There’s been plenty of talk about the future of wearable computing. Both major manufacturers (such as Samsung and Sony) and start-ups (such as Pebble and Fitbit) have been producing a range of fitness tracking, smartwatches and the occasional pair of smart glasses (think Google Glass). It’s also generated plenty of hype, where the talk has been vastly in excess of the actually uptake. In spite of this, wearable devices will still impact on our consumer lives. Brands are already thinking about how they can use this as a channel to deliver service or engagement to customers. It’s not easy though. With so many devices appearing, we will see consumers adopting the right devices for their needs, personal preference and budget. Through that, we will see each user with a unique technology eco system – no one will be the same. This raises a few thorny issues, that I’ve blogged about elsewhere, that may lead to the inevitable brand marketing fails.
Data and Privacy
Dull though it might sound, the whole issue of collecting data and user privacy is a major challenge. Brand marketers love collecting ‘data’. The more the better (it’s often used as a KPI). Wearables are great at generating data. Lots of it. However, brands need to be careful how they use it. If you think of mobile devices personal and unshared, then wearables are likely to be even more so. Think of what they do. Tracking things like health, for example. It’s unlikely we would want to share that information with a brand. Not only that, but too much marketing may simply lead to consumer fatigue. Read more here
The Right Content
Whether it is for performance or engagement reasons, content marketing has become the core strategy for many businesses. At the moment we think of content very much in terms of delivering to ‘screens’. In the world of wearables, it’s not always about screens; in the future brands will need to think of content in terms of touching, feeling and hearing. Read more here
The world of wearables is an exciting, but a largely beta one. These are just two examples of the challenges to brands, but there will be many more along the way.