The FitBit experience

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Participants in Siegel+Gale’s FitBit Challenge
Photo by Elias Friedman

FitBit is a company—and a device of the same name about the size of a USB drive—that helps people lead a healthier, more active life. As I have smugly declared to several dozen friends, FitBit integrates seamlessly into your lifestyle, helps improves awareness of your own daily activity level and motivates you to do more. The brand experience has been constructed to express this central promise.

From the intuitive purchase process and clean, modern packaging to the engaging web interface that has been integrated with other health apps like LIVESTRONG and LoseIt! calorie trackers, FitBit channels approachability and ease-of-use. But the FitBit brand experience really comes alive once you clip it to your belt, waistband or pocket and put it to work. The stylish product design is auspiciously uncomplicated, with no unnecessary features or distractions—and only one button.

FitBit excels at creating an interactive, personal and rewarding experience. The FitBit voice is light and fun, decidedly non-judgmental, but focused and urgent. It reminds me of my best workout buddy/personal trainer—if I had one.

I will never forget the day that I exceeded my goal of 10,000 steps and received my first “badge.” I felt accomplished and celebrated—and was motivated to do it all over again the next day. I am also always buoyed by the personalized messages I receive throughout the day, including “Vamos, Maud!” or “You’re the best, Maud!”

Best of all, it has held my attention for much longer than prior forays into health fads like juice fasts or Zumba DVDs.

FitBit also connects its owners through social features. I can discuss my personal bests with other FitBitters and strategize ways to “get some steps in” between meetings. It was easy to organize a “Fitbit Challenge,” which will determine who among 10 of my colleagues walks the most steps in one month. There are also message boards where people share a wide range of tips and advice.

And then there’s Fitbit’s customer service department, which I contacted after I lost my device. With more than a hint of desperation I inquired if the rumors on the message boards were true—could my FitBit be tracked using GPS? I waited anxiously for an answer, hoping that the company would live up to my expectations. Barely 24 hours later, customer support initiated a shipment of a new Fitbit, shipping included, free of charge.

I was right! The care and commitment shown to customers and ease of replacement reinforced everything I already knew about FitBit. It truly is an experience brand that exists to make it easier for me to be aware of, and be motivated to improve, the state of my health.

Maud Meister is an associate strategist for the Siegel+Gale New York office.

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