Nike+ FuelBand: You Can’t Improve What You Can’t Measure
I am so excited, the latest in personal fitness tracking tools has arrived! This week Nike announced the NIKE+ FuelBand, a wristband that measures the number of steps you take along with calories burned and then calculates a proprietary metric, NikeFuel to help you gauge your overall activity. The NIKE+ FuelBand is one of many activity measuring devices that are on the market. Similar devices such as the FitBit and the Jawbone UP both are designed to measure activity. However, with Jawbone UP’s recent hardware failure, Nike may have an opportunity to impress a very disappointed consumer base.
As a product, the device sounds much better than the Jawbone UP because it syncs wirelessly via bluetooth with the free iPhone application. This was a major downfall of the Jawbone UP that consumers were quite disappointed with. Another advantage of the band is that it doubles as a watch, unlike the Jawbone UP or the Fitbit.
What’s most interesting about the NIKE+ FuelBand is metric of NikeFuel because the metric creates a common denominator amongst all types of athletes. This gives way to a huge opportunity for Nike to merge the physical world of sport with the power of online digital platforms and communities – regardless of sport. Currently, the Nike+ Running platform has over 5 million users. Imagine the potential for engagement with athletes in other sports. No matter what sport you participate in, when you’re a Nike athlete, you’re connected to more than just a sport, you have an emotional connection with the brand – the brand that inspires you to do more, be more, and make more happen. This creates the basis for a powerful community. By creating a metric that is sport agnostic, Nike is forging ahead with creating a powerful platform that connects the offline and online of sport lifestyle.
Motivation is at the heart of what Nike is doing with the FuelBand. In the Inside Story video on NikeFuel, there’s a line that says ”You can’t improve what you can’t measure”. This is so true!! But, we know that data alone is not enough. You must be able to tell the story of the data and as we know, Nike is an expert data storyteller. They’ve created an incredible online experience that shows the story of the data over time. This is where Nike has really utilized the principles of Personal Metrics – by pairing continual feedback with a competitive environment that will trigger the motivation required for people to change their behavior over time.
What Nike has that others do not is the ability to tie the data from the band into a seamless offline to online interaction – with an existing brand and existing community. Stefan Olander, Vice-President, Digital Sport, says: ”from the band on your wrist, to your phone, to the web is this chain of inspiration unlike anything we’ve ever seen before”. It will be interesting to see the evolution of the platform and see if the motivation trigger has a social influence on people’s behavior now that they have a common metric to play with.
If you’re curious, here’s a in-depth video about the inside story of NikeFuel, enjoy!!