Gym Buddy: The Future of Self Serve Kiosks

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There is no doubt that America is in a health crisis.  Over the past 20 years, sedentary lifestyles coupled with the non-stop availability of convenience foods have created an epidemic of obesity-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes.  According to the Center for Disease Control, one in nine Americans currently has Type 2 diabetes (CDC, 2012).  Of children born in the year 2000, the odds are one in three for becoming a Type 2 diabetic in the course of their life (CDC, 2012).  As the adult and childhood obesity levels rise, so does the awareness of the health risks associate with lack of nutrition and exercise. In response, Americans are flocking to the gym in record numbers.  The fitness market is a $45.2 billion industry and, despite economic turmoil, has maintained a growth rate of 2.3% over the past five years (IBIS World, 2012, p.2-3).  With these considerations in mind, the need for services directed at gym participants will continue to be in demand.

To answer this need, there is Gym Buddy.  The concept for Gym Buddy is to position a self-serve kiosk in high traffic areas in the gym.  Gym Buddy will offer a variety of health and fitness-related items such as hair ties, workout gloves, microfiber absorbent towels, vitamin water, and healthy snacks.  While many gyms have a convenience counter staffed to help with items like this, research shows that many people often prefer working with a self-serve option.  A vending machine providing these same items is less likely to make errors and eliminates the need for unwanted social interaction (Rayport, 2011, p.197).  

As this idea continues to develop, further consideration will need to go into the four “P’s” of marketing: pricing, promotion, placement, and price.  In addition, some of the tactical details of starting a business will include financing, registering for a tax ID number, obtaining business permits and licensing, and understanding employer responsibility (SBA.gov).  These considerations are part of the process that will take Gym Buddy from concept to reality.

References

10 Steps to Starting a Business. (n.d.). In U.S. Small Business Administration.  Retrieved from http://www.sba.gov/content/follow-these-steps-starting-business

Check Your Risk for Developing Type 2 Diabetes. (March 26, 2012).  In Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/Features/DiabetesAlert/

Fitness Industries Pump Up Revenues. (June, 2012).  In IBIS World Special Report.  Retrieved from http://www.ibisworld.com/Common/MediaCenter/Fitness%20Sector%20Trends.pdf

Rayport, J.F. & Jaworski, B.J.  (2011). Best face forward. In Harvard Business Review – Increasing Customer Loyalty. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books