Activity tracking
Fit for the challenge

Gareth Jones, VP and general manager EMEA for Fitbit, talks to Kath Hudson about motivating users through challenges, cheering and rewards

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 6


What is Fitbit?
Fitbit designs products and experiences that track everyday health and fitness, empowering and inspiring people to lead healthier, more active lives. A pioneer in the fast-growing connected health and fitness space, the latest reports suggest that Fitbit currently has a 72 per cent market share in the US.

When and how was the Fitbit concept born?
CEO and co-founder James Park is a serial entrepreneur. Fitbit is his third company and was co-founded with Eric Friedman. Started in 2007, the inspiration for Fitbit came from the first Wii gaming console and the use of accelerometer technology in the hand-held controller.

Park and Friedman realised that sensors and wireless technology had advanced to a point where they could bring amazing experiences to fitness and health. They embarked on a journey to create a wearable product that would change the way we move.

How many users does Fitbit have and how quickly did it grow?
The number of users can’t be disclosed. However, in terms of growth, Fitbit was founded in 2007 and has since become the market leader and pioneer in the fast-growing connected health and fitness space. As the connected health and fitness category continues its rapid growth, Fitbit products are carried in more than 30,000 North American retail stores, and 45,000 stores around the globe – they’re sold in 54 countries.

Who is your target market?
We recognise there’s no ‘one size fits all’, so Fitbit has designed a diverse family of products to suit different budgets, goals and lifestyles. We believe we offer something for everyone, whatever their goals, however they want to achieve them and wherever they are.

Three new fitness trackers have recently been announced for ‘everyday’, ‘active’ and ‘performance’ users: Charge, Charge HR and Surge. These offer features that include continuous, automatic heart rate tracking; GPS; smartwatch functionality; and all-day activity and automatic sleep tracking.

In addition to these new trackers, the line-up includes Flex wristbands, One and Zip clips, Aria Wi-Fi smart scale, and online and mobile tools.

How do you keep
customers engaged?
Our goal is to continue to introduce intuitive and motivational features to enrich the already powerful interactive experience of Fitbit, making fitness and activity tracking an effortless and fun experience for all.

We focus on delivering ongoing encouragement to our users – for example, through our new automated, motivational updates, which take the work out of tracking fitness so users can focus on reaching their goals. 

We also offer rewards and friendly competition to help users successfully reach and surpass their goals. Challenges are one of the ways Fitbit engages with users. Driven by friendly competition and real-time rankings, in a few months our challenges have become a powerful motivator for the Fitbit community. On average, Fitbit users who compete in challenges increase their activity by more than one mile per challenge.

A new feature, Fitbit Public Challenges, offers users the opportunity to join and meet other community members who have similar activity levels.

Another recent introduction is Celebrity Challenges, incorporating the likes of Major League Baseball all-star and San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, models from Victoria’s Secret, and tech CEOs.

To keep up with avid Fitbit users, new badges were recently introduced which include 100,000 daily steps (about 50 miles) and 700 daily floors climbed (four times the tallest building in the world). Fitbit badges such as these reward users for their achievements and help to provide constant encouragement; they will also soon be available within the Fitbit mobile app.

We’ve also recently added functionality for Fitbit users to connect with friends, as those with one or more friends are 27 per cent more active than those without. Coming soon will be a feature to make it easier to find friends through email search features and Facebook friend finder.

Users can also increase their activity levels by adding to the ‘cheering’ section: by bringing friends and family in on the fun, they can compare stats, share progress and cheer each other on – or indeed taunt each other! The leaderboard refreshes throughout the day so you know exactly how many more steps you need to rise to the top. Fitbit also sends push notifications when you’re nearing your goals and when you’ve achieved them.

How can the health club industry work with new technology such as Fitbit?
Fitbit is an ideal fit for the health club industry, as both parties have the shared goal of encouraging people to lead healthier, more active lives. Clubs offer the environment and facilities to help people make changes to their lifestyle, and Fitbit empowers users with the information and motivation they need to reach their fitness goals and make these lifestyle changes permanent ones.

