Fitbit’s new Aria isn’t the first wireless scale. A French company called Withings has had a wireless scale on the market since at least 2009. I believe Withings is going to fail. The products look cool in an international space-age plastic frog design kind-of-way, but the name is poison. I don’t know what it sounds like in French, but in English, the first image it conjures up is “withering”. Withering, as in decrepit chair-bound Mrs. Havisham of Great Expectations. At the very least it conjures up “Wuthering” as in Wuthering Heights. Tragic love story, but more clearly remembered as a book you didn’t want to read in high school. It’s the antithesis of a thriving fitness program. I first ran into Withings in the sensor menu of one of the GPS running trackers I installed on my Android phone. I looked it up online once, but the name was so repellent, I immediately crossed it off the list for consideration. What were they thinking when they named this thing? The “wi-“part is probably representing “Wi-Fi” and “things” because they were planning a long lines of Wi-Fi enabled sensors. Put that all together and you have a brand that has no connection to product benefits or the consumer. I don’t want anything named Withings. Nike FuelBand on the other hand, has all the write syllables in all the right places. “Fuel” rocks: Top Fuel, Jet Fuel, Fuel for the Fire. Regardless of what it does. I want fuel. I take a deeper look into Nike’s FuelBand in my next post. I’ll explore why I think it is a major winner and what they need to do right to win the mobile wellness category.
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