Standing Out in a Reformer-Dominated Market: Tips for Traditional Pilates Studios

Julieanne Hazen
Apr 10, 2024By Julieanne Hazen

 Strategies to Stand Out in a Reformer-Dominated Market

With the rise in popularity of Pilates, traditional studios are facing a different market place with the influx of reformers-dominated establishments. To stay ahead in this dynamic market, it's essential for traditional Pilates studios to stay focused on what it is that they do that differentiates from a Reformer Studio/Gym Style environment. In this blog post, we will explore some strategies that can help your studio thrive in this reformers-dominated era.

1. USP

Traidtional Pilates Studios have a special Unique Selling Proposition: Personalised Pilates exercise pograms delivered on specialised equipment offered by highly educated Pilates Instructors.  Focus on what your business is already offering and performing well at.  Focus on catering to those specific demographics, whereby you can further differentiate your studio and attract a niche audience. If you have a particular area of expertise such as: prenatal or postnatal Pilates, Pilates for athletes, or Pilates for seniors, place more emphasis on catering to these markets.

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2. Social Media Platforms

Showcase your clients and your instructors using all the wonderful pieces of Pilates Appartus that a fully equipped Pilates Studio uses. Quick reels of less than 30 seconds showcasing the: Wunda Chair, Cadillac, Arcs, small appartus such as all the mobility and release pieces on offer at your studio.

3. Educate

Showcase your the Pilates Instructors at your studio in regards to: their education, background and expertise, ask your instructors to do mini videos to upload to your platforms so that the public get a feel and understanding of the level of service they will recieve at your studio and how it differentiates from other studios and the "reformer studios/gyms". Promote the education and associations that your business and instructors are a part of, have leaflets at the studio for the clients to read and add all this information to all of your platforms.

4. Offer Introductory Packages

Encourage new clients to experience the benefits of traditional Pilates by offering introductory packages. This lowers the barrier to entry and gives them a chance to see firsthand the value your studio provides. Offer memberships that are more appealing than packages and that keep your clients engaged and motivated.

5. Focus on Customer Experience

More traditional Studios are already offering exceptional customer experience, by: offering personalised attention, listening to feedback, and constantly striving to exceed clients expectations. Promote how you do this on your platforms. Many instructors and Pilates studio owners go above and beyond the actual hour of teaching, think about ways you can show case all these special things that you already do for your clients. For example: A hot water bottle for a client suffering from period pain a refferal to a physiotherapist etc.

6. Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

Traditional Pilates studios often have a cozy and intimate atmosphere that fosters a sense of community among clients. Emphasise this welcoming environment by creating comfortable and inviting studio spaces where clients feel supported and encouraged in their Pilates journey. For example: A pot of warm tea in the waiting area creates a warm and inviting space for clients to connect. Massage balls to use at the end of upon arrival whilst waiting for their sessions. Mood lighting, essential oil diffusers etc.

7. Create a Network with Allied Therapists

Collaborate with other businesses in your community to expand your reach and attract new clients. Most Pilates Studio Owners and instructor have their own allied therpaiest that use, work with these allied therapists to create a strong support system for your clients and yourself.

8. Host Special Events and Workshops

Hosting special events and workshops can be a great way to attract new clients and keep existing ones engaged. Consider organising themed workshops that target your niche areas. These events not only provide unique experiences for your clients but also help position your studio as a hub for Pilates enthusiasts.

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9. Stay Informed and Focused

As the Pilates industry evolves, it's crucial to stay informed about the latest trends, research, and techniques. Encourage your instructors to attend workshops, conferences, and training programs to stay updated with the latest advancements in Pilates. By continuously enhancing your knowledge and skills, you can provide your clients with the best possible experience. Go and try out the Reformer Style studios and other Pilates Studios so that you understand whats going on in your industry, and you can offer the right advice for your clients. You may be able to provide your client with the foundation that they need to actually attend a group reformer class if that is a goal for them, be a part of the changes in the industry and support your clients on their journey.


By focusing on authenticity, personalised attention, education, and community building, traditional Pilates studios can carve out a distinct niche in the market and thrive alongside reformer gym-style studios. Stay true to the essence of Pilates while embracing innovation, and your studio will continue to attract and retain loyal clients who value the depth and integrity of the traditional Pilates experience. There will always be something new and diffeerent entering into the marketplace, think of this as a positive as it means the industry is growing and that you have a larger opportunity to showcase what your business offers. There is nothing wrong, right, bad or different about the different offerings in the Pilates Space.  Deliver a solution to a problem and you will always have business.