Executive Summary

We recommend that Jawbone live and breath by a new mission: 

Be a mobile technology company that knows no boundaries.

Our recommendations for Jawbone moving forward.

With the initial failure of it’s latest mobile-health device Up, Jawbone is faced with an identity crisis. They have one thread that goes through the middle of all three of their products but a hand in two different industries: the audio industry and the health industry.

The question this poses for Jawbone ‘s future is: What other products can Jawbone develop that sticks to their core of mobile products/technology?

Fitbit incentivizes the health and fitness community to promote their product.

They are already established and major players in the realm of mobile headsets and mobile speakers but are starting to test the waters in mobile health with their Up bracelet. Mobile health is an open industry with vast room to grow and Jawbone wants to tap into it and see how far they can go.

We recommend that Jawbone live and breath by a new mission: Be a mobile technology company that knows no boundaries.

Doing this will involve a reexamining of the potential of Jawbone’s core bluetooth technology and a renewed relationship with DARPA and other government organizations that can further fund and test Jawbone’s products to the highest standards.

To be a mobile technology company that knows no boundaries will also require Jawbone to continue investing resources in the emerging mobile health industry despite Up’s initial failure. We have found in our research that the health and fitness industry is an ideal place to invest because of its size, scope and the high success rate that mobile health technology offers compared to other options in this field.  Most people, as Atlantic Monthly’s David Freedman points out, don’t have the time to check into a Betty Ford-like clinic and immerse themselves in a healthy lifestyle.  We expect to do everything on the run and at low-cost.  The Up band (if working properly) provides a practical solution to this problem.

Jillian Michaels promotes BodyMedia

Although Jawbone’s Up is still a competitive product in the marketplace, becoming a dominant player in the emerging mobile health industry after a product failure requires more than superior technology and design at a competitive price. In order for the Up to succeed, Jawbone must hire fitness industry experts to accurately assess the needs of consumers.  They must simultaneously build relationships with people in the health and fitness community who understand market trends that give the Up an authentic voice.

To accomplish this, Jawbone may choose to launch an affiliate program that rivals what Fitbit has launched where fitness, nutrition, and health experts earn a commission for every Fitbit device that is sold based on their recommendation or link from their personal website or blog. Jawbone may also choose to follow in BodyMedia’s lead and have a fitness celebrity or professional athlete endorse Up. BodyMedia is currently endorsed by The Biggest Loser star, Jillian Michaels. In a similar way, Jawbone can be used to help millions reach their health and fitness goals through a televised wellness makeover presented by Dr. Oz and Oprah on the OWN channel with subsequent Facebook and Twitter giveaways of the Up to viewers who promote the Up in their feed. Regardless of what path Jawbone choses, they must include the existing health and fitness community as they revolutionize the industry.

Fitbit’s technology plays well with others for an enhanced user experience

Finally, Jawbone must bring to the fitness industry their legendary focus of superior technology and design in all forms. By opening the Up’s API to other apps and websites, Jawbone won’t need to invest their resources on developing a single flawless app. Instead, users experiences with the Up will be more enhanced when they are able to check into a fitness center on FourSquare that also displays their Up workout data, or post a colorful graph of their activity progress through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Our research shows that most mobile health devices have limited integration to other apps, but are beginning to experiment with this strategy. For instance, the Fitbit’s technology is currently accessible with other mobile apps for a more personalized and robust user experience. The Nike Fuel is also working with Path on a visual and social integration of the data a Nike Fuel user chooses to post. Just as Jawbone’s products move seamlessly through a user’s mobile lifestyle, so should its technology move seamlessly through social apps and websites as a mobile technology company that knows no boundaries.

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