Sometimes magic can happen. This is what could describe the success story of Misfit Fitness. We have seen many Wearables in crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Fitness Tracker brands which you have never heard of bring one model to life and the creators dream of success like Fitbit, Withings (now Nokia Health) or Jawbone. But they can not continue to grow after the first product is published because of various reasons. Misfit Wearables did overcome this struggle, created their own niche within the Activity Tracker market and created their own success story. Probably one of the most successful stories after a crowdfunding campaign.
Misfit Shine – The Indiegogo campaign
The team of Misfit Wearables was initially planning to launch their campaign for the new Activity Tracker “Shine” on Kickstarter. But as they did not receive responses in a timely manner, Misfit decided to launch on Indiegogo. Back in 2013 Indiegogo was not as known as it is now. Despite this, the presented tracker “Shine” reached the funding goal within 10 hours after being online. This fact encouraged the team and it proved that there was a need and a desire for a totally new style of Activity tracking, a more relaxed way, more flexible one. Until Misfit launched the campaign for their first tracker “Shine”, basically all fitness tracker were following the same concept. Steps and sleep was measured through a wrist-based bracelet. But with the “Shine” the user could decide he or she wants to wear it on the pants, shoes or even bra – or if the Shine should shine around the wrist. This tracker did not have a display yet, just some small LEDs showing how much of the daily target steps are done. Syncing with the smartphone was easy as the tracker just needed to be placed on the screen of the smartphone and the collected data got transferred into the App. This coin sized tracker was manufactured in an all metal design which set it apart from all other competitors during that time as most of them were produced from silicone and plastics. With some delay in manufacturing the Shine saw the ray of light and Misfit was able to create enough momentum out of this campaign and started building up their product portfolio.
Why crowdfunding worked out for Misfit
Misfit had investors. Misfit had a working prototype. Did they need crowdfunding or could they have done it on their own? From the financial standpoint it would have been possible to launch the Shine Fitness Tracker without the help of the crowd. But crowdfunding offers not only the possibility to collect funds for a product launch, it also enables brand building by interacting with the backers, implement useful ideas and input into the prototype. Some crowdfunding projects go viral and it can create a worldwide recognition of the brand. However, if the creator is not in constant communication with the backers, this can backfire very hard and even ruin your whole reputation. There have been campaigns out there, when critical backers were simply ignored and the downward spiral for this campaign, the product and the brand started. Backers are a powerful force and Misfit was able, even with some hiccups and delays, to keep the crowd happy and delivered a strong product.
Product range after crowdfunding
As the Shine was an all-metal device, the price factor was not the lowest one. Competing brands in the Wearables sector were able to undercut the price point of the Shine. So Misfit launched as next product the Flash. It was basically the identically product to the Shine, but made of plastics. It was the entry level Fitness Tracker of the company and gained a lot of public recognition. An improved version of the Shine and Flash then was released called simply Shine 2 and Flash 2.
Misfit is known for stylish Fitness Tracker. Wearable devices which look totally different to the models of competitors. This is a very important factor in this kind of industry. The product should be recognizable to be successful. A good deal of Fitness tracker look very similar and they basically do all the same – track activities and sleep. Misfit launched then the Misfit Ray. Another stylish device which looked so very different to other Wearables on the market. Ray features a band, either silicone sports band or leather band. The tracker itself looks a bit like a little bullet and was released in different color options. The tracker was swim proof and there was not need to take it off ever.
All the models of Misfit have the reputation to be very accurate in the collected data. The app is giving insides into the collected data which goes above just how many steps were taken and how many hours of sleep were restful or light. Most innovative though is the fact that the user did not need to charge the tracker every 2-5 days as the concept of Misfit Wearables is to use non-rechargeable, but replaceable batteries. The lifetime of the batteries in the Misfit Fitness Tracker are known to last 4-6 months.
Fossil joins the force
Due to the success of its innovative Fitness Tracker range, Misfit attracted some serious investors. To be able to continue to compete with major brands, Misfit decided to agree in a deal with the well-known Fossil Group, a company which is in the watch and jewelry business. This joint venture opened up new possibilities for both. Misfit would still be operating under its name, but will gain the know-how of the Watch industry as Smart Watches are becoming more and more popular. Fossil gained insides into the wearable market, because let’s face it, who wants to buy nowadays just a watch which can display time.
Misfit is now with some very attractive smart watches on the market. They are a mix of the proven activity tracker technique of Misfit with the style and reliability of the famous Fossil watches. They are now offering the Misfit Phase and soon the Misfit Command and Misfit Vapor.
Crowdfunding can work as career starter
The example of Misfit shows that starting a crowdfunding campaign can have the substance to further kick start your brand. When the creator continues to be consistent and not rests on the fame of one successful product, something huge can happen. Misfit is playing alongside the big dogs Fitbit, Nokia Health or Garmin, is successful with new releases and stayed consistent with amazing styles and designs.