What is it like to be a part of one community, at different generational stages?
The beauty of a Private Club experience is not only in leisure and relaxation, but also in community building and socialization. To ensure you are meeting each Members needs, for that one-of-a-kind personalized experience, you need to first make sure you are reaching each Member in their own wheelhouse. We are looking at this individualized experience through the lens of Generations. Each Generation places value on their Membership experience being one of a shared community space. However, their needs and ideas of what that Community looks like, tend to differ. Let’s break down the similarities and differences across all generations of Members.
Who Are They?
The Millennial Generation with the largest spending power, and your next wave of members. This is the largest generation, that ranges from recent college grads to young families.
Associate Memberships & Trial Periods
- Millennials might as well be called the “try before they buy” generation. This group has the largest spending power, but they are NOT going to purchase without a test drive. Offering a trial period is an easy way to get that Millennial in the door, as they want to know exactly what they are getting.
- An Associate level Membership is a great opportunity to convert a Prospect, but also gain an eventual Full Member. Especially for the Millennial that might be shy to commit.
Flexible Membership Options
- Most Millennials still are not married (sorry moms and dads!). Which means, single incomes and the need for flexible membership options especially for single members.
- This generation may have the largest spending power, but they also have the highest amount of debt. Flexible memberships aren’t just about what they get but how much they are getting it for. If you can get this generation in the door now on a lower membership price, you can expect that membership to mature along with your Millennial member later.
- As this generation starts a family, it’ll be important to offer family activities. Often seen as busy generation, the need for additional childcare and services are also preferred.
- Family activities aren’t just about dropping the kids off and then enjoying alone time, it’s about offering activities that the entire family can enjoy together.
Inclusive Social Community
- If you aren’t being inclusive, then you’ll exclude Millennials pretty quickly. Unlike older generations, young people want a community that welcomes all walks of life.
- A more inclusive community also means offering more social activities to accommodate interests. Not every Millennial wants to avocado toast - or drink craft beer. It’s important to understand what your Millennials are wanting out of their club and how to offer it.
Focus on Wellness, Health, Spa, & Fitness
- Wellness and fitness biggest hit with this generation over previous generations. Wellness is part of their everyday life and conversations. And jazzercise isn’t going to cut it. Aerial yoga, barre, HIIT - nope, these are not made up exercises. Non-traditional, fun (but seriously challenging) workouts are preferred amongst younger generations.
- Fitness isn’t just about being healthy, but it’s also social. Group classes where Millennials can workout with their friends is highly desirable. This generation is also extremely nostalgic, and loves a great kickball game.
- This generation wants to be reached via tech and wants to reach YOU via tech. No calls, please. Email, text messaging, and social media are the preferred forms of communication.
- Online booking is essential to accommodate for busy lifestyles and to a generation that is always connected.
- Convenience is vital to this generation - you must reach them where they are to successfully engage.
Who Are They?
This generation consists of a more established Member, they may have been with the Club for years and their families typically have ‘grown up’ at the Club. These Members are consistently present at the Club, are flexible and easily adapt to new innovations, and are also a great source for potential Prospective Members - as they are great at promoting the Club via word of mouth.
Tradition & Evolution
- These Members enjoy the value in a traditional Club experience, but also encourage change and modernization in most of their endeavors.
- They are open to new experiences to help enrich the Club experience.
- Allowing these Members to have a say in the changes and improvements in the Club experience helps solidify their place in the community and dedication to the Club.
Sport & Dining focus
- A focus on tradition still remains strong here, Golf Clubs are for, well, Golf.
- Dining is meant to be the way it always has been, but with slight variations to Menu choices and diet or allergy restrictions. Members are, however, open to new trends in Dining and incorporating technology into their Dining experience.
- Creating an environment where these Members still feel tied to the tradition they love, but a modernized version is important.
- Dining reservations via the app, or even being able to view the menu prior to their meal are both ways you can connect with this traditional mindset while incorporating a modern approach.
- These folks are highly likely to not only recommend the Club to a friend or family member, but also - take them to the Club to experience it for themselves.
- This drive to share their Club with friends or loved ones is a great opportunity to gain new prospects and take care of potential new Members.
- These Members definitely enjoy taking pride in something they love, and further they love to show it off! Speak to that by making it easy for Members to bring Guests and welcome them accordingly.
Adaptability - Anything to help enhance their Club experience!
- Appealing to this group of Members with new technology is important, as they are straddling behaviors from both Junior and Senior Members, and are more likely to set Member trends at the Club.
- Highlighting ease of use and convenience as well as modernization with this crowd helps hit on both characteristics that make them that special middle generation.
Who Are They?
Consistent Members with long standing Memberships at Private Clubs. These Members are very familiar with Club staff, and most likely have aged with the Club. They may have family that has also ‘grown up’ at the Club. The community aspect is deep rooted in this generation's values. They value tradition, and consistency, with their experience and preferences.
- Tradition is important to this generation - and can often seem like they are pushing back on change. This generation may have a harder time adapting to new policies, like allowing cellphones at the club, relaxed dress codes, or sometimes the use of technology.
- Focusing on mostly retired members, the social draw to a private club is extremely important for senior members. This is an extension of their family and may be their new daily routine. Offering various social activities for these members, especially during the weekdays, can help build a better social community for senior members.
Sport & Dining focus
- Golf, golf, and maybe some tennis. Those traditional sports that members have flocked to for years is are still going to be a big draw for Senior Members. While younger members may be looking for non-traditional workouts and sports, you’ll find your Senior Members still out on the golf course.
- Of course, don’t rule out other forms of exercise like weight lifting and yoga, which has been on the rise with Seniors as low impact forms of exercise.
- 5-Stars preferred - senior members may expect a more traditional dining environment with an impressive dining menu. Dining is also a highly social activity for this group, so the importance of dining far extends what is on their plate but who is gathered around it.
- This generation is used to the private club experience being an exclusive experience. While your club may be expanding its membership base to be more inclusive, that does not mean you have to ditch that exclusive appeal when talking with Senior Members. Offer that Personalized experience by forming deep relationships with Senior Members.
- Having grown with the Club, Senior Members expect their preferences to be known, after all they have typically been doing the same things for years.
- Providing individualized and consistent service to these Members really shows respect to the Members dedication and love for the Club.
Your Club must be able to adapt to all of these different generational traits to stay relevant, but also keep current Members satisfied. Recognizing Member preferences for a social community environment, while taking the care to acknowledge each Member as an individual and respecting their preferences, and continuing to evolve technologically are vital to satisfaction and engagement across all age groups.
It is this dynamic ability that allows you to succeed in the Private Club Industry. We recently took a look at how the next generation of Prospects and Members may require a different approach than in the past. For more information on how to reach the largest group of up and coming Membership, check out our Webinar on Millennial Marketing here.