One of the most attention-grabbing and commercially successful products introduced in the last decade, following the popular second fitness boom, are wearable trackers, used to collect, store, and share data about a person’s daily activities (Millington, 2016). One of the leaders in the wearable devices market is Fitbit. As an individual company, it has made an immense contribution to the current high level of interest in such tracking devices. This paper aims to study the case of Fitbit, describing the micro-and macro-environmental factors that affect the company’s performance, along with a discussion of the evolution of the company’s business portfolio. The market-oriented mission statement and an explanation for it will also be provided.
Mission Statement and Explanation
Fitbit is a company primarily oriented within the current growth, and highly competitive, market of wearable devices for tracking different aspects of physical activities. Since competition is considerably strong within this sector, the company always strives to offer the most technologically advanced products, which also comply with the modern standards of design, fashion, and comfort.
Fitbit is one of the largest companies and ships its products to numerous countries across the world. The company is also focused on the continuous development of current technologies to meet the growing demands of existing and potential customers. Overall, the primary goal of the company is to provide the maximum number of people with tracking devices that are compatible with their specific needs and, at the same time, maintain consistently high-quality products.
The explanation for Mission Statement
This market-oriented mission statement serves as the introductory part of the case study since it formulates the essential aspects of the company’s marketing goals. It is now important to explain its purpose. The statement reflects the common policies which are undertaken and followed by the company, as well as its position in the global market of wearable tracker devices.
With reference back to the primary goal of this paper, which is to analyze the micro and macro-environmental factors affecting the company’s development, the mission statement provides an important context for further actions (“The impact of micro and macro-environmental factors on marketing,” 2018). The following sections will offer an analysis of the company, employing the PESTEL framework, along with observations on Fitbit’s portfolio evolution since its foundation.
Evaluation of Fitbit’s Portfolio
Before conducting any analysis, it is essential to overview how a company’s portfolio has changed over time. When Fitbit first began production, it offered its customers clip-on activity trackers, which were able to record basic information such as “the number of steps taken and calories burned” (Xu & Wang, 2016, p. 1). However, by 2015 the company had increased to seven products (“two clippable activity trackers, four wristband-style trackers, and a smart scale”), which were designed to satisfy different customers’ needs and comply with the highest levels of technology advancement (Xu & Wang, 2016, p. 1). Overall, it should be noted that Fitbit has been able to enjoy such high levels of commercial growth due to this diversification of its product line.
Analysis of Macro-environmental Factors
This section will employ the PESTEL framework for the analysis of macro-environmental factors that affect the development of Fitbit. Concerning the political aspect, it should be noted that Fitbit is an international company, which operates in numerous countries, and thus has to comply with the peculiarities of local legislation. Also, the company’s products are appealing to considerably large groups of the population, which contributes to the Fitbit’s success. Another decisive factor is that the company is heavily involved in developments in the scientific and technical sphere, which is largely supported by the government and attracts numerous specialists (Xu & Wang, 2016).
Concerning the economic environment in which Fitbit operates, it is possible to observe that the market sector of wearable devices is significantly favorable for sustainable growth. It attracts numerous investors since the revenues from the company’s sales are considerably high. As it is stated by Xu and Wang (2016), in the first two quarters of 2015, Fitbit sold 8.3 million of its devices, which translates into an income of $737 million (p. 2).
One of the primary trends in contemporary society, and which considerably contributes to the success of the company, is the growing interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The company’s products are actively used by sportsmen, as well as regular people who are interested in the evaluation of their physical activities. Also, Xu and Wang (2016) demonstrate Fitbit’s very successful move of introducing its devices to corporate clients.
The technological aspect can be considered to be the core factor of the company’s sustainable growth and success in the market. Initially, Fitbit only offered relatively simple devices, which could only track basic indexes of human activity. However, over time, the company was able to provide its customers with more sophisticated devices, turning some of its products into smartwatches (Xu & Wang, 2016). However, the development of technologies is also the cause of constant competition since other manufacturers also strive to provide more technologically advanced products as well.
Environmental and Legal
Concerning the environmental aspect of the framework, it is possible to state that the company has never met any legal implications for its adverse impact on the environment to date. It is also worth mentioning that Fitbit is compliant with the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which is concerned with the protection of customers’ data security (Xu & Wang, 2016). It was an important step in strengthening the connection with health insurance companies (to which Fitbit provided corporate offerings).
As an example, in 2015, a U.S. subsidiary of Manulife launched a program of discounting for those clients who were willing to submit their health data collected by wearable devices (Xu & Wang, 2016). Therefore, it is possible to conclude that Fitbit positively influences public environmental health with legal means.
Analysis of Micro-environmental Factors
It is of high importance to mention the effect of intense competition in the market of wearable devices has on primary micro-environmental factors which could affect the future development of Fitbit. The company currently holds a relatively stable and sustainable position in the global market; for example, it was not as largely affected by the launch of the Apple Watch as had been projected (Xu & Wang, 2016).
To prevent any future decrease of public interest in its products, the company acquired Fitstar, which is a mobile fitness training app, to integrate it into its services and devices. This move has helped Fitbit to maintain its customers’ engagement. However, there are other international competitors, such as Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi, who are all also striving to acquire a leadership position in the market (Xu & Wang, 2016).
In conclusion, this paper has studied the case of Fitbit and analyzed the principal macro and micro environmental factors that affect its performance and success. It has been asserted that the market for wearable devices is characterized by high competition, both for the interest of existing and new customers, and in terms of advancement of technological. It is evident from the study that this market continues to grow, and Fitbit is implementing efficient policies to maintain its future position.
Millington, B. (2016). Fit for prosumption: Interactivity and the second fitness boom. Media, Culture & Society, 38(8), 1184-1200.
Xu, X., & Wang, X. (2016). Fitbit: The business about wrist. Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.