This month, Apple will release its latest technological venture: the Apple Watch. With the rise in wearable technology; from heart rate monitor bands to Google Glass, tech companies are pushing ahead with the newest addition; the smartwatch.
Apple’s watch will go on sale next month, and between now and then the tech giant will be showcasing the appeal of its newest device. But how will this new wrist accessory be marketed?
Apple has, over the years, built up an incredibly loyal fanbase of customers who will line up to purchase the latest product on launch day. It is these users who will be first in line for the Apple Watch. Whilst they will form the initial sales surge for the watch, it is Apple’s ability to push products into the mainstream that will be the long term goal. Engaging customers with this new technology is the main strategy. Apple hasn’t invented the smartwatch, much like they didn’t invent the tablet or smartphone. They simply pushed these things into the mainstream by taking an existing product and doing it better, and marketing it better, than their competitors. This is Apple’s strength.
It is also about making an emotional connection with the brand. Apple market’s itself as a lifestyle choice, creating devices that fit into everyday life. It blends traditional and non-traditional elements and at its core attracts and retains its customers through these and its brand appeal. The challenge here however is taking a device, which is essentially an accessory for its existing iPhone, and marketing it to have a wide appeal. The main marketing pillars for the watch are its convenience of use when paired with the iPhone, its health and fitness application and the fact it is a timepiece. The first two parts are perhaps the most relevant considering that almost all devices already display the time. Therefore Apple will mostly use its brand appeal alongside the health and convenience usage in order to appeal to the mass market. Development of key apps will also be a critical factor, and will have to tie into Apple’s overall marketing strategy for the watch.
As an aside, the $17,000 gold Apple Watch addition, which has the exact same features as the more reasonably priced versions will be sold on a completely different platform. The buzz around the price of this luxury item has certainly given Apple a lot of extra PR, while the prestige of owning such a luxury item is both its draw and its unique selling point.
Do you see the appeal of the Apple Watch?