How a cookie can help you grow your business

I’m guessing you’ve heard about that hotel that offers free cookies on check in.

For 25 years, the Doubletree has been welcoming guests with a free, warm chocolate chip cookie. People LOVE that free cookie, and they love to tell their friends about it.

How much does all that free marketing cost the Doubletree? Just the cost of a cookie and a cookie warmer – probably no more than $.50 per guest. Less than they spend on hotel room toiletries, I’m willing to bet.

The Doubletree’s signature cookie service is an example of genius, low-cost marketing that offers a huge return on investment. The Cookie has even become its own brand.


For a hotel chain, cookies are a perfect signature touch to welcome guests:

  • Nothing says comfort and home like a warm chocolate chip cookie (at least, for Americans)
  • After a long day of travel, who doesn’t want a little sugary treat to help perk them up?
  • If you’re traveling with kids, just imagine how a cookie will magically transform tired children into happy, quiet creatures

Now, cookies may not be the right fit for a fitness business, but you can translate that idea into an experience that feels tailor-made for your business. Adding a unique perk to your classes or services is a way to generate word of mouth buzz, differentiate your offering, and make clients feel warm and fuzzy about you and your business.

Signature perks build loyalty for fitness businesses

For example, Yoga Flow San Francisco offers clients complimentary oranges after each class as a refreshing perk after a hot yoga class. Their offering has become so familiar that as yogis leave the studio and walk out into the neighborhood, they are easily identified as having come from Yoga Flow. That’s easy, cheap marketing for the studio.


Flex & Flow gives all new students a pair of pink shoelaces.

flex and flow trail runners

Clients spot each other out on runs, in the neighborhood, and cheer each other on during bootcamp classes. It’s a simple, cost-effective way to build a tribe and increase client loyalty.

How to find your signature perk

An effective signature perk must be:

  • Unique. If the studio down the street is doing it, or if SoulCycle is doing it, it won’t feel authentic.
  • Complementary with your brand. If you’re a bodybuilding gym, lavender-scented towels probably aren’t the right fit. If you’re a yin yoga studio, protein shakes after class probably aren’t going to resonate with your clients.
  • Easy. Let’s be honest: fitness entrepreneurs are busy, busy people. If it’s too complicated to execute, it won’t happen consistently.
  • Cost-effective. Fitness businesses are notoriously thin on profit margins. Don’t destroy your bottom line with some fancy perk; pick something simple that will resonate well with your audience.

Want some ideas for signature perks you could add to your business? Download our list of ten easy ideas to get you started adding value for your clients.

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By |August 16th, 2016|Business bootcamp|

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