Harris Black International and ACE Join Forces - ACE Awards for Home Exercise Equipment Announced

Posted: Feb 15, 1999 in

ROCHESTER, NY - Harris Black International, Ltd. (HBI) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a nonprofit organization committed to promoting active, healthy lifestyles, have partnered to develop a series of national customer satisfaction surveys on home exercise equipment. The electronically administered ACE/HBI customer satisfaction surveys are designed to promote physical activity through safe and effective exercise and to help establish Customer Satisfaction driven industry standards. The first home equipment survey this month will focus on treadmills, and awards for "best of price category" and "overall customer satisfaction" will be presented to the manufacturers of the top-rated treadmills in early June.

The first treadmill survey will poll a random sample of 20,000 treadmill owners nationwide, utilizing Harris Interactive’s opt-in database of more than 3 million online consumers. The in-depth market evaluations will advance ACE’s mission to set standards for the fitness industry, and to enable the public to make informed decisions about the safety and effectiveness of fitness products. The market studies also will provide equipment manufacturers with invaluable consumer feedback on how their home exercise machines rate against competitive products within the same price range. Similarly, the customer satisfaction awards will serve as the "consumers" standard of excellence.

The ACE/HBI market studies will identify the key drivers of home equipment purchases, usage and satisfaction. Utilizing HBI’s CSMpactSM diagnostic methodology, the first treadmill survey will provide guidelines on which equipment attributes have the greatest impact on overall user satisfaction. Additionally, the market study will provide information on market share, cross-usage of other types of exercise equipment, types of outlets shopped, the purchase decision-making process and reasons for selecting brand.

"When selecting home fitness equipment, the best referrals are from a wide cross-section of actual users of the products," said Sheryl Marks Brown, Executive Director of ACE. "Our goal in jointly undertaking this market research with HBI is to provide customer satisfaction ‘benchmarks’ for consumers and manufacturers alike. HBI’s unique methodology for evaluating customer satisfaction goes beyond a ‘popularity contest’ to reveal the motivating factors that will help consumers make informed choices."

"We are pleased to be working with the American Council on Exercise on this important market research that impacts personal health and fitness,"” said Gordon S. Black, Chairman & CEO Harris Black International, Ltd. "With the world’s largest cooperative online panel and our CSMpact approach, key dimensions such as durability, safety, work out effectiveness and feature design are analyzed and evaluated independently and as components of overall satisfaction."

About Harris Black International, Ltd. Harris Black International, Ltd. (HBI), a holding company established in 1997, has oversight of the activities of the Gordon S. Black Corporation, Louis Harris & Associates, Harris Black International Consulting, Harris Interactive, Data Collection Services and the Harris Black International Network. Today, HBI has become the unquestioned leader in conducting marketing research over the Internet through its Harris Interactive division by developing the world’s largest cooperative panel of over 2.5 million online consumers. In addition, Harris Interactive has leveraged the heritage of its renowned Harris Poll into the next millennium with the launch of the Harris Poll Online. Based in Rochester, NY, HBI’s operating groups combine almost 40 years of service to Fortune 500 companies, foundations and educational institutions. HBI also coordinates the international activities and resources of its five operating groups to provide advertising, product, customer retention, polling and customer satisfaction solutions to clients in more than 80 countries worldwide (www.harrisblackintl.com and www.harrispollonline.com).

About American Council on Exercise

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE conducts university-based research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. The largest certifying organization in the world, ACE has certified more than 76,000 health and fitness professionals in over 66 countries. Its numerous outreach programs, include Energy2 Burn, a unique elementary school fitness program currently being taught to more than 30,000 students nationwide; a National Fitness Awareness Campaign designed to educate and motivate the general public to become physically active, and ACE FitnessMatters, a magazine that provides reliable, unbiased health and fitness information. For more information call (800) 825-3636 or log onto ACE’s Web site at www.acefitness.org.

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