Three new trackers are designed for ‘everyday’, ‘active’ and ‘performance’ users
Fitbit users can now connect with friends, so they can compare stats, share progress and cheer each other on
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2015 issue 6

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Leisure Management - Fit for the challenge

Activity tracking

Fit for the challenge


Gareth Jones, VP and general manager EMEA for Fitbit, talks to Kath Hudson about motivating users through challenges, cheering and rewards

Kath Hudson
Gareth Jones, VP and general manager EMEA for Fitbit
Three new trackers are designed for ‘everyday’, ‘active’ and ‘performance’ users
Fitbit users can now connect with friends, so they can compare stats, share progress and cheer each other on

What is Fitbit?
Fitbit designs products and experiences that track everyday health and fitness, empowering and inspiring people to lead healthier, more active lives. A pioneer in the fast-growing connected health and fitness space, the latest reports suggest that Fitbit currently has a 72 per cent market share in the US.

When and how was the Fitbit concept born?
CEO and co-founder James Park is a serial entrepreneur. Fitbit is his third company and was co-founded with Eric Friedman. Started in 2007, the inspiration for Fitbit came from the first Wii gaming console and the use of accelerometer technology in the hand-held controller.

Park and Friedman realised that sensors and wireless technology had advanced to a point where they could bring amazing experiences to fitness and health. They embarked on a journey to create a wearable product that would change the way we move.

How many users does Fitbit have and how quickly did it grow?
The number of users can’t be disclosed. However, in terms of growth, Fitbit was founded in 2007 and has since become the market leader and pioneer in the fast-growing connected health and fitness space. As the connected health and fitness category continues its rapid growth, Fitbit products are carried in more than 30,000 North American retail stores, and 45,000 stores around the globe – they’re sold in 54 countries.

Who is your target market?
We recognise there’s no ‘one size fits all’, so Fitbit has designed a diverse family of products to suit different budgets, goals and lifestyles. We believe we offer something for everyone, whatever their goals, however they want to achieve them and wherever they are.

Three new fitness trackers have recently been announced for ‘everyday’, ‘active’ and ‘performance’ users: Charge, Charge HR and Surge. These offer features that include continuous, automatic heart rate tracking; GPS; smartwatch functionality; and all-day activity and automatic sleep tracking.

In addition to these new trackers, the line-up includes Flex wristbands, One and Zip clips, Aria Wi-Fi smart scale, and online and mobile tools.

How do you keep
customers engaged?
Our goal is to continue to introduce intuitive and motivational features to enrich the already powerful interactive experience of Fitbit, making fitness and activity tracking an effortless and fun experience for all.

We focus on delivering ongoing encouragement to our users – for example, through our new automated, motivational updates, which take the work out of tracking fitness so users can focus on reaching their goals. 

We also offer rewards and friendly competition to help users successfully reach and surpass their goals. Challenges are one of the ways Fitbit engages with users. Driven by friendly competition and real-time rankings, in a few months our challenges have become a powerful motivator for the Fitbit community. On average, Fitbit users who compete in challenges increase their activity by more than one mile per challenge.

A new feature, Fitbit Public Challenges, offers users the opportunity to join and meet other community members who have similar activity levels.

Another recent introduction is Celebrity Challenges, incorporating the likes of Major League Baseball all-star and San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, models from Victoria’s Secret, and tech CEOs.

To keep up with avid Fitbit users, new badges were recently introduced which include 100,000 daily steps (about 50 miles) and 700 daily floors climbed (four times the tallest building in the world). Fitbit badges such as these reward users for their achievements and help to provide constant encouragement; they will also soon be available within the Fitbit mobile app.

We’ve also recently added functionality for Fitbit users to connect with friends, as those with one or more friends are 27 per cent more active than those without. Coming soon will be a feature to make it easier to find friends through email search features and Facebook friend finder.

Users can also increase their activity levels by adding to the ‘cheering’ section: by bringing friends and family in on the fun, they can compare stats, share progress and cheer each other on – or indeed taunt each other! The leaderboard refreshes throughout the day so you know exactly how many more steps you need to rise to the top. Fitbit also sends push notifications when you’re nearing your goals and when you’ve achieved them.

How can the health club industry work with new technology such as Fitbit?
Fitbit is an ideal fit for the health club industry, as both parties have the shared goal of encouraging people to lead healthier, more active lives. Clubs offer the environment and facilities to help people make changes to their lifestyle, and Fitbit empowers users with the information and motivation they need to reach their fitness goals and make these lifestyle changes permanent ones.


Originally published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 6

Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd