Well, the IPO for Fitbit got off to a flying start, but will it last? Can the company continue to grow at the rate it has? Here’s the good news. This certainly looks like a market on the march. According to the Guardian, 16 million fitness trackers were sold globally last year, with just under 34 million expected to ship this year and 56 million in 2018. So, on the face of it, plenty of organic growth. But while noting that the company’s launch on the New York Stock Exchange is one of the biggest IPOs of the year and that the company is profitable, The Economist believes the company faces an uphill race.
They’re not the only ones. In fact, a number of articles on the company’s future performance, including this one, raise questions. The thing is that at least some of those questions apply not just to Fitbit but to all sorts of brands, particularly those doing well at the moment.
So if your brand is on a tear, here’s some things you might want to ask…
What’s the next success? Fitbit has certainly grown strongly and the uptake of tracking wearables has been significant, but with suggestions that one-third or more consumers abandon their devices, customer acquisition won’t keep the numbers up forever.
Querying whether Fitbit will go the same way as the Palm Pilot, Vauhini Vara asks if the big players like Apple will simply take over. In the same article though, she notes that GoPro is managing to hold its own after IPO, with its cameras continuing to be popular and the company announcing plans to develop drones and virtual reality capabilities.
At some stage, Fitbit is going to have to find ways to lower the drop-off (if indeed it is anything that high) or broaden its offering. Perhaps, that’s the challenge of marketing a product that seeks to change habits. In time, a high number of people will revert to what they used to do. But broader than that, it’s symptomatic of a world where the timeframe from hit to has-been continues to contract.
Question: What has your brand planned for next? How will you capitalize on what works? Why will that feel like a natural extension of the relationship that your customers already have with you?
Answer: Your purpose should provide clear guidelines for future development. By thinking of itself as an adventure company and not a camera company, for example, GoPro has extended its development license considerably. It can literally look for new ways to give people experiences they haven’t had or never thought they could have/share.