With so many advancements in wearable technology, marketing devices that work in conjunction with smartphones and laptops will require companies to be diligent about who they target and how they present the brand.
Wearable devices that do everything from tracking your physical activity and sleep patterns to reminding you to pop a pill or check up on Fido are on the surge. Companies are not only introducing technologically savvy and intriguing products, but they are also responding to consumers’ demands for more fashionable wearable devices.
Take Bellabeat’s LEAF health-monitoring tracker, a stylish device targeting women and resembling a piece of jewelry. It tracks a woman’s sleep patterns, stress levels and menstrual cycles. The company encourages women to be creative in how they wear the device, either as a necklace or bracelet, or incorporated into a woman’s wardrobe as clipable artistic jewelry. You can choose one in a dark brown wood and warm rose gold or a light brown and silver combination.
Another wearable device, but less fashionable, is the meMINI, an attachable camera that captures HD video, wirelessly uploading it to your smartphone for use at your convenience. The company touts it as a great way to capture moments on video to enjoy “when it happens, then relive and share it later. It might have been catching fish, your child’s first steps or a hilarious joke.” About the size of the smallest cell phone, the device can be worn on the outside of your jacket as is depicted in images on the company’s Website–an interesting concept, but much less attractive than a piece of jewelry that subtly doubles as a health-monitoring tracker.
The makers of FitBark smartly plays on the heartstrings of consumers with a device that offers another way pet owners and their dogs can stay healthy. This one, however, is worn by the pet and monitors a dog’s everyday activity, including sleep and behavioral changes. It attaches to the dog’s collar and is available in a variety of cheerful colors. On the company’s Website, a plethora of photos of adorable dogs wearing the device with captions consumers have shared demonstrates the company’s effective marketing strategy for captivating online users. Who doesn’t love looking at other people’s pups!
With a slogan “To wear it is to love it,” the marketing team for Apple’s sleek, compact smartwatch may have confused love with infatuation. When the watches first hit the market, my 19-year-old daughter couldn’t wait to purchase one using her high-school graduation money. She was in love with it for about two months. She purchased bands to make it more fashionable. But for her, it was more intrigue and infatuation, and the novelty soon wore off. And so it would seem for others when she recently put it up for bid on eBay alongside hundreds of others trying to dump these devices and recoup some of their money. For her, the interface was confusing and the requirement that it be paired with her iPhone to work were low marks that led to the breakup with her Apple Watch.
Marketing wearable technology requires a balancing act: making sure to identify your target audience while at the same time walking the tightrope not to offend them, especially among those devices that collect personal information.
“Brands cannot storm into this deeply personal experience and be welcome,” Tunde Cockshott, a technology consultant with Amaze, said in a BBC News article. “They will need to think of how they can use this data in a way that is relevant and will provide users with a service or utility that fits into their augmented lives.”
Brands will also have to be mindful of the vulnerability such wearable devices pose for consumers in light of the age of hacking, and be well prepared to offer them a thorough introduction and education about the product in order to build trust and confidence.
Consumers will continue to see an upswing in wearable technology, not just in the healthcare spectrum, but in education and the business realms as well. Depending on how these gadgets are marketed, it is an arena consumers will certainly find attractive, alluring and captivating. The onus now is on the brands to build the necessary confidence in the products they market in this highly competitive digital age of wearable technology.
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