As a follow up to my somewhat lengthy posting on the business prospects of Crossfit, it appears that yet another manifestation of that "brand" has appeared here in New Orleans.
Iron Tribe Fitness ("ITF") has opened with a "substantially similar" (read: identical) business model to Crossfit about 2 miles away from where I currently reside. To date, this makes 4 Crossfit or Crossfit related gyms within 2 miles of my location. This happened in 2 years. And with respect to my previous post, ITF is right on time: Imitating a successful (for now) business model with cosmetic changes and attempting to gain market share.
To be sure, there are differences between the two gyms (ITF: "we are cleaner but more expensive"), but those are very minor differentiating points between two businesses in a category that already appears saturated. Put another way, making minor differentiations will not drive in more customers to the general category of branded fitness. So its dog eat dog, and devil takes the hindmost.
Crossfit has to either innovate or die now. This will likely take the form of being a pre-eminant training facility for very serious athletes in all strength and endurance sports, which is a fine niche. Focusing energy on its competitors will guarantee disaster just as it has with every other business model The customer does not care about validity claims (which is the "real" crossfit?), he or she cares about the experience.