By Marina Laven
A few years ago it was the thing that we always had with us in the car. It gave us the courage to travel untraveled roads, confidence to rent a car in a foreign country, and convenience of not needing to look at the map every 5 minutes. It was Garmin.
And then…well, lots of things happened – Google maps, Waze, built-in GPS navigators. A couple of months ago I was cleaning the car and found our Garmin under a seat. ‘Gosh, I don’t even remember when we last used it’, I thought not knowing what to do with it. The Garmin became a thing of the past, the Ikea lamp, the Kodak of the 2010s. Or so I thought.
Last week my husband and I were visiting with a friend in the States. Let’s call him Steve. In the bathroom of his apartment I noticed a weight scale. ‘Garmin’, it said proudly at the top. What???, I thought, Garmin???
‘Steve!’, I called laughing, ‘Does your scale show you the way around the bathroom?’
‘Well, you know, it does not just show you your weight, it tracks your body fat and your muscle weight…’, Steve started excitedly.
‘And I thought it shows you where your weight should go – down!’, interrupted my husband smiling.
During dinner, I spotted a pretty cool watch on Steve’s wrist. ‘iWatch?’, I asked nodding approvingly. ‘No’, said Steve proudly, ‘Garmin’. And he went into recounting all the features this watch has and how essential it is for his training, while we were looking at him disbelievingly.
Steve is a type of person who is extremely focused on his health and fitness, and does it scientifically and smart. He follows the innovation in fitness technology and does not necessarily fall for the most well-known brands, he picks the products that provide him with the best breakdown of the information he needs. And he was so excited about his watch. I just could not believe that he is talking about the same company that produced our old outdated GPS-device, the company I mentally wrote a eulogy for just a few months ago.
Reflecting on it later that night, I realized that Garmin managed to re-invent itself without abandoning what it does best – tracking. Instead of being demoralized by rapidly losing the market share in the automotive GPS-navigators market, it used its core strength in a new market and in a new way. It still provides people with courage – courage to push their limits, confidence – confidence in their achievements, and convenience – convenience of having their training info at their fingertips. And along the way, it managed to track itself into the future.