New Year, New Health Goals

Why Planet Fitness Is Winning the Race for Gen Z

With memberships at $10 a month, the fitness franchise continues to score big with young consumers. But it’s not just because of the low price

Planet Fitness continues to win big with Gen Z, with the gym franchise owning the eighth spot and being the only fitness brand named on a top ten list of leading companies that young consumers are eyeing with their purchasing power.

The Morning Consult, a business intelligence company, analyzed 1,586 brands and ranked them by measuring the growth of consumers who say they’d consider purchasing from a brand over the year. The company noted that the nation’s ongoing economic uncertainty also shaped its report’s rankings, underscoring the opportunity Planet Fitness has with young consumers by touting its low-cost, high-value model.

Last month, the fitness chain reported strong revenue numbers and new member growth for Q3 of 2023 despite the executive upheaval that saw CEO Chris Rondeau’s sudden departure.

Planet Fitness is currently under the leadership of interim CEO Craig Benson, a board member and Planet Fitness franchisee, as the fitness brand seeks a permanent successor with expertise in a global perspective. 

On a call with investors last month, Benson indicated he wanted to see improvement in the fitness franchise’s branding and promotional marketing while remaining mindful that Gen Z consumers are after not just a deal but a clear mission statement that shares the generation’s values.

How Planet Fitness Wins With Gen Z

Jameson Miller, a 19-year-old Planet Fitness trainer at the Seaford, Delaware, location, credits the fitness brand’s affordability, accessibility, and inclusive “Judgement Free” zone as reasons why Planet Fitness is making its mark with his generation.

Miller also says the fitness franchise’s active presence on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat also resonates with Gen Z consumers, who are avid users of such apps.

A former Planet Fitness member, Miller joined the Seaford team as a front desk associate until he earned his personal training certification. He opted to stay with the brand and assist members in a new capacity.

“It was a club that I was already working at, and I knew it was a great opportunity as a trainer to get to meet a lot of different types of people with unique fitness goals,” Miller told Athletech News. “I really enjoy working with members to find solutions to the restrictions or reservations they might have about working out so they can reach their goals.”

Although the fitness brand has successfully introduced High School Summer Pass, a yearly initiative that invites teens to workout at any Planet Fitness facilities in the U.S. and Canada for free from mid-May until the end of August, the franchise has created an ethos where young fitness consumers can work out in an inclusive space year-round. Now in its third year, the High School Summer Pass program saw over 400,000 more teens join Planet Fitness this past summer, 70% of whom were first-timers.

“Our clubs are also known for providing such a friendly atmosphere,” Miller said. “The environment is very welcoming, which makes it a lot easier for younger people, 13 and up, to feel comfortable, especially if it’s their first time working out.”

The brand’s low-cost model also drives cost-conscious Gen Z consumers to sign up for Planet Fitness memberships, says Miller.

“It’s more affordable than many other gyms,” he said. “A Classic membership is just $10 a month. So that helps a lot for younger people who are just joining the workforce and have a limited budget.” It should be noted that the fitness franchise recently acknowledged exploring a pricing adjustment being tested in several markets, justifying the possible increase by pointing out that it hasn’t raised the price of its $10 Classic Card in 30 years.

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It also helps that the fitness franchise touts many locations that are open either very late or accessible 24/7, providing young fitness consumers with increased flexibility to hit the gym.


While Miller says the fitness brand is a great option for beginners, he notes that anyone can get a solid workout at Planet Fitness with its cardio and strength equipment, free weights, resistance bands and TRX straps. 

“No matter if you’re on day one or year ten, you can find everything you need to achieve your fitness goals at Planet Fitness,” he said.

Future Franchisee Pipeline?

As seen with Miller, who transitioned from a Planet Fitness member to a dedicated-to-the-brand fitness trainer, the fitness franchise could be laying the groundwork to not only appeal to Gen Z consumers but one day integrate them into their expanding franchise model.

The fitness chain has said it is working on a new growth model to reduce the capital requirements for opening and operating a Planet Fitness Franchise, which includes new changes to its franchise agreement, adjusting the timing for cardio and strength re-equips based on usage and reducing capital expenses for new build and remodels.

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