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Friday, April 22, 2005
Rejecting the Buff

Who is the fastest growing franchise chain in the United States?
McDonalds, Burger King, Starbucks? Not even close. Try Curves.

From humble beginnings barely a decade ago, fitness center Curves International has expanded to nearly 9,000 locations. To put that growth into context, consider that it took McDonald's and Subway 25 years to open 6,000 franchise locations. Curves needed just seven.

How could this be? What is the secret of such exponential growth? Strategic Rejection. In the rules of attraction we talk about rejecting more business than we accept. This makes us more attractive to our target audience.

If you're a body builder you definitely will not want to go to Curves. In fact if you're a man, I doubt you would be caught dead in Curves. Curves targets the soccer mom. Designed to appeal to an older, female demographic, Curves is a fitness center that differs greatly from other gyms. Instead of 50,000 square feet of saunas, pools and fancy equipment, a typical Curves occupies 1,200 square feet and has 10 to 12 machines. It is simple and affordable.

Curves has effectively applied two of the rules of attraction to their business to create breakthrough performance. They have rejected the largest segment of the fitness market and thereby become a big fish in a small pond. In our Attract More Business program we look at how by targeting a very specific audience and rejecting others we make ourselves far more attractive. In fact we analyze some of the ads from Curves and see precisely how they and other companies have done this.

I will be talking mire about this on my radio show this Sunday as I interview the CEO of the Independent Business Alliance for their "weird retailer" campaign that uses rejection to effectively attract more business.
Listen to me every Sunday, 7am Pacific time on CBS Radio (97.1fm in Los Angeles) or on the web at: http://www.sbanetwork.org/media/media_radio.htm


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