Originally posted on wirestone.com.
This past November, Jawbone – known best for stylish Bluetooth headsets – announced the UP wristband. The UP is a smart device that tracks the wearer’s motion, sleep, and diet patterns, empowering its owner with personal analytics that can help reshape fitness and diet habits. The press welcomed UP’s potential with high praise and anticipation.
Roughly five weeks later, UP is down. Pre-launch praise has been replaced by well-founded disappointment by UP’s early adopters, The New York Times’ David Pogue being one of them. Some owners are experiencing a handful of technical issues with their device – stories that are destroying UP’s future sales potential. Truth be told, things didn’t look good earlier this week.
But Jawbone got smart. They realized that in order to protect their early adopter audience they had to make good. Yesterday, Jawbone’s CEO announced that UP owners could receive a full refund or a credit for their next purchase on Jawbone.com. And today, the press, Jawbone’s user forum, Twitter stream, and Facebook page are abuzz with positive comments as well as requests for UP’s international distribution. For their part, Jawbone has paused production until all product issues are resolved. Even Pogue took notice, citing the good will from Jawbone’s smart customer service-oriented action.
From a PR standpoint, Jawbone’s CEO could have taken the podium a bit faster, but from a social marketing standpoint they executed well. Jawbone listened to its core audience, responded to customers where they already dwell online, paused product production to preserve the brand, made the refund process seamless – and hopefully secured future consideration by their most valued prospects and customers; those that will buy Jawbone’s products and tell others about their positive experience.
I wasn’t a Jawbone customer before buying the UP wristband, but I am now. I chose the Jawbone gift certificate over the refund, because Jawbone’s actions made me believe that they’re the kind of company that wants my business.