Invest in Connection

If you want to build a marketing asset, you need to invest in connection and other nontransferable properties. If people care, you’ve got a brand.

Seth Godin, This is Marketing

You invest in your facility, spending money to get new equipment, paint the walls, & improve the HVAC system. But, increasingly, the folks in your gym have access to what they need to get fit without you - barbells, dumbbells, plyo boxes.

When CrossFit was young, these were hard to come by. Now, you can get them all on Amazon.

You invest in your coaching staff, getting them certified, giving them the experience they need to get better. But, increasingly, the folks in your gym have access to the knowledge they need to get fit without you - YouTube videos & trainers at the Gold’s Gym who “don’t do CrossFit” but have miraculously found constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity to be effective.

When CrossFit was young, the knowledge was the secret sauce worth traveling to get. Now, there are 15,000 affiliates, many more gyms offering their own version of CVFMHI, & you can’t throw a kettlebell without hitting an internet expert.

Of course these things are important. There’s no question you should have the best facility you can afford, & your coaches should be the best you can help them be. But, increasingly, these elements are becoming more accessible, which means they’re becoming less valuable.

The third leg of the stool worth investing in, then, is connection.

Genuine connection can’t be purchased at a lower price down the road. Genuine connection can’t be found in the garage or on YouTube or at the local globo gym.

That means it’s becoming the thing worth paying for.

Here’s the thing: Like improving your facility & growing your coaching staff, genuine connection won’t just happen. It needs attention, it needs time, it needs resources.

In other words, it needs to be done on purpose.

Genuine connection is no longer a nice to have. It’s a necessity. The folks in your gym need to feel connected to you & the core values of your brand. Bonus points if you connect them to the ideas that will make them better people, if you connect them more deeply to the community you live in, & if you can connect them with each other.

Patrick Cummings