Basis, FitBit, Garmin, Jawbone, Nike, Samsung. The list of fitness bands gets longer each day. It took me months to pick out my first fitness band, the FitBit Force. I loved it. And then after a few short months, I had a major reaction to the band (see the Hurdles post for pictures). So I started the search – sigh – again. After about two months of searching, I ended up with the Garmin Forerunner 15. (Unfortunately, I had allergic reaction to it, too.)

During both searches, many people asked me which I was getting, why and to tell them decide what they should get. What I suggest to all is to narrow down the choices by features and price. From there, narrow the choices down company personality. The company personality can be determined by looking at how it engages with its customers, mainly through its social media. If the company’s personality and goals fits yours, you have your fitness band.

To show you what I mean, let’s look at FitBit and Garmin. Both make fitness bands but target two different types of people.

FitBit is a company that focuses on technology for health and fitness. Its goal is to inspire people to live healthier and more active lives. FitBit’s social media content supports this goal and directs visitors to its website. Via Facebook, FitBit offers its customers motivation, advice and customer success stories. Its Twitter page offers similar content combined with motivating hashtags such as #keepgoing, #fitspiration, and #getmoving. On it Pinterest page, FitBit fills it pin boards with product information, recipes, motivation, fitness ideas and customer pictures.

Screenshot 2014-09-14 20.46.33    Screenshot 2014-09-14 20.47.38

Garmin is GPS company that makes automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and sports products. I know that is a general list but if I went into too much detail, I would be writing for days. Basically, if has to do with adrenaline, Garmin probably makes something for it. Check out their site, to see more about what they make. Throughout its social media, Garmin has one common theme: adventure. On its Facebook page, Garmin post pictures of customers participating in amazing adventures. Currently, Garmin is encouraging visitors to view a collection of adventure videos and vote on their favorite. The videos are housed on the Garmin YouTube channel. Also on their channel are videos about sports and fitness, outdoor activities, aviation and boating. The adventure continues on their Twitter page . There, Garmin continues to posts about customer adventures and motivates and advises other customers on how to take adventures of their own.

Screenshot 2014-09-14 20.47.10  Screenshot 2014-09-14 20.45.58

So, fitness or adventure? Right now, I am more on the adventure path, which makes Garmin a right choice for me. These are just two of several choices. Spend some time wading through the choices and find out which is best for you.


2 thoughts on “Differentiation

  1. I enjoyed your post a lot, mostly because my mom is a super health person and she is always trying to get me to buy one of those health bracelet. I have never known which one to get, mostly because my life isn’t really that exciting. All I normally do is go to work, do assignment for school, and go home. I guess once I start being more involve in different activities, then I will do more research on these bracelets. However your post was very good and I cant wait to see what else you write!

  2. Hi Avia, this was a very insightful read. I myself, do not own a fitness band but I am an avid Zumba girl and love my weight training classes at the gym. I can definitely relate to taking on the challenge of becoming more fit: it’s been an uphill battle but the results have been incredible. I started 3 years ago, very determined to get back into shape. I can easily see how having a fitness band could help you gain and sustain momentum on this journey. I think that the reason the FitBit gets so much good press is certainly because of the features. My friends who own them say that they feel comforted by the data they get from them on every workout and I know that many use them to track their fitness experience through pleasure activities too, like biking or canoeing, even if it’s not exactly a formal “workout” situation. I actually did not know that Garmin was a vendor for this kind of thing until I read your post! I think that they might want to look into teaming up with GoPro for its angle on adventure. I know that more people would get into fitness if you could share your experiences as it being a FUN activity and it seems like these two brands match well in that way. I appreciate the amount of motivation that FitBit gives through its activities on social media. Garmin’s focus on adventure doesn’t seem to give much credence to how CHALLENGING it all is for people to stay fit over time. It’s not always fun and games–there are some steep climbs one has to make on this journey and positive encouragement from a brand that cares genuinely about your success goes a long way to fostering loyalty. Only time will tell, but between these two brands and the fitness band battle for market share, I would not be surprised if FitBit out sold the challenger. Thanks for your post! Anne

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