Fitbit sales drop. How it can stop the trend.
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
31 January 2017
It’s about emotion, people
Not two weeks ago, I wrote a blog about Fitbit needing to dig deeper. Guess it just did, although not in the way I intended. Fitbit is cutting 110 jobs, six percent of its work force, because Fitbit sales are slowing.
Maybe Fitbit should’ve listened.
“How is the Fitbit user different than the Apple Watch user?”
Mind you, I am not in any way, shape or form hoping that Fitbit fails. This past weekend, my sister and her family were in town. After a massive dinner, she, my son and his wife all noticed they were wearing Fitbits. This prompted an enthusiastic discussion about how much the device has encouraged each of them to exercise more and partake in daily “step challenges” on the IOS app.
Each was smiling as they spoke about it as if it were a cherished friend. At one point, the three of them were all walking in place to propel their daily step totals in with their respective daily challenges. Granted, they looked asinine, but clearly wearing a Fitbit was altering the way they lived their lives – and for the better.
So why the heck are Fitbit sales dropping?
Fitbit sales slow because there is little emotional connection
It’s simple really. The market is oversaturated with wearable technology.
“Today’s results show that the market for wearables may be reaching saturation point,” reported Engadget. “Fitbit also counts competition from bigger companies, like Apple and Samsung, as a reason for slower growth. Along with the job cuts and greater focus on aligning its sales and marketing spends, the company says it hopes to reduce costs by $200 million by optimizing its research and development investments.”
Markets become oversaturated when everyone begins doing the same thing. (Think fast food.) To grow, Fitbit must duck away from the status quo. Maybe that means moving the brand away from wrist wearables? Or adding new devices that measure health differently than a wearable would?
But those are only tactics. They, by themselves, won’t make a difference. The opportunity likes in self-identifying the emotional triggers for such users is where the opportunity lies. How is the Fitbit user different than the Apple Watch user?
That’s the hard question Fitbit needs to ask itself if it is to resume a leadership position in the category. Otherwise, Fitbit sales will keep declining and the competition will gain greater preference.
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