Jawbone have today announced that their bestselling Jawbone UP has a radical face lift coming up, which will deliver a much sexier console, with the express intention of winning over the female market. To do so, Jawbone have partnered with the high fashion bracelet maker BaubleBar, in order to launch the Jawbone UP BaubleBar in time for Christmas.
This represents a step forward for the feminine side of fitness bands, and represents, in our opinion, the best fitness band for women this Christmas. This new UP Move brings all of the regular fitness band features (Step counting, distance measurement, sleep tracking and companion app to help you make sense of it all) but rather than being presented with the usual plastic finished, bright coloured band, you instead get a crystal infused, gold plated bracelet, which cleverly masquerades as a piece of fine jewellery.
Fitness bands sales are exploding, but women haven’t been buying them
This comes on the back of news that the whole wearable tech market is expected to ‘explode’ over the next few years. Currently worth an estimated $12 Billion per year, it is expected to reach nearer $25 billion by the year 2019 – according to CCS insight. CCS surveyed 3,000 US, UK and Chinese consumers and found that the buzz caused by the Apple watch has caused dramatically heightened awareness of wearable technology – with consumer awareness up 10% since Christmas 2014. Fitbit have been the big winners, seeing their brand awareness triple in a year.
CCS also claims that fitness bands have become a bestselling christmas present, with a whopping 35% of all sales in 2014 being attributed to Christmas gifts. Christmas 2016 is expected to bring an even bigger bonanza. All of this explains why Jawbone have redesigned their UP ready for the christmas season.
The challenge for a of of fitness bands has ben appealing to the female market. The loud colour schemes and ‘plastic’ finish have appealed more to the alpha male then the fashion conscious woman. Increasingly common for men in suits to be seen wearing them as a fashion statement has not translated to the female market, who’re more likely to keep to traditional watches and jewellery compared to fitness bands.
A fitness band designed specifically for women
Fitness bands are increasingly as much a fashion accessory as they are a useful tracker of a wide range of health markers. However, to get somebody to put one on their wrist, you increasingly have to deliver a look and feel that appeals.
Think of it like smartphones. The feature sets between Android and iOS devices are not radically different – to the extent that you could argue that they’re all basically the same. So the real sales driver is the sex appeal of the device, and therein lies the key to Apple’s success in this market. Fitness bands and activity trackers are very comparable. Their feature sets lack differentiation, and yet they’re a hugely visible device. Therefore form and function are a huge part of the buying process – not least amongst the female market. The hard reality of the market to date is that it has failed to create a product which appeals to women – and now BaubleBar and Jawbone are looking to change that.
So to achieve the ambition of launching the best fitness band for women, the BaubleBar lineup will include three different models. The form and function of these devices will be a bracelet, but inside will be the Jawbone UP. This could become the new female side of wearables, combined with smart rings and other new innovations which are specifically intended to let the female side of the market catch up with the popularity these devices have achieved with men.
So what does this new BaubleBar Jawbone actually look like? Does it pass off as an actual bracelet? Well, in many ways it actually does. You get a gold plated, crustal infused bracelet which could pass as a regular piece of jewellery. The UP Move hides in a special compartment, which is a tidy piece of design work.
Worry not if you have already taken the plunge and bought a Jawbone UP Move – as the BaubleBar can be purchased separately. The devices are available both on the fashion jewellery website and the fitness tracker website. If you don’t already own an UP Move, you can invest $20 more to buy them both together.
Is this the ideal fitness band for women? Have this collaboration finally produced a fitness band that women will wear with pride? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.