Wearables Leader Fitbit Rules Out Brand Partnerships With Big Named Sports Brands
Fitbit, one of the biggest players in the fitness wearables market, has decided to rule out partnering with large name sports players like Nike or Adidas so that they can solely perfect their own brand.
In case you do not know, Fitbit sells smart fitness devices like the Fitbit One, Fitbit Charge HR, Fitbit Aria Smart Scales and their big gun the Fitbit Surge. The constant rise in fitness and wearable devices led the company to its IPO earlier in June this year.
With the launch of the Apple watch earlier in the year Fitbit was starting to feel the pressure, however the sales have not seen a decrease and Fitbit has stated that they do not consider the Apple smartwatch as direct competition since they are in a more diverse niche than the smartwatch. Upon revue of the figures from the second quarter, Fitbit has actually shipped more of their devices globally than Apple, but it is poised to potentially lose the leading spot soon. Fitbit Chief Revenue Officer, Woody Scal was asked about the potential for Fitbit to potentially partner with big name brand in sports and he stated that it was unlikely.
Instead of the potential partnership with a well known sports brand the company will more than likely continue to focus on partnerships with fashion companies. Fitbit already collaborate with a well known jewelry designer name Tory Burch. It is also expected to see more money being put into marketing Fitbit products.
Scal had the following to say in an earlier interview this year:
“Our partnerships are really focused on the fashion side, and the reason for that is we want to expand the universe of people who find wearables acceptable.”
“We haven’t looked to partners so much in the fitness space and, to be honest, most of the players in the fitness space didn’t believe wearables was a category until just a couple of years ago.
“Most people in the fitness space, in my mind, saw their world as serving people who already very fit and trying to get fitter.
“We saw our mission as helping everybody find a path to fitness. We are less likely to find partnerships there.”
Fitbit’s first TV marketing campaign was launched nearly 1 year ago from this past November and they plan on additional TV marketing campaigns to continue. Fitbit continues to invest more money into marketing. The marketing investment has grown from $10.2 mil to $112 mil.
Scal said: “Fitbit is 100% dedicated to this category. We are really focused on the brand.”
Scals comments relate specifically to sports brands all rushing to become dominant in the fitness wearable world. We have seen Adidas buy out wearables maker Runtastic for £154m and the new partnership between Misfit and Speedo to create the Speedo Shine. Apple, meanwhile, has partnered with Nike on producing next-generation wearables.
A common problem that sports brands face when they try and make the move over into the wearable world is the inexperience they have in tech, they face fierce competition from huge tech brands like Apple who have the talented developers already behind them, the competition for skilled developers is a fierce battle.
It will be an interesting story moving on into 2016 as to what partnerships are round the corner and whether or not Fitbit will stay true to its solo act, after seeing the collaboration of direct fitness wearable competitors Misfit and their recent success with the Speedo Shine thanks to the partnership with the swimming mega brand Speedo.
What do you think? Do you think Fitbit should consider partnering with another company or do you think they should stick to perfecting what they are already good at?