Ravi inspires a Jawbone® brand evolution

Ravi Hampole

VP of Brand Experience

UP3 Black Gold Twist

The thing that inspires me most about working for Jawbone is the mission. It’s rare to find a mission-based company. Everyone at Jawbone is committed and making strides to help people live happier, healthier and longer lives.

“Everyone at Jawbone believes in our mission wholeheartedly. We want to empower people,” says Ravi Hampole, VP of Brand Experience at Jawbone®. “From the JAMBOX to the UP band—whether it means playing music more easily in the park or knowing more about your total health—we make technology that empowers people.”

Ravi Hampole joined Jawbone® in 2015 after 18 years of design experience working with influential global brands like Cole Haan, Hasbro and Virgin. At that time, Ravi lived in New York City, where he led the creative vision of all nine of Starwood’s lifestyle hotel brands. It’s a time period Ravi recalls as professionally rewarding, albeit stressful for his growing family. “To better manage stress, our health and have a better life for the kids, we decided to move to the West Coast,” he explains. “The move served my family in two respects. One, we moved to California—the kids love the outdoors and fresh air. Two, I wanted to work on a single lifestyle brand. Jawbone as a company was the true marriage I was looking for—a beautifully designed lifestyle product that actually makes life better for people.”

Today at Jawbone®, Ravi leads a team of designers and writers who create, develop, and maintain the visual and verbal language for the brand. “Since joining Jawbone I’ve been trying to evolve the brand so it connects with more people,” he explains. “Health is a lifelong journey for our community, and it’s my job to build a brand that truly uplifts and inspires people to take charge of their well-being. Lukewarm doesn’t work.” Ravi continues. “Jawbone is a company that introduces technology that’s disruptive, that challenges what’s currently out there. For a brand like ours to be more motivational, it needs to have a methodology with the power to both excite people and piss people off—we want them to be inspired to make a change to live healthier and longer. I want them to get mad and moan: ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’”

As he works on building toward this future vision, Ravi can’t help but look back upon his own experience maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “If I go back to my childhood, I have what I’d describe as a pretty messy relationship with food,” he admits candidly. “I have an Indian background, but I was born and raised in Canada. Every family gathering revolved around food, which is totally normal in Indian culture, but is even worse when you have a mother who is a really good cook,” he says with a laugh. “Unfortunately, as a result of my mother’s great cooking, I was a really heavy kid. I wore husky jeans. I went to nutritionists. I was uncomfortable all through high school and the moment all that changed was when I went to college. I was finally in control of what was going in my mouth and what I was doing physically. I lost probably what was too much weight—I got to the point where I weighed 109 pounds, which was not a healthy weight either. So yeah, I’ve yo-yoed. I’ve struggled with my relationship with food since the beginning.”

As a father of two children, Ravi says he realizes how dramatically certain life stages can impact personal health. “There was a point right before we got married where my wife and I were in peak physical condition,” he says. “We were working out all the time, and eating healthy meals like strawberry salads, and spending all this time on our fitness. Then we got married and had our first kid. Those strawberry salads were suddenly nowhere to be found. Fruit went into the children but not us. Even today, I cook them these amazing breakfasts where I’m serving them fresh fruit and avocado toast. You’d think they were at brunch,” he says with a big laugh. “However, my wife and I realized if we don’t start to take care of ourselves, it’s impossible to take care of them. They suffer at the end of the day if you’re not feeling good or active enough. So, we try to be as healthy as we can.”

Today Ravi uses his UP® band to help keep him accountable. “The UP band is honest and empowering,” he explains. “Until I got my first UP band, I didn’t understand anything about how sleep affects my health. I’ve had a complete mental shift. I realize now how I feel about myself today is heavily connected with how much sleep I had—or didn’t have—the night before.”

When asked who his No. 1 supporter is, Ravi doesn’t hesitate to praise his wife, who makes sure he’s taking care of himself. Thinking he’d enjoy it, she signed him up for SoulCycle on a whim. He resisted at first, but soon found himself loving the experience. “She always gives me the truth, and the truth is hard to hear. Being honest with yourself is often the hardest thing, and it’s what I’ve struggled with throughout my life,” he explains. “She keeps me accountable and in check. My wife is always saying, ‘If there’s anyone who can do this, I know it’s you.’ Everyone needs that person in their life.”

Ravi cites his mom and dad as other important supporters in his life. He names his father as particularly supportive when he decided to go into design. “It’s a very odd thing in Indian culture for a parent to encourage their children to pursue the humanities and the arts. When I was thinking about going to college, I told him I was interested in going to design school, and he supported it: ‘Go do it,’ he said, ‘On one condition—you be the best at it.’”

As a father, Ravi says he tries to be equally supportive and empathetic with his children, recounting a story of how he signed his six-year-old daughter up for skateboarding camp. “I had this vision of her doing these kickflips and all this cool skateboard stuff. I told her about the camp. That I signed her up. That I’m excited. She says, ‘I don’t want to go’ and threw a big fit, which ended up with her hiding in her bedroom. I coax her out of her room for a conversation. I say, ‘Hey, this is a cool thing and you could just give it a try because you might find you like it. When I was your age, I was nervous to try skiing, but I gave it a try and now I really love it, so it could be the same with you.’ She says she’s afraid to go because of being embarrassed. We talk about that—about what embarrassment is, but not resolving if embarrassment is good or bad. We leave it at that, and the first day of skateboarding camp rolls around. She tells my wife and I she’s not going to go. We say OK, and she goes to her room. An hour later she comes out and says to us: OK. I want to go to skateboarding camp.’ We take her, and she absolutely kills it her first day. She loves skateboarding, and she sends me this video of her trying these new tricks.”

“The amazing thing is I learned something about myself,” says Ravi with a huge smile. “Watching my daughter try this thing she was scared of, and becoming successful made me realize the thing I’m most passionate about is inspiring other people. When you put that in context of what we’re trying to do for the Jawbone brand, I’m most passionate about inspiring our team to be truly passionate about their work, to take chances, to live outside the box of what can and can’t be done. I truly believe passion will ultimately help us evolutionize an already awesome brand into one that resonates with—and motivates—billions of people.”