Nearly a year after debuting its first global campaign, fitness tracker kingpin Fitbit is making a new push in 2016 that will focus on accessories and its latest wearable device, Blaze.
The $200 fitness tracker and its new spot -- produced by Argonaut -- positions Fitbit to generate more revenue for its accessory division by selling different wristbands for the device, said Tim Rosa, VP-global marketing at Fitbit.
San Francisco-based Argonaut was created by alumni from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in 2013. The company launched Fitbit's first global campaign nearly a year later in November 2014.
"The latest campaign is going to play off the duality of sweat and swagger," Mr. Rosa said. "Blaze is fitness first, but it's also very much about style. So when you are working out at the gym, we have an accessory for you. When you are at work, we have an accessory for you. And when you are out with the buddies or girlfriend, we have an accessory for you."
Fitbit's latest spot puts Mr. Rosa's comments in perspective by showing four people working out and going about with their everyday lives while wearing different bands. "Accessories are a big business," Mr. Rosa said. "We've built products in the past that weren't interchangeable and through consumer research, we learned that consumers want personalization to make their own experiences."
Blaze's modular design allows consumers to remove and insert trackers into different frames and bands with about the same amount of effort used to change a smartphone case, for example.
The company's latest wearable comes with a rubber strap, but different colors can be purchased for about $30. Fitbit will also sell leather options ($100) as well as a stainless steel bracelet ($130).
He added the latest campaign will focus on differentiating Fitbit's offerings from other wearable devices like Apple's Watch. "We want to be a smart fitness watch," he said. "We have done a lot of research on what consumers want and we have put a stake in the ground on being fitness first."
Blaze debut drops Fitbit stock nearly 20%, Mr. Rosa chimes in
Prior to working at Fitbit, Mr. Rosa was with video game developer 2K Sports. In 2004, Mr. Rosa was tasked with taking on EA's behemoth Madden football franchise, which for years dominated as the No. 1 selling NFL video game. Through a savvy marketing campaign that featured former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, and by offering its video game at lower price point -- $20 versus EA's $50 -- 2K dethroned Madden as the No. 1 selling football video game.
Fast forward to today and Blaze is offered for about $450 less than Apple's Watch. Following Blaze's debut Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Fitbit's stock fell nearly 20%, an obvious sign that investors were disappointed with the company's decision to take on rivals like Samsung and Apple at a lower price point.
And while Blaze might not have all the features that Apple and Samsung offer, Mr. Rosa believes fitness-first devices will continue to dominate market share in 2016. "This company is built for scale and growth," he said. "And we've put together an aggressive plan and have taken the mind-set of what we did with 2K. We need to be aggressive and innovative like a challenger brand."
Mr. Rosa added that the drop in stock price following the debut of the Blaze came as a surprise to many at Fitbit. "For us, it is staying with our head down and delivering on what we do really well," he said. "We can't control what the stock market does. The important question is what will sales look like? That's what turns people around."
According to two separate reports released recently -- one in October by NPD and the other in December by International Data Corporation -- Fitbit is the most worn wearable both in the U.S. and worldwide.
Prior to the debut of the Blaze, the company was trading around $30 a share, a significant difference when compared with its current trading price of about $23. In its most recent earnings report, revenue of $409 million was reported in Q3 2015, a 168% increase year-over-year.