Discussion of Fitbit Case Study

Apart from the Elaboration Likelihood Model, it is also possible to apply the Affective-Cognitive Consistency theory to the case of Fitbit. The theory explores the relationships between individuals’ attitudes and beliefs, with the unstable state occurring when a person’s attitudes toward an object and the knowledge about the object are inconsistent. As a result, persuasive communication is needed to change the attitude system’s affective component by changing the cognitive attitude component. Persuasion marketing is among the methods of influencing consumer behaviors based on the knowledge of human psychology for developing techniques to market products or services (Matz et al., 2018).

Thus, to change consumer attitudes, Fitbit has been consistent in providing them with new information about the product that changes the cognitive component of the attitude. Through close communication with customers, it is possible to change consumer attitudes. In addition, it should be noted that Fitbit has been making its ads as aesthetically pleasing as possible, similar to those that Apple makes for its Apple Watches. The decision-making of customers is significantly affected by the dedication to design as well as the communication of clear messaging.

The social element of owning a Fitbit is highly beneficial to encouraging purchases because of the community of device owners being able to share their successes and failures with each other. Those who are more socially connected to the community tend to do better with physical activity and engagement rates, which is excellent for Fitbit’s reputation and marketing success. Engaged and satisfied customers are the ones who strengthen such communities, which is why Fitbit should use their feedback to the company’s advantage. Fitbit owners embedded in such communities are more likely to encourage non-Fitbit owners to try the product and become engaged with the community.

Therefore, an essential takeaway from owning a Fitbit is not only the focus on hardware and the device but also the experience that it offers. This helps keep consumers engaged in the process working out without them overthinking the technological benefits of the device. The sense of community created by Fitbit is providing some type of grassroots encouragement that cannot be accessed anywhere else, which makes the product highly appealing.

The purpose of the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) is to persuade the audience through their careful and detailed consideration of the actual merits of the information being presented to them (Petty, Barden, & Wheller, 2019). For example, in its “It all fits together” ad, Fitbit promotes the interconnectivity of the company’s devices while also reminding of the critical functions of products, such as tracking sleep, activity, and stress levels. The actual merits of the product are highly visible and clear to the audience, which shows ELM at work. Therefore, for ELM to effectively work and help attract the audience of customers, ads must contain information on the benefits of the product to ensure capturing the target audience.

The consideration set represents the brands or products left after a consumer has narrowed down their choices on the basis of their own screening criteria, such as previous exposure or price (Stocchi, Banelis, & Wright, 2016). Evaluative criteria refer to the features and benefits that consumers consider relevant to their purchasing decisions. Determinant creative are the evaluative characteristics that are related to the actual choice that customers make during puchasing. Fitbit often falls into the consideration set of potential customers because of the increased brand awareness as well as the products that are easy to personalize. An essential characteristic of Fitbit products is the focus on making fitness a lifestyle in contrast to the 30-minute workout. Therefore, working out does no longer have to be running or engaging in strenuous exercises, which means customers get the desired benefits from their activities using their Fitbits.

Regulatory focus theory holds that the motivation of humans is associated with pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain and differentiates a promotion focus from a prevention focus. According to the theory, messages that are presented as gains are more influential for promotion focus, while those presented as losses carry the prevention focus. In Fitbit ads, the messaging is gain-oriented, which promotes the purchasing of products to gain the benefits from using the product. In its ads, Fitbit advertises such benefits as tracking sleeping patterns, the heart rate and the level of oxygen in the blood, GPS tracking, listening to music, receiving notifications from the phone, and paying for items.

Thus, the promotion focus is stronger in Fitbit’s marketing efforts as compared to the prevention focus. Besides, it should be mentioned that the ads also promote the sense of community around owning Fitbits, with the new updates to include additional social networking features that make it possible for the devices’ owners to interact online (Pressman, 2017). In the future, these features will expand for the company to capitalize on the promotion focus to influence consumers’ behaviors and interactions with one another on the basis of their experiences with Fitbit products.


Stocchi, L., Banelis, M., & Wright, M. (2016). A new measure of consideration set size: The average number of salient brands. International Journal of Market Research, 58(1), 79-94. Web.

Petty, R., Barden, J., & Wheller, C. (2019). The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion: Developing health promotions for sustained behavioral change. In DiClemente, R. A. Crosby, & M. Kegler (Eds.), Emerging theories in health promotion practice and research (2nd ed.). Jossey-Bass.

Matz, S., Kosinski, M., Nave, G., & Stillwell, D. (2018). Psychological targeting as an effective approach to digital mass persuasion. PNAS, 114(48), 12714-12719. Web.

Pressman, A. (2017). Fitbit adds social feed to keep users motivated. Fortune. Web.

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