systems and organizations with too many rules where people get frustrated and get stressed. There are three tools to answer the question of how to achieve the ‘less is more’-principle: stop doing things, simplify things and let go.
‘Downsize fitness’- a gym – tailored its fitness centers to bigger customers (those who are overweight by 20 kgs or more) to make them feel at ease while exercising. In a literal way, the purpose of doing this is of course to fulfill the need of ‘less is more’ (weight) but the concept also resonates with the ‘less is more’ principle.
Start to stop
The gym limits new members to those who are really suffering from weight problems. That’s already a ‘big’ choice because most gyms offer services for everybody. I think that quite a lot of companies (certainly self-employed people) have a tendency to enlarge their market and do ‘everything for everyone’ if it’s in their skillset. By excluding a certain group from their fitness center is a risk but also creates a great opportunity because suddenly the message for the bigger customers is clear: You’re welcome here because this gym is especially for you.
It also resonates with the second principle: simplify. By offering only services for obese clients, the programs that they run have very simple and specific reasons – to loose weight (and probably gain some strength but the main target is to lose weight). The trainers of the gym can focus on that goal and all products and services are aligned with that (eating habits, promotion campaigns, programs, materials).
And the ‘let go’ tool is also present because the customers can let go of their feeling of anxiety or embarrassment of being watched by more healthy people. It puts them at ease exercising with people who have similar problems. The gym uses personal trainers and organizes more team training sessions then a normal gym because they know that a supportive environment is a big advantage to make sure that people will come back and support each other.
So downsize fitness is a nice example of proving that the ‘less is more’ principle works.