Liked the unique positioning—shifting towards overall awareness and lifestyle—differentiates from goal setting. A great intersection of physical object to the body and software. – Kate
Jawbone set out to create a different kind of personal health and fitness device. With the growing popularity of fitness devices from brands like Nike, FitBit and others, Jawbone felt they had an opportunity to bring something different to the category. We knew we faced a challenge as newcomers to a highly competitive landscape of established players. But we also realized that in order to deliver something compelling, we would need to change how people think about ‘a healthy lifestyle’ and then encourage and support their adoption of positive behaviors through the use of our device.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?.
Building credibility with consumers – As a brand with no previous presence in health and fitness, Jawbone had to give consumers a reason to believe it was a credible player with a background that made them fit to be in the space. How could we make consumers trust Jawbone with their health and fitness?
Fitting in or challenging existing silos - At the time, most devices were targeted either to consumers with athletic performance interests or those interested in losing weight; with the majority of brands also associated with one or the other. Products like Nike+ appealed to particular users, and FitBit to others. Whether consumers were interested in better athletic performance, or weight loss, they had clear options.
Which of the two groups would Jawbone appeal to with its product? What value proposition could we offer to attract consumers who didn’t fall into one of those categories?
Understanding and adapting behaviors – Fitness and weight goals tend to have moderate success rates because they require people to change their behaviors, and maintain those behaviors if they want the results to last. Many people lose interest if they think it’s too much work, if they can’t see the progress, if it’s boring, or asks them to do things which feel out of place in their lives. How do we get people to want to behave differently, and keep them from dropping out or going back? What can we do to alleviate the obstacles they encounter?3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?.
Fundamentally, the challenge with UP was to deliver a health and fitness device that offered something different to consumers than current offerings—one that gave them the right data, the right functionality and the right interaction to keep them engaged and reach their goals.
• Health and fitness was an unfamiliar category for Jawbone – A seasoned lifestyle technology brand, Jawbone was completely new to this category. As with their entry into the audio world with Jambox, their Bluetooth speaker, the personal health and fitness category was populated by well-known brands and products entrenched in their specific silos. How could Jawbone beat those brands at doing what they do? What expertise could Jawbone bring to the category? What unanswered needs could Jawbone best meet?
• Staying true to the brand DNA – Jawbone was not only creating a new product, but also a new incarnation of the brand. Part of the challenge of developing our new approach to the device was also defining the meaning and identity we wanted for the Jawbone Health and Fitness brand. How could we ensure that the values and characteristics that define Jawbone as a brand continue to be present in the new brand and product as we adapt it to this new category?
Examine the existing category to identify our unique position: Before creating the product we had to define a differentiated position for ourselves in the category. Recognizing the existing silos, we saw the biggest opportunity in creating a product that isn’t designed for a specific goal, like losing weight, but designed to help all people live a healthier lifestyle, in many different ways. We positioned the brand and product around a holistic lifestyle and the notion of ‘know yourself, live better.’ This unique positioning allowed Jawbone to clearly differentiate its vision from competitors, and develop a dramatically different product design and experience.
Analyze the current consumer experience to identify where we can make the biggest difference: Working with the partnership of a health and fitness expert hired by Jawbone, we conducted research and internal workshops to understand consumers’ needs, motivations and perceptions. What are their goals? How do people typically behave? What obstacles do they encounter? And what are the markers for success and failure?
Doing this analysis helped us discover key points that informed our design:
- There is a disconnect between what people do, and what they think they do.
One reason people miss their health goals is that they don’t know themselves very well. They don’t know what information they need, how to get it, or if it’s accurate. If this information gathering is to hard, ultimately people stop trying. Knowledge turns intention into action. We designed UP to be easy to wear, use, and understand so you know more. The UP band accurately tracks your sleep, food, and activity and gives you a whole health picture of yourself. It also makes it simple to get answers and advice from others to keep you informed.
- There is no universal way to a healthy lifestyle – everyone is unique. A person’s ‘health’ is the collective result of many factors combined, and it varies. To live healthier means knowing about those different parts and how they affect each other, and making decisions about what makes sense in your life and what matters to you. We created a design for UP which allowed it to be worn and used by different people, without looking conspicuously sporty or techy. The device is meant to bring value however you use it, whether to track sleep or activity and food. It allows you to create your own challenges, or make it social, creating a fully individualized experience.
- The first step is easy, but ongoing engagement is the key. The reality is, the longer people stay engaged, the better the results. Buying the device and setting up the app is the first step, but continued participation is essential for living well. We made every effort to create a product that promoted daily interaction with the physical device as well as the App. Even the significance of wearing the device on the wrist, where you will see it everyday and where it can constantly track, is a part of this effort.
• The UP band succeeded in crossing the line between different categories, attracting many people to the device who may not otherwise have been interested in a health and fitness product. With its elegant design, unique functionality, universal value proposition, and inclusive positioning, UP gives more people more reasons and more ways to start being proactive with their health. UP delivers health solutions that appeal to all, and encourages everyone to take a more active role in their own lives.
Unlike current offerings, the UP was positively received as a lifestyle product as well as a competitive health and fitness device. When it was released at the Apple Store, a store manager commented, ‘it was the first time people ever lined up for a product that wasn’t an Apple product.’ In addition to expected channels, the UP band was sold in environments that had never sold the category before, illustrating its broad appeal.
• For the Jawbone brand, the UP band successfully extended their reach into a new category, while maintaining the distinct Jawbone brand identity. Jawbone established itself as a technology leader with a fashion-lifestyle approach to design with its Bluetooth headsets and the JAMBOX speaker family. Like all of Jawbone’s products, the UP band was designed to meet lifestyle needs as well as functional needs, pushing the boundaries of both.6. Did the context of your project change throughout its development? If so, how did your understanding of the project change?.
When UP was originally launched in 2011, it was the fastest selling third party product at the Apple store selling over 65,000 units in less than four weeks, when Jawbone chose to halt production on UP.When UP was re-launched, it was only after Jawbone had developed 28 new manufacturing processes, and created unparalleled testing standards validated by nearly three million hours of real-world testing. The resulting breakthroughs have allowed Jawbone to create the category’s first truly day-and-night wearable product – a band that looks great and fits effortlessly into the way you live, but through it all the industrial design of the band itself did not change in any visible way for the consumer.
The UP band disrupted the market. It established Jawbone as a formidable player in the category, setting new targets for technical innovation and new standards for true lifestyle fit and aspiration from a personal health accessory. Even with the production challenges of the initial release, the UP band’s entry into the market generated new excitement and interest in the category.