I am a recent new user of Class Pass. So will caveat this with I am still in the honeymoon phase. However, there are a few distinct differences between Class Pass and the more traditional gym membership model that I believe makes Class Pass superior. At least, it is superior for individuals like me who don’t love going to the gym in the moment but like the idea of going to the gym (or at least the results the gym yields).
The traditional gym model is as such: big upfront fee, monthly recurring revenue model, in some cases not terribly easy to cancel and one of the few businesses that it is somewhat of a good thing for their customers not to use their services (wear and tear on equipment)(1). Now, as a gym member, I have to ask myself every month do I want to continue paying my membership fee and there are really two people within you: your experiencing and narrative self (2). My narrative self tells me that yes I will do better this upcoming month and I will go (also everything before is a sunk cost so focusing on what I do in the future is all that matters), additionally if I do cancel and I want to go eventually I’ll have to pay the sign up fee again. As I experience day to day living I have no intrinsic motivation after 7pm work. My experiencing self fails me. There is no outside force pushing me to go (as stated, gyms are incentivized for you not to go).
For Class Pass, customers pay X a month for credits, the customer uses credits at “classes” with the price fluctuating by demand. Studios get paid when a customer uses the credits at their class/studio (I think, did not validate). The long-term intrinsic value of Class Pass is dependant on a wide breadth of classes and a lot of users. As a result, they are incentivized for their users to use the classes (they want studios to get paid so more studios sign up). So for me, 10 days before the end of the month I have to decide do I want to continue paying for Class Pass. Again my narrating self says yes. However, the big difference is I have to use these credits and schedule. The mere act of scheduling and creating a commitment with direct costs dramatically increases the chances in my experiencing-self attending the Class. Said differently, it is easier for me to follow a pre-determined scheduled class, than it is to cancel and try and get my money/credits back. It is enough of a nudge, where-as in the gym model there is no nudge.
- The only reason why you would want individuals to use the gym is for marketing purposes (new applicants get a tour and like to see people using the gym… confirmation bias). Otherwise, ideally, you have a whole bunch of members that never step foot in it.
- The narrative self-being the individual you want to be, the one who sets weight loss goals, reading goals, fitness goals, career goals, etc. The experiencing self is the one overcome by chemicals at the moment and wants to sit on the couch because it feels nice right now.