Fitbit Adoption and Diffusion

When new technologies are released, there is a risk of whether or not the product will successfully diffuse within the market and ultimately make a profit for the company. Fitbit would like to be able to have as many users for their product as possible, and would like to be able to attain critical mass. From the popularity of Fitbit, there have been a variety of studies of how this product is used, and who specifically is using it. Ultimately, it is important for each company to try and make their footprint for their product so everyone can remember what it did for society.

Wareable (Source)

It is common for a company to want to get its product’s message out to as many people as it can, and ultimately have a large amount of users. According to data taken on August 6th 2015, there are currently more than 19 million registered users that wear a Fitbit (expandedramblings.com). This amount is large compared to other companies that sell wearable fitness trackers. For example, the amount of Apple Watches that were sold in 2015 was approximately 11.6 million (expandedramblings.com). It can also be noticed that people are not just having one Fitbit, and they keep on updating their device as new versions come out. For example, about 21.4 million Fitbit devices were sold in 2015, and in 2016 there were already over 4.8 million devices sold in the first quarter (investor.fitbit.com). This is because the updates include adding features, such as being waterproof, allowing the device to keep track of a person’s heart rate, and having the ability to see text messages on the device without looking at a phone. So, it can be seen that Fitbit has done relatively well in getting people to buy their product by allowing the users to want more than they already have.

The adoption of Fitbits has doubled since 2014, and this in part is from the popularity of the wearable fitness tracker market as a whole. Specifically, 61% of all wearable’s sold in the United States are Fitbits (arc.applause.com). This is compared to the worldwide market, which states that Fitbit has a 34.2% share of the wearable’s market (expandedramblings.com). Since the Fitbit is the market leader for wearables, it is sometimes questioned as to why Fitbit has this large position in the industry. The reason is that Fitbit does a great job in marketing its product and spreading awareness of it to the public. Additionally, Fitbit has many partnerships with fitness and health-focused companies such as Myfitnesspal and Runkeeper, which are able to keep the brand relevant, and allows the product to expand its abilities (fortune.com). For example, using a Fitbit and Myfitnesspal allows someone to track their steps, as well as track their calorie intake for the day. Another reason why Fitbits have a large adoption is because they can be credited for being an innovator in wearable fitness (finder.com.au). From this, people wanted to adopt this new technology because they were curious about it and wanted to try something that not many people have tried before. Also, Fitbit let it be known that everyone could use it, and it was an easy way for someone to find a way to be active during the day and live a healthier lifestyle. Ultimately, its adoption is one of the key features of Fitbit’s success.

YouTube (Source)

Fitbit has been able to achieve widespread use since its release. The United States has not been the only country impacted by this wearable item, but other countries around the world are also using it to live healthier lifestyles. About 70% of Fitbit’s sales are from the United States, 12% is from Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and 8% is from the Asian Pacific (investor.fitbit.com). Other than the widespread adoption of Fitbits, there is also widespread use for them. For example, Fitbit partnered with Tory Burch in order to infuse fashion with technology. Fitbit’s mission was to create a collection of stylish accessories such as wristbands, pendants, and bracelets. Since Fitbit is known for its slick innovative design, they took the opportunity to work with Tory Burch in order to make another line that would be “super-chic” (investor.fitbit.com). With these watches, customers would be able to continue to be fit while wearing something that is more fashionable. This is another case in which Fitbit partners with another popular company in order to create brand awareness and keep their name within the media. So, this shows that Fitbit does not want to restrict itself to one idea, but wants to be able to reach out to many different types of people in order to gain profits.

YouTube (Source)

Daily News (Source)

Fitbit was first introduced in 2007 by James Park and Erik Friedman, who had seen potential in putting trackers in small wearable devices (wareable.com). People were attracted to this idea, and it is part of the reason why Fitbits are still relevant today. Despite the success that the company has had, wearable technology has still not hit critical mass. It is thought that it has not reached this optimal point of adoption because of the few limitations that the wearables market has as a whole. First, these wearables are generally expensive, so not everyone is able to afford them. Additionally, some think they do not need to buy a wearable tracker because they feel that a phone is able to do the same thing that the technology can, and that the extra cost would not be worth it (xero.com). Fitbit tries to prove this wrong, and updates its products with activity that would be hard to track with a phone, such as the recent update that allows a person to swim with their Fitbit on. Also, some people against wearables think that people would not get the results they wish to get from wearing this technology (xero.com). Fitbit again went against this theory and stated that their product actually encourages a healthier lifestyle. They did this by stating that a company that uses Fitbits actually have 24.5% less in health coverage costs, which is saving the company about $1,300 annually (fool.com). So, some people may be hesitant in adopting this new product, however Fitbit seems to have the answers of why it would be good for society as a whole.

YouTube (Source)

Fitbit seems to want to appeal to many people by showing them that there are a variety of easy ways to be active. Fitbit sells millions of devices each year, and it is important to note the demographic of people that continue to use it. Specifically, young adults between the age of 18-34 are about half of the owners of Fitness bands (49%). Also, about an equal amount of men and women use wearable fitness devices, specifically 48.3% are male and 51.7% are female. Additionally, research states that women use Fitbit’s smartphone app nearly twice as much as men (29x per month vs 16x per month in January, respectively), and access the application nearly every day. Also, research states that wearable owners tend to have more disposable income, as in one-in-three users earn $100,000 or more in household income (nielsen.com). This statistic references how Fitbit’s are generally expensive, and this statistic proves it because a good amount of users earn a decent income.

