Fitbit ChargeHR – Good marketing or bad planning

I’ve been passionate about health and fitness for a number of years. Decades actually. That doesn’t mean I’ve always done exactly what I know I need to do to stay in top physical shape, but I do know when I’m focused on eating healthy and committing to some strenuous physical activity, I tend to do better in all areas of my life, especially business.

Wanting to push my own limits, I made a decision to participate in a full marathon for my 61st birthday. There’s nothing quite like making a public announcement about something to hold myself accountable. 1897965_10152013708932842_957222859_n

To complete the marathon without injury I know there’s a lot of prep work. Not only do I need to get in top condition with my power walking, there is also the nutrition, sleeping, mindset and proper planning that contributes to my success.

Knowing that I am going to be doing some pretty intensive training, I’ve been doing a ton of reading and research on proper nutrition, form, clothing, shoes and performance measurement equipment.

Nowadays, there are devices and apps of every description to help stay the course. I’m not much of a gadget person, but something I do love using is an activity tracker. I’ve tried several models and types. Everything from very basic $20 Timex pedometers to higher priced Sync Fit Wristband and lots in between.

One company that has been getting a lot of press and viral activity lately is #Fitbit. The various devices from Fitbit run the gamut of simple measurements to just about anything you might want to measure with a performance measurement device.

If you’re a fan of Parenthood, you may have seen the episode where for Zeek’s (Craig T. Nelson) birthday, the family gives him a Fitbit to help him get in shape after they find out he has heart problems.

Talk about instant celebrity for the device. Sales likely went through the roof. Add to that the Fitbit blog. It’s full of great information including articles, case studies and videos.

With all the buzz about Fitbit I decided this was going to be top of my Christmas wishlist. But I didn’t want just any Fitbit, I wanted the Fitbit ChargeHR. The ChargeHR does everything the Charge does plus measure heart rate.

You can view your progress and analyze trends, record workouts, see a monthly exercise calendar, share and compete with friends, log food fast with a barcode scanner, calorie estimator, and expanded food database.

If you’re into earning badges you can set goals and get progress notifications and celebrate fitness milestones.

Pretty cool, right? Yes, super cool. But there’s just one problem. The Fitbit ChargeHR wasn’t available when the buzz began. The Fitbit Flex was, but the higher end models were not.

More than once I wondered if the Fitbit ChargeHR was ever going to hit the market. I visited their site more than I care to admit.

Visitors to the site could leave their email address to get notified when the ChargeHR would be out to market. Like countless others, I opted in to get the notification.

In addition, there are videos people can watch about the ChargeHR. Then there’s the Facebook Page. Oh my. Talk about building a community of loyal fans. At last count there were 588,190 page likes. The page is populated on a regular basis, which keeps the community involved.

More than once I thought of going with a different brand, but truth be told, I’ve got the Fitbit bug. So I’ve waited and waited and waited.

Recently, Fitbit announced the ChargeHR can now be purchased from their website, but since I recieved a gift card from Best Buy for Christmas, I’m going to wait a couple more weeks to trek over to the local store and get my Fitbit ChargeHR. This way I can have someone show me all the bells and whistles.

So I wonder, was holding off on the release date of the Fitbit ChargeHR incredible marketing or bad planning? I tend to believe it was great marketing.

After all, they’ve continued to build community, get great product placement on major shows, are doing some amazing social media campaigns and building a super loyal community by keeping us in the loop, providing inspirational information and implementing that one super strategy of getting our email address so they can let us know the actual release date.

Now that’s a marketing charge I can get behind.

Are you a professional woman who is planning on participating in a half or full marathon? Looking for a community of other women you can share your journey with? Check out the Facebook community Marathons and Marathoning for Female Entrepreneurs. Join at


  1. Anticipation can really fuel a product launch. Sounds like this is a well-planned campaign.

    • Kathleen Gage says:

      Lots of forethought went into this campaign and it sure seems to be working. Thanks for your comments Lynn

  2. I think it is a bit of both. Perhaps they were planning on having the FitBit Charge HR available, but the release date got pushed back. Then they made the most of a bad situation by implementing a great marketing plan.

  3. This is super awesome. Congrats to you for deciding to run this event as a celebration of your birthday, and kudos for putting it out there to the world. I hope you like your new FitBit. I have a Flex and I love it. I did have some syncing issues though, so I recently invested in a Nike Fuel Band. So many options. It’s expensive to be a tech geek gal! I have not yet checked out Charge HR, but I’ll be looking for it. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Kathleen Gage says:

      Thanks so much Donna Maria. I’m completely stoked about the event and really looking forward to posting about when I cross the finish line. Whooo hooo!