When you look back at the most significant and revolutionary devices of the past 20 years there is usually one name that will always come up: Apple, writes b2cloud’s Josh Guest.
The iPod, iPhone or iPad continue to be industry game changers, transforming everything from the way consumers interact with the world around them to the very way in which they connect with each other.
As groundbreaking as these devices were, they were not industry firsts, yet they were still industry makers.
It is for this reason that brands need to give a shit about the Apple smartwatch. Everyone’s preconceived notions about wearable tech and smartwatches will become quickly irrelevant once Apple releases their Watch and the entire wearable technology industry changes forever.
I know this because I saw it happen with the iPhone. b2cloud started developing apps as soon as the iPhone was first released. At first, brands were hesitant as they thought smartphones were ‘geeky’ and not that useful. That attitude quickly changed when they realised consumers gave a shit about the iPhone and every brand rushed to have a presence in the App Store.
Brands underestimated the strength of Apple’s brand loyalty and ecosystem. Consumers flock to their products with a passion unmatched by any other organisation.
By all accounts, this loyalty will be repeated with the Watch as Morgan Stanley is predicting sales of between 30-60 million units in its first year on the market and a continued growth similar to the iPhone and iPad.
Another big reason why brands need to pay attention to the Watch is the possibilities the technology uniquely offers. Wearable technology allows brands to connect with their customers in ways previously thought to be impossible.
A big part of this comes from the invaluable data wearable technology collects from users, providing brands with an insight into their customers’ lives so they can position their products and services in a way that they are already there before users realise they need them.
If used responsibly and not as another tool for spamming, wearables give marketers a real opportunity to establish meaningful consumer connections, helping build their own brand passion and loyalty too.
Based on some of the testing b2cloud has been doing with brands using available wearable technology, we have been blown away by the ability to empower wearers by delivering brand services in ways never seen before.
Naturally there are skeptics out there that question whether Apple can pull it off, in the same way there were skeptics who questioned whether people would buy iPhones and iPads.
Until the Watch is actually released we can’t be one hundred per cent certain, though we can be very confident in knowing that Apple is doing everything it can to ensure the Watch’s success. This includes assembling an almost fashion dream team of Patrick Pruniaux, the former sales director of TAG Heuer, Paul Deneve from Yves Saint Laurent and Angela Ahrendts from Burberry who’s move to Apple made the front page of business papers around the world.
Clearly Apple is taking the right steps in turning the Watch into a fashion accessory in the same way it turned the iPhone into one.
Whether brands should care or not about the Apple smartwatch is not really a question, brands NEED to give a shit and they need to start preparing for it now.
Josh Guest is the founder and Managing Director of app development company, b2cloud.