This is a great example of out of the box thinking. Problem: Only 15% of the population is really, truly into working out and being fit. Thus, all gyms go after this 15% of the population.
Opportunity: Cater to the other 85%. And that's exactly what Planet Fitness is doing. They don't want the super buff fitness freaks. Instead, they target the couch potatoes in search of slightly better bodies.
In fact, once a month each Planet Fitness Franchise holds a free pizza night, giving away 250,000 slices of artery clogging slices, or 3 million pieces a year.
Result? Planet Fitness recently hit 5 million members and it's now the fastest growing chain of gyms in the United States.
The memberships are extremely affordable, so it's easy to get sign-ups. And they have a few unusual rules, too, like no grunting, no dropping weights and no jeans or bandannas. In fact, members have been expelled for grunting or dropping weights, apparently because the chain wants to make their target market of novice exercisers feel welcome.
How can we use this in online marketing? Simple: Find out what everyone else is doing and think in the opposite direction. Every other gym was targeting the 15% who love working out, so Planet Fitness targeted the other 85%. If everyone in your niche is targeting experts, you go after the novices. If they're targeting novices, you go after the experts, and so forth.
Odds are you won't be blazing new trails – someone else will have thought of this before you. And that's good, because you'll find evidence that it's paying off for them in a big way because demand will be high and competition low. That's when you know you're found a terrific sub-niche to exploit.
And if it's the diet industry, don't be afraid to offer them a free chocolate bar with each month of their membership.