Blog Trends

Spotlight on Wearables: Is Your Brand Ready?

If you have any doubt that wearables have become fully entrenched in the mainstream, just do what I did the other day: head to your local Best Buy and take a look around—you’ll find an entire section devoted to wearables. Sales for fitness and wellness wearable technology from brands like Fitbit and Garmin are booming. And analysts estimate that 28 million Apple Watch devices have been sold since coming on the market two months ago. I’m seeing more around the office and with clients all the time. Wearables are becoming a big business with a unique and evolving place in our digital life. So how will they fit in with your brand?

Should you develop an app for a wearable?

While smartwatches dominate the current wearable conversation, the technology is expanding beyond our wrists. Google dipped its toe in the water with Google Glass, and smart clothing items are beginning to pop up more and more. So it’s no surprise that many brands are looking to see what value wearable apps could bring to their customers. From the user experience to the technology ecosystem to the big data collection, there are a lot of things your brand needs to consider.

Making the most of a fleeting glance

Forrester’s Ted Schadler offers that people will engage with their desktop for three minutes, their smartphone for 30 seconds, and their watch or wearable for three seconds.* That’s three seconds to communicate an idea or some information. So throw out what you know about desktop or mobile and start thinking about “glanceable” design. And don’t forget the other senses for quick hits; sound and haptic feedback are often-available design options in the wearable experience.

Navigating the technology ecosystem

Android Wear, Watch OS, and Microsoft are all vying to be the wearable operating system of choice. Just as you had to consider where to release your app for the smartphone or tablet, you’ll need to understand what wearables your customers are using and make the right technological investment for your app.

A gold mine of data

Unlike smartphones or tablets, wearables are often with your customers at all times, providing a never-ending stream of data and tracking information for your brand. You’ll need strategy at the outset for sorting through the data, analyzing it, and making it relevant. And, as with all data collection, privacy and security considerations should stay top of mind.

When it comes to making your wearable investment, there’s a lot to talk about. Whether you are ready to develop an app, introduce your wearable into the retail environment, or brainstorm beyond the wrist, I’m excited to start the conversation about your wearables strategy.

* Schadler, Ted. “Apple Watch – Bliss or Bling? Glanceable Moments Will Decide” Ted Schadler’s Blog. Forrester.com, 24 April 2015