September 2, 2014

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Enhancing Active Lifestyles


By Peri Kinder

September 2, 2014

If a Jaybird product wasn’t on your Christmas wish list last year, chances are you’re being extra good so Santa will leave one of the company’s devices in your stocking this holiday season.

Jaybird launched its BlueBuds X wireless headphones in the fourth quarter of 2012 and received an overwhelmingly positive response from the market, showing double-digit growth every month since. In fact, at the end of July 2014, the product posted stronger sales than every previous month. “It’s pretty remarkable,” says JayBird CMO Rene Oehlerking. “We’ve created a product that people really love.”

Oehlerking doesn’t attribute the company’s success to any marketing campaign, but to the product itself, which was designed by people with an active lifestyle who wanted tech equipment that enhanced their dedication to fitness.

The Bluetooth headphones are perfect for running trails, mountain biking, cycling, interval training, or any type of activity where you want a high-quality music stream without irritating cords.

When he goes to the gym, Oehlerking is astonished by how many people are still tethered to their devices. He watches as cords bounce and flap, get tangled on machines or fall out of ears. “It’s crazy that’s still happening today,” he says. “People need to be convinced to cut the cord and move to wireless. We’re so done with cords.”

Part of the reason fitness enthusiasts are so resistant to going wireless is they’ve had bad experiences with inferior products. With no sweat-resistance, a low battery life, distorted audio quality and dropped signals, people are fed up. “They try wireless and think, ‘Well, this is rubbish.’ Then they try another device and it’s rubbish and horrible, too,” Oehlerking says.

Through online marketing, social media platforms and SEO, Oehlerking discovered the most common internet search phrase that allows customers to find Jaybird products is “Bluetooth headphones that really work.” And BlueBuds X reviews are off the charts. The wireless headphones have received numerous awards, including Outdoor Retailers’ 2014 Gear of the Show, Engadget’s Best Digital Health and Fitness Product, and SlashGear’s Best Wearable Tech of 2014.

“The BlueBuds X is better than any wired experience,” Oehlerking says. “You become fully immersed in sound, and it’s wireless. Plus they’re incredibly comfortable. You almost forget they are there.”

Founded by CEO Judd Armstrong in 2006, the company currently offers only two products, but in October, Jaybird will launch its third device, a fitness tracker that Oehlerking promises will completely disrupt the wearable tech industry.

The Reign activity tracker is not a motivation-style product, but for those weekend warriors who are already active and want meaningful biometric data. The device has a five-to seven-day battery charge and automatically detects activities, provides recovery information, monitors calorie burn and heart rate, and can be worn 24/7—even while bathing or swimming.

Reign comes with several fashionable bands made of comfortable, soft silicon that forms around the wrist, as well as an ankle strap for cyclists.

“We’re not a headphone company,” Oehlerking says. “We’re looking for ways to enhance active lifestyles. We develop products that we want to use ourselves.”

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