Case Study – Longfellow health clubs

The Client:  Longfellow health clubs is a network of local health and sports clubs, holistic health centers, children’s centers, and camps that serve 12,000 members and an additional 10,000 clients every year just outside of Boston. In addition to standard exercise rooms and classes, Longfellow offers world class indoor tennis, daycare, swimming, basketball, children’s programs and summer camp.

The Problem: The recession and new competition were hitting Longfellow’s sales. National fitness chains were penetrating their market. These chains often offer low prices by specializing in only exercise rooms and classes. With budgets tight some members were moving on.

The Solution: The Culture Company worked with Longfellow to identify what made Longfellow irreplaceable. What did we discover? That Longfellow was far more than a set of health clubs. Longfellow transforms lives–creating life long health and community for its members. We defined their Core Values and brought these to life–with visuals, T-shirts, staff training, videos, a social media strategy, and new hiring and management policies. Here are the eight Core Values staff identified:

  • Create experiences that result in life-long health and transformation.
  • Foster a caring and inclusive Longfellow
  • community and treat others with respect and dignity.
  • Wow our members every day with extraordinary customer service.
  • Contribute to our community and our environment.
  • Express appreciation with affirming words and deeds.
  • Make Longfellow sparkle.
  • Share what we know and seek to learn more.
  • Deliver happiness and have fun doing it.

The Result. Within six months sales had increased–new members were joining at a higher rate and member attrition had been curbed. Employees were excited by the turn around and members rave reviews were flooding in.

 Longfellow created this graphic to capture Core Values co-created by staff and leadership through a process facilitated by The Culture Company. The graphic is on gym walls, car magnets, T-shirts and is the organizing frame for a new curriculum for the Longfellow children’s center.  

8 different T-shirt versions–each captures one core value. Each staff member owns the T-shirt of the value they are championing.