ACE is a nonprofit among a largely for-profit group of credentialing-organization peers. That means that while most of our peers focus first on selling and profits, ACE can focus on the recruitment of people to our mission to get people moving. Thus it is essential for us to demonstrate the true value of ACE certification. We must attract aspiring certified personal trainers in a way that shows that our core values align with theirs.
So on May 1 we began an attempt to step away from the deep discounting of personal-trainer certification programs that our peers and we have fallen into the past few years. First, we dramatically simplified the ACE Personal Trainer Certification study program offering, which is the primary way ACE engages people in our mission. The configuration of the product is now far more straightforward, and its presentation is vastly easier to understand. When the aspiring certified personal trainer is ready to purchase, there are two options to choose from. One of those options is at a compellingly low price -- $299. It’s for those individuals who simply wouldn’t be able to access such a career opportunity otherwise. Importantly, those prices are set, so our customer knows they’ll remain steady throughout purchase consideration. And either option can be had with or without a certification exam. We seek to no longer force people to commit to a certification exam before they’re ready.
We believe the pattern of deep discounting in our space is not helping our customer, certainly not for the long term. Nor is the use of long lists of gimmicky add-on product “features.” That sort of marketing risks devaluing something great. The third-party-accredited certifications we offer are crucial to establishing trust and creating opportunities for those who feel called to help others adopt healthier lifestyles. That’s not the signal we send when we put our products on fire sale. So, we are making an honest attempt to correct the course. If we’re fortunate, and if our predictions hold true, the marketplace will affirm that we’re making the right decision.