Wrist computers: Nike looks to differentiate

Nike is delving further into the technology sector. On Tuesday the company introduced its new version of FuelBand, a wristband computer. Wristband computers log a user’s physical activity, which allows analysis. There is competition in the wristband computer market, mainly from devices like Jawbone and Fitbit. Nike is trying to differentiate its product by adding bells and whistles. The new FuelBand will remind users to get up and walk around after periods of inactivity. The FuelBand also has methods of measuring activities such as biking or yoga – activities that were difficult to track beforehand. Nike is also trying to create a type of social network with the product. The more activity a user does, the more ‘fuel points’ they earn.

Nike will also gain an advantage from its worldwide brand recognition. Jawbone and Fitbit simply do not have the exposure that Nike has accumulated. In fact, Apple announced that its new iPhone will have sensors allowing people to keep track of ‘fuel points.’ This integration into Apple technology will give Nike even more exposure. But the mobile device exposure stops there: Nike said on Tuesday that it has no plans to make a Nike app for Android. It is interesting to note that the Apple chief executive officer, Tim Cook, is on the Nike board of directors.

5 thoughts on “Wrist computers: Nike looks to differentiate

  1. This is a very interesting article. It combines both possible entry advantage and brand differentiation. It seems Nike’s technology currently is superior to Jawbone and Fitbit and probably will price appropriately. Tim Cook being Apple’s chief executive office and on the Nike board of directors seems to be a conflict of interest.

  2. By creating its own wristband computer, I believe Nike benefits itself by entering a new market due to the success of its other products. First, Nike has strong market share in the fitness clothing. Its consumers probably have a strong affinity with its products and will find its FuelBand to be the top of the line product, which will allow Nike to easily enter the market.

  3. In this situation Nike is definitely taking advantage of network externalities. Through joining forces with apple, apple users are now more likely to buy the Nike product than the competition products. This is good news for Nike, since there is already such a large base of apple users.

  4. The integration with Apple seems to be one of best ways to get this technology out there. Between Nike and Apple the name recognition associated with FuelBand will far outstrip competitors Jawbone and Fitbit.

  5. I agree with Keesler’s comment. Network externalities are going to immensely help Nike outlast its competitors. Further, Nike in itself has such a strong brand association with active wear that many consumers will be inclined to purchase a Nike wristband over a Jawbone or Fitbit wristband.

Leave a Comment!