January 28, 2016

Step FX

Description: A fitness tracker
Main Pitch: "The easy-to-use, simple way to track steps, distance and calories burned"
Main Offer: $24.99 for one
Bonus: Free shipping
Brand: Copper Fit
Starring: Brett Favre
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Producer: Blue Reef
Watch the spot

This project seeks to capitalize on a trend and utilize a "drafting" strategy. The trend is wearable tech, and the drafting is off a market leader in that category, Fitbit. If this played like what it is -- a poor man's Fitbit with limited features -- it would likely die a quick death. But the borrowed credibility of Brett Favre, the high quality of the commercial and the high-end product design could cleverly avoid that problem. This is still a crowded category that IdeaVillage is trying to enter, but at a fraction of the price of similar products it may grab the coveted 'value-priced version' position that DRTV marketers excel at creating.

My only issue is with the branding strategy. IdeaVillage likes to slap its popular brands on products that don't fit (no pun intended). For example, before Finishing Touch Yes! (a 2014 and 2015 True Top Spender), the brand took a left turn and tried to be a tooth whitener (see Finishing Touch Smile). Similarly, there is close to zero relationship between compression garments and fitness trackers.

This is actually an interesting philosophical debate, and IdeaVillage isn't alone in its thinking on the subject. Many marketers want to believe their brand can stand for broad generalizations. For example, Xerox is now trying to convince us that it stands for "business services" instead of just photocopies. But as a career-long Ries & Trout devotee, I believe brands can only succeed if they keep a clear focus.

If the pinnacle of branding is to have your word be synonymous with a category in the consumer's mind (like Xerox once was for photocopies), then trying to make it stand for something overly broad undermines that goal. For instance, Copper Fit might have a shot at standing for "copper compression," but it doesn't have a shot at standing for "fitness gear" or whatever phrase would make this project fit into the line.

Interested in reading more on this topic? I highly recommend you check out fellow blogger Laura Ries.

No comments:

Post a Comment