Learning from Oura

In recent years the words fitness and wellness have become somewhat interchangeable, and that’s largely due to the fact that brands who would have traditionally identified with the ‘fitness’ sector have stepped up to the mark to realise they must adopt a 360-degree approach to wellbeing in order to be successful.

The wants and needs of the industry have certainly changed, and without question, some of the biggest benefactors have been connected and tech driven fitness and wellness brands. There have been a number of exciting businesses emerge within this space but one brand that is definitely ahead of the curve when it comes to finding a winning formula is Oura.  Born out of Finland, the business received a $100 million cash injection in 2021 and announced it has raised capital at a $2.55 billion valuation. With the global wearable technology market projected to grow to $104.4 billion in 2027, Oura’s success is no flash in the pan.

Here we discuss some of the elements and tactics that have enabled Oura to become one of the world’s most recognisable wellness brands…

Form meets function

The pandemic has certainly helped accelerate this trend, but put plain and simple, consumers are starting to sit up and take more notice of both their physical and mental wellbeing. This trend has been picking up momentum for several years but the pandemic has undoubtedly helped give the wellness industry almost a cult following.

That said, the phrase ‘form meets function’ has certainly been true when you look at the trajectory of Oura. The brand has produced a wearable device that is not only fashionable, but will track your lifestyle and provide you with extensive insights seamlessly.

As Oura put it themselves ‘Let Oura do the heavy-lifting, so you can focus on living your life’. Yes, tracking your wellbeing is here to stay, but they’ve really considered how they can bring users an unobtrusive experience that compliments every day, busy lifestyles. This messaging is perfect for targeting the time-poor professionals who make up a significant proportion of the booming wellbeing market.

Fit for a Prince

Having a product that genuinely adds value is a prerequisite when it comes to securing buy in from celebrities and high profile individuals. Where Oura have been incredibly successful is not only securing these partnerships but also extracting maximum value from them. Believe it or not, Prince Harry was one of the early adopters to be seen sporting an Oura ring, but since then the list has seemingly grown at an exponential rate.

Part of that is down to the way in which Oura’s technology caters to the individual – it gets smarter with use, simplifying complex data to provide truly personalised insights. Consumers do not want a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but to feel part of a community where they are seen as an individual.

That’s led to endorsements from the likes of Will Smith and Jennifer Anniston, and perhaps most notably a viral moment when Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow took to social media to compete against each other showing off their Oura sleep scores.

It’s opened the floodgates as a brand awareness and growth exercise, and has snowballed to the point where more and more celebrities are compelled to try Oura for themselves. The brand has successfully leveraged these celebrity relationships across a variety of channels, maximising awareness and building consumer trust.

Commitment to innovation

You cannot afford to stand still in any industry, and Oura have certainly cottoned on to that.

They have been unwavering in continually bringing consumers more effective insights to help them towards better health. So yes, on face value many will say Oura is one of the most high-tech sleep tracking devices available to buy, and it is, but it’s also so much more than that. Oura are consistently doing more to give consumers reason to buy into their product.

From in-activity tracking capabilities, to guided audio sessions, and even sensors that measure for blood oxygen levels while you sleep, they’re giving consumers more while staying true to what they fundamentally are. It’s satisfying the 360-degree approach to wellbeing that consumers are looking for.

Recognising opportunities that fit

A lot of brands will claim to be ‘for everyone’ but often face challenges conveying a core message to a range of different audiences and demographics. Ensuring that your communications with a wide range of audiences are unique, tailored and personalised while also remaining authentic is critical; particularly within a wellbeing industry whose customers come from every walk of life.

Where Oura has been successful is understanding how segments of their audience fit together and the consequent opportunities that this brings. For example, NBA star Chris Paul and three-time alpine ski Olympic medallist Lindsey Vonn are among their ambassadors. While the profile of these figures lends credibility, the disparate natures of their followings are key for the brand when it comes to reaching and engaging a wider audience.

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Imagery on the brand’s website spans everything from lifestyle & fashion to the fitness-fanatic covered by the tag-lines  ‘Your health. Your style. Your way.’ All the way through to ‘Trusted by pros, worn by you’. While these statements differ and cover different audiences, the articulation that there is a common ‘performance’ goal is key here. While ‘performance’ means something different to everyone there is a uniting key message while also personalising interaction.

As another example, one of the latest tracking functionalities that Oura have brought to consumers is the ability to track your menstrual cycle and plan ahead with Oura using temperature data. This innovation presents a clear opportunity which fits the product but also engages a specific demographic within their mass audience.

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In conclusion, across fitness and wellbeing as one, attitudes, wants and needs are evolving, and for brands to achieve engagement and growth they must understand the bigger picture.

Whether it be fashion, performance, or sheer commitment to innovation, by recognising how they intertwine and where the opportunities lie, brands will be well placed to capitalise, and at that to enjoy a greater slice of what is one of the world’s fastest growing industries.

If you’d be interested in discussing how we could help promote your fitness or wellness brand, get in touch with our award-winning team today.

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