How to use Apple Watch in marketing?
The world’s most valuable brand entered the market of wearable devices. Let’s take a look on what is in it for other brands and marketers.
In this case Apple positions it not as something revolutionary but rather as a high-end fashion accessory. To support this move they have hired former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to be Senior Vice President, Retail and Online Stores. Under her command the Watch appeared in many style magazines worldwide, including a 12-page thread in French Vogue, on prestigious design events like Salone del Mobile in Milan, and on spectacular displays in luxury department stores like Galeries Lafayette in Paris.
What’s in it for the customer?
Smartwatches form a product category that is still trying to find its place and natural usage in the world of gadgets. Based on what we see from Samsung Galaxy Gear, the following types of applications are the more common:
- maps and navigation (including points-of-interest)
- all types of sports and fitness apps
- calendars and personal organizers
- travel planners and translators
- messengers and communication solutions
- watchface styles
- fun items (like playing guitar solos with the help of the watch)
- niche curiosities (like the Vivino Wine Scanner)
Also, there can be found some business solutions, e.g. a slideshare navigator.
What can Apple add to it?
On top of the above, collaborative solutions have potential:
- the New York Times or Yahoo app pushing news stories to the device
- the Target app in the US helping the user doing the shopping
- SPG that can make the Watch work as a key for hotel rooms
- fitness apps elevated to healthcare services, partnering with insurance and medical companies
On top of these we cannot forget about the famous i-ecosystem. In the case of the Watch the most important part of it might be the Apple Pay: turning the watch into a mobile wallet might become a huge step in mobile payments.
Apple also tries hard to justify the usefulness of the Watch for business users. Enterprises that are already users of i-devices might speed up certain interactions, such as sending alerts or opening secure doors.
How can a brand tap into this possibility?
An innovative company or one targeting the “natural” user base of the Watch might jump on this bandwagon to get ahead of its competitors and pump up brand engagement. We have several options:
- For large companies (e.g. car manufacturers or hotel chains): form a unique partnership with Apple.
- For smaller companies specialized in anything that is either fashion or sports/fitness/health related: develop an own application.
- For those from another field, but sharing the target group of Apple Watch – mainly younger, trend-oriented consumers: find a proposition meaningful to the Watch user and fitting with the image of your brand. E.g. unique (branded) watchfaces, lifestyle applications, or sheer gaming fun.
And what about competitors?
In spite of being an iCountry, Switzerland will not necessarily be an easy market for the Apple Watch, being a proud watchmaker nation itself. Major firms are already working on their challenger, among them:
- Richemont (Montblanc)
- Swatch signing deals with banks for NFC payments
- TAG Heuer teaming up with Google and Intel.