Personal training & the whole product experience

“Sometimes a product can be too focused. You need to identify the whole product – the full set of features (including services) that are required to delight the customer.”

The Whole Product (Bill Barnett on Strategy)

A business doesn’t just sell a product or a service. It sells an experience. It’s true for big box stores, online retailers, real estate agents, web designers, et al.

Here’s an example: I’m seeing a personal trainer right now because I’m trying to build my functional strength. I remember seeing my father suffer from back issues when I was younger. I don’t want that to happen to me.

There are lots of personal trainers in the GTA. I chose to work with this guy in downtown Toronto for two big reasons. First, I was referred to him by people I knew. That meant a lot. Second, we went through two free consultation sessions, and those sessions were better than any training session I’d had in the past.

So I signed on for a six month contract. Now I haul myself downtown, twice a week, just to train with him.

I’m only two months in and I already feel stronger. Exercises I never had the confidence to do before — barbell squats, lifts, presses — are almost comfortable. I look forward to seeing how much more I can lift each time I show up.

From each session I get some new pointers, some new exercises to try on my own, some new guidance on form and technique and equipment that can help improve my performance.

That’s the whole product experience. The two hours of personal training time each week are the table stakes.