While all of the major players producing watches and other wearables are staying very tight-lipped about the total sales of their product, one thing is clear: wearables are here to stay. The Apple Watch, being among one of the most anticipated launches of 2015 is no exception. According to a recent report, Apple has more than doubled the sales of wearables shipped by Samsung in the entire year of 2014 – and they’ve done this in just two months. A source from J.P. Morgan told its investors it anticipates Apple selling over 26.3 million units by the end of this calendar year. Undoubtedly, with statistics like these, app developers are taking notice of Apple Watch apps. Big brands are taking notice too.
Big Brands as Early Adapters
The Target app was one of the initial big brand apps to make an appearance on the Apple Watch. It allows you to shop just as you would on the iOS app, but as a unique component. It allows you the ability to create a shopping list before heading to the store, and as you walk through the store the app will tell you in which aisle you can find your items.
The BMW app is a little newer to the market, though BMW was still an early adapter. Their i Remote app is specifically tailored to their electric vehicles, with an Apple Watch app that shows the charging status of the vehicle, gives the wearer the ability to flash the headlines to find the vehicle, and control the temperature in the vehicle prior to entry.
The Amazon app was among the first batch of apps released and in typical Amazon fashion they stuck with the simplistic design that has made their website user friendly for years. Their app allows Apple Watch wearers to purchase items or add items to their wish list from their wrists.
The Starbucks app is our final example of big brands developing apps early. Their mobile app allows Apple Watch wearers to pay via their wrist, track their rewards, and locate stores without ever having to take out their phones.
Implications for Smaller Brands & Marketers
Smaller brands, and those focused on marketing smaller brands, are going to have to adapt to the future of apps. If early sales projections are any indication, Apple Watches are here to stay. For marketing efforts, this means several things:
- Creating a new format of content, for users to consume in a small space.
- Creating succinct messages that will quickly capture the user’s attention.
- Developing an Apple Watch app that enhances the local experience of users, if applicable to the brand.
Using the wearable technology trend to the advantage of your brand, especially during the early stages of a technology trend that seems to be catching on, will allow you to gain a competitive advantage by positioning yourself at the cutting edge of technology.