Nielsen (Source)

Fitbit has adopted many different ways for it to be used in order for the technology to be successful. Specifically, the most popular way for people to use Fitbits is to track the distance that they ran. People also used their Fitbit’s for activities such as biking, strength training, elliptical workouts, yoga, and many more fitness activities. Also, different age groups tend to do different workouts when using Fitbit’s. For example, strength training is done more often with millennials than for Generation X’ers and Baby Boomers. Additionally, Baby Boomers do a lot of their physical activity gardening, however millennials and Generation X’ers do not (fitbit.com). So, Fitbit’s are able to get information on the kinds of exercises that different generations perform in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Other than to track physical activity, people also use Fitbits to make sure they are getting enough sleep. Fitbit’s are able to track this by sensing movement during sleep, and see how often a person is awake during the night. People find this important because the amount of sleep a person gets is very important to their health, and it can affect their mood for the day. Ultimately, people use Fitbit in order to get fit the way that they want, because one athletic remedy is not best for everyone (fitbit.com). So, Fitbit’s customize a persons exercise experience, and allows them to enjoy being healthier and getting the results that they want.

Despite not reaching critical mass, Fitbits are still successful products used in society. They have been able to keep this success throughout the years by staying proactive in all the advertisements they make and products they send out (ppkhin.wordpress.com). Fitbit has been a company that consistently updated its product in order to keep consumers excited about it and wanting more. They were able to collaborate with popular companies, make their products waterproof, and make marketing campaigns that focus on individual success with Fitbits and the ways it can be used in every day life. Fitbit has placed itself in a market where there are many ways to innovate an already new product, and customers are showing that they appreciate it by buying their product instead of other companies’.

A company’s success can occur from getting many people aware of their product and brand. So, Fitbit made sure to advertise the message of having a fun and easy way to exercise. After the message came out, widespread use of the product started to occur, and different people were using Fitbits for different reasons. Ultimately, the adoption and diffusion were reasons for Fitbit to continue to update its products and work hard to maintain being the market leader for wearable fitness devices.

 

References:

AFP RELAXNEWS. (2014, July 16). Tory Burch teams up with Fitbit. Daily News.  Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/tory-burch-teams-fitbit-article-1.1868718

Blundell, J. (2016, March). Why wearable technology hasn’t hit the mainstream, and how that might change. Xero Blog. Retrieved from https://www.xero.com/blog/2016/03/wearable-tech-hasnt-hit-mainstream-might-change/

Bolton, D. (2016, May 5). 61% of all wearables sold in the United States are Fitbit. Arc. Retrieved from https://arc.applause.com/2016/05/05/smartwatch-adoption-rates-2016/

Fitbit. (2016, May 4). Fitbit reports $505M Q116 revenue and raises revenue and profit guidance for FY16. Retrieved from https://investor.fitbit.com/press/press-releases/press-release-details/2016/Fitbit-Reports-505M-Q116-Revenue-and-Raises-Revenue-and-Profit-Guidance-for-FY16/

Fitbit. (2016, August 29). Introducing new Fitbit Flex 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOALHcKRWAM

Fitbit. (2014, January 1). Fitbit partners with Tory Burch to develop Fitbit Flex accessories collection. Retrieved from https://investor.fitbit.com/press/press-releases/press-release-details/2014/Fitbit-Partners-with-Tory-Burch-to-Develop-Fitbit-F-lex-Accessories-Collection-/default.aspx

Fitbit. Fitbit Health & Activity Index. Retrieved from https://www.fitbit.com/activity-index

Fitbit. Why Fitbit. Retrieved from https://www.fitbit.com/whyfitbit

Fitbit Europe. (2015, October 29). Anthem 2 France TV commercial. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g0FG7IdtOE

Fitbit Inc, pioneeres in wearable fitness. Finder. Retrieved from https://www.finder.com.au/fitbit-wearables

Khin, J. (April, 2015). Factors leading to Fitbit’s success in the market for fitness trackers. WordPress. Retrieved from https://ppkhin.wordpress.com/factors-leading-to-fitbits-success-in-the-market-for-fitness-trackers/

Marshall, G. (2016, September 9). The story of Fitbit: How a wooden box became a $4 billion company. Wareable. Retrieved from https://www.wareable.com/fitbit/youre-fitbit-and-you-know-it-how-a-wooden-box-became-a-dollar-4-billion-company

Munarriz, R. (2016, October 8). Fitbit fights back against a problematic study. The Motely Fool. Retrieved from http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/10/08/fitbit-fights-back-against-a-problematic-study.aspx

Nielsen. (2014, April, 16). Hacking health: How consumers use smartphones and wearable tech to track their health. Retrieved from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/hacking-health-how-consumers-use-smartphones-and-wearable-tech-to-track-their-health.html

Sawh, M. (2016, October 4). The best waterproof fitness trackers for swimming in the pool. Retrieved from https://www.wareable.com/fitness-trackers/the-best-waterproof-fitness-trackers-796

Smith, C. (2016, September 1). Apple Watch Statistics. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/apple-watch-statistics/

Smith, C. (2016, July 14).  By the Numbers: 25 amazing Fitbit statistics. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/fitbit-statistics/2/

Smith, C. (2016, January 5). Number of Facebook users and 1000+ other social media user totals. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/resource-how-many-people-use-the-top-social-media/3/

Silbert, S. (2015, December 10). Why Fitbit is still winning wearables. Fortune. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/12/10/why-fitbit-winning/

Terence Brown. (2015, November 3). Fitbit commercial 2016 (vocals by Terence Brown). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLX4MkZQofo

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