Fitbit…Take Notes From Garmin

When you think of Garmin, what comes to mind…is it the maker of full-featured GPS navigation systems that take the doubt out of driving as you make your commute or vacation? 

When you think of Fitbit…what comes to mind…the pioneer in fitness trackers until the smartwatches were also able to track fitness activities? Of course, right, but brand recognition doesn’t equate to business success.

With the introduction of smart phones and navigation apps, I was sure Garmin was going out of business and with the introduction of the Apple Watch I was sure Fitbit was going out of business.  I believe I will be 50% right, just look at Fitbit’s stock chart.

But the difference between the two is while Fitbit is working on the next generation Fitbit fitness trackers, Garmin saw the writing on the wall and reinvented themselves.  According to P&S Market Research, the global wearable fitness trackers market will generate nearly $50 billion by 2023, so Garmin took what they to best and went where the growth was. 

If you want to stay ahead of Apple Inc. and its wearable accessories, you’ve got to sell to everyone from anglers to military pilots.

But despite this growing competition, Garmin boosted its full-year guidance in July, saying it now expects around $3.6 billion in revenue, up from $3.5 billion in February, and its fitness and outdoor units are still expected to grow 13% and 10% respectively.

Its CEO has pegged the success of its wearables on incorporating features overlooked by other manufacturers, while one analyst says the company’s expertise in other areas — such as flight displays and touchscreen monitors for military fighter jets — bolsters the capabilities of its other gadgets.


Some success Garmin is having as they raised their full-year guidance for revenue last month.  And investors have taken notice as the stock is up 31% in 2019.

The keys to business success is having a vision and executing that vision, but equally important, it’s knowing when that vision turns stale and when to change direction for greener pastures.

This post is my personal opinion. I’m not a financial advisor, this isn’t financial advise. Do your own research before making investment decisions.

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