Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Free"

In Denmark, a gym offers a membership program where you pay nothing as long as you show up at least once a week. But miss a week and you have to pay full price for the month. The psychology is brilliant. When you go every week, you feel great about yourself and the gym. But eventually you'll get busy and miss a week. You'll pay, but you'll blame yourself alone. Unlike the usual situation where you pay for a gym you're not going to, your instinct is not to cancel your membership; instead it's to redouble your commitment.

- Free: The Future of a Radical Price (pg. 32)

This is a very interesting idea. If I had the means to set prices, I might offer a deal something like the following (for a 12x/month class).

Attend 1-2 classes = free (or 1/2 price)
Attend 3-11 classes = full price
Attend 12 classes (perfect attendance) = free (or 1/2 price)

I realize it could come to be viewed as punitive longer-term as clientele come to feel entitled to "free", but I thought it was worth thinking about.

6 comments:

Neghar said...

Genius.

Boris said...

Definitely food for thought!!!

dasic said...

I wished there was a gym like that in my country. The only gym like that is my University, but that being said, tuition fees are 60000

Niel K. Patel said...

I love the idea. Now only if it were to be implemented in more gyms.

Peter said...

The Danish gym's setup is pretty clever. It does say something about how few people make it each week that it is able to take in enough revenue to stay open.

Looking at your class price idea, I have to say it does look punitive. If I show up rarely (1-2 times in 12), it's free. If I show up all the time, it's free. If I show up 11 times out of 12, I pay full price...much more than the people who show up 1 in 12 or 1 in 6 times. So I'd feel like once I hit the third class, I was in the punished middle. Why punished? Because you're rewarding the really inconsistent, too. "First class is free" is one thing, "all classes are free if you don't come that often" is another.

But if you set it up so that way, say, the more frequently you came the lower the price went, I'd feel differently as a potential client - the more frequent, the cheaper, rewards me for consistency in a linear fashion.

Or if it was only 12/12 free (or 11-12 for 12, to allow for emergencies and injuries and whatever...90% is still an A in most places), that would just mean rewarding true consistency and not punishing a slight slip up or going too often for free but not often enough for free, either.

IMO, anyway. It's still an interesting way to structure things. I've given folks a discount for continued, consistent patronage, and it sure works. Like you said, it's food for thought.

Boris said...

Well, the idea wasn't to reward the really inconsistent, but simply not charge those who don't take advantage of the class at all. Showing up once or twice is not going to net really any benefits from training. That's how I look at it anyway.

I like your idea a lot though; to charge lower and lower prices for higher attendance in a linear fashion.

Thanks for the thoughts.