It seems like every other person I know wants to tell me how much they love their FitBit. I’ll be honest: I’m no different. But after I picked one up last month, I started to wonder why a glorified step counter had caused such frenzy. After all, pedometers have been around since 1780.
The answer rests solely on the customer experience. The digital world has developed to keep customers highly engaged and extremely loyal. There are three aspects to FitBit’s engagement strategy that have set them apart and formed the building blocks for continued growth.
Depending on which model you have, FitBit really only measures your step count, pulse, and the flights of stairs you’ve climbed. None of this is terribly exciting. But by converting these difficult to understand units of measure into things we do know – calories burned, hours slept, and distance traveled—we have a better grasp on our activity levels and how they affect our health. Pairing that with an analysis on your exercise habits and weight loss goals, Fitbit suggests how to improve your diet and activity levels.
The capability to measure and display data is one thing, but translating it into meaningful insights will determine whether your customers find any value in the data you’re collecting.
If FitBit’s customer experience was limited to only insights, the average user wouldn’t develop a suntan line before the device wound up in the kitchen drawer. Instead, it uses both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation techniques to encourage users to stay engaged. Whether you’re trying to meet your daily step goal or beat your friends in a weekly competition, the device incentivizes you to check the app constantly. And it’s always a nice surprise when you receive a notification that you’ve earned a cleverly titled badge, even though it bears no tangible value – ah, I climbed enough flights of stairs to reach the Eiffel Tower? Cool.
Gamification is not a fad. It’s not only for millennials. A customer engagement strategy that incorporates motivation techniques creates the sustained engagement needed for the program to be a true success.
FitBit launched its first wrist-wearable device in January 2013 – 11 months after Nike released its FuelBand. So how did this little-known company defeat one of the world’s most popular brands? By understanding customers would find even greater value in their product if it was compatible with other apps and devices. They knew they couldn’t build this universe themselves. You can buy the Thermos Smart Lid and connect it to your FitBit to see if you’re meeting your daily water intake goal. Connect to WeightWatchers to boost your diet efforts. Connect to the FitBit Aria Scale to see how your weight and body fat are affected by your activity. Nike’s FuelBand lived only in the Nike universe and while customers found value in the device, they didn’t experience the compounding benefits of connecting to other apps and products.
Ask most people without a FitBit if they’d pay $40 for a smart lid, and it’s unlikely you’d get a positive response. However, as customers become more engaged with their activity and health, a demand for more insight and control arises and their likelihood to purchase products and apps that enable more control increases significantly. It’s unreasonable to think you can build this universe of connected devices alone, so it’s imperative to make your customer applications compatible with other products and devices.
FitBit for Electricity
Electricity providers have to look at FitBit as the model for maximizing satisfaction. Smart meters and connected devices generate unprecedented amounts of data, but the only way your investment in customer experience will pay off is if you incorporate the three strategies employed by FitBit : provide meaningful insights, motivate your customers, and create more value by connecting to other devices.
My brothers and I bought our father a FitBit for Christmas. He loved it so much that he bought all of us one. Wouldn’t it be great if your customers felt the same way about their electricity provider?