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This just in: wearable fitness companies are in a race to grab market share and are spending big dollars on advertising!  According to a Kantar Media report, wearable activity tracker companies are spending millions of dollars on advertising to consumers.  Fitbit led the way with $21.6 million in 2014, and Garmin was close behind, spending $18.8 million on advertising in 2014.

Kantar-Media-ad-spend-fitbitThis competitive market has endured numerous changes in the last several years.  To put it in context, Garmin, in 2010, had a 77% share of advertising spend, and the only other brand that had a large share of ad spending for fitness wearables was Timex, which is now seventh on the list.  In 2011, Nike entered the fitness wearable space and was responsible for 42% of the advertising spend.  By the end of 2012, Nike’s share of ad spending reached 75% because the company launched the Nike+ FuelBand earlier that year, which it has now quit producing.

Undoubtedly, the amount of dollars being spent to win over consumers will only increase.  Wearable fitness companies will continue to expand their product lines and the dollars spent on promoting them in order to unseat Fitbit as the market leader.  Furthermore, the entrance of heavy hitters with deep pockets, such as Apple and Microsoft, will augment the intensity of the competition.

Although the competition may make device companies bitter, it will make corporate wellness programs better.  Competition in the market is creating attractive pricing, more devices to choose from, and better technology.  Combined with increasing advertising dollars and consumer awareness, improved products are finding their way onto more wrists and into more pockets than ever before.  This provides a unique opportunity for employers.  Corporate wellness administrators no longer need to buy costly devices that break, get lost, or are discarded in order to help employees make meaningful lifestyle changes.  Corporate wellness programs can now leverage existing technologies through a BYOD wellness strategy that delivers rich consumer wellness experiences and controls costs.  The value proposition of a BYOD wellness strategy will increase as wearable devices continue to penetrate the market, and the increase in advertising dollars will help make BYOD more attractive.

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