The watch is coming. Apple’s entry into the wearables market means many things, but what will it look like when brands targeting young consumers want to live on their wrists?
If you visit Apple’s site, there is a clear message: The Watch is coming. The tech giant is prepping consumers for a device “that’s more personal than ever”—and brands are prepping to put themselves on the wrists of Apple users.
Apple has long been lauded as a Millennial brand. They reliably list it as one of their favorite brands, and it makes the top ranks of their most trusted brands as well. But it’s not clear so far just how willing Millennials will be to embrace the Apple watch. Their adoption of smartwatch tech so far has been slow: 6% of 13-32-year-olds say they own a smartwatch, according to Ypulse’s February 2015 monthly survey. But Apple’s launch of the product was undoubtedly a success, with an estimated 1 million devices pre-ordered. Beyoncé recently made headlines for wearing an exclusive, not available for sale gold linked version of the device. There is buzz around the product, but for the first time, it seems that Millennials might need a bit of convincing to buy an Apple product.
The New York Times noted that the success of the watch “will hinge on apps:
“Unlike the iPhone or iPad, the Apple Watch is not a stand-alone product. It relies on an iPhone to fully operate, partly because the brains of watch apps will live on the iPhone. So users will have to install watch apps on the iPhone as well. The economics of that combination are tricky. Developers working on watch apps have to make an iPhone app first and expand it to include support for the watch…Still, companies are trying, even though some are worried the watch’s tiny screen can limit features or — even worse — ads.”
So apps will be a key part of making the Apple Watch appealing to young consumers. But what will it look like when those brands that want their attention live on their wrists? We’ve rounded up the smartwatch plans of five brands that already attract Millennials to give a glimpse at what that future might look like:
The viral news site already has Millennials’ attention online and on mobile, so it makes sense that they would want to bring their content to the next phase of technology that their young reader’s adapt. But clearly, articles will not be appealing to read in tiny print. So what kinds of smartwatch content will a youth-focused publication be creating? Their launch of the Cute or Not app for the Apple Watch is a good hint. The app allows users to swipe to vote on the cuteness of a pet. As The Verge put it, “Swipe a few times, see a few cats and dogs, and then lower your arm when you have something better to do.” The site also released an extension of their polling app for the Watch, calling both smartwatch apps “experiments” to see how users can be engaged in new ways.
This March, before the Apple Watch launched, Domino’s introduced a smartwatch app—becoming the first pizza brand to offer the technology. Users can order their pizza directly through the app, which is now active on Pebble and the Android watch, in three clicks, and then receive alerts to the pie’s progress. The app is part of a recent slew of innovations, and the brand has recently described themselves as “an e-commerce company that sells pizza.” An Apple version of the app is expected.
We noted this social networking app for two in 2013 for providing everything that partners (romantic or not) need to stay in touch from far apart. Users can private message, and share video, location, and calendars with their significant others. But Avocado’s most intimate feature sends love from afar: users can send hugs or kisses through the app by holding the phone over their hearts or lips. The app is bringing a similar feature to the Apple Watch: the app will link with their partner’s and allow them to tap their smartwatch to send a “Kiss,” makes their loved one’s wrist vibrate so they know they’re being thought of.
Quiz game Trivia Crack won the hearts of Millennials and soared to the top of App Store charts earlier this year. The game is gaining popularity around the world, especially on school and college campuses, resulting in 100 million users and a steady 800,000 daily downloads. Now the game is coming to the Apple Watch with an app that lets users answer questions directly on their wrists, and get alerts when it’s their turn. Gaming is a huge part of young consumer’s mobile behavior, so figuring out how to translate it onto the smartwatch could be essential.
According to Ypulse’s most recent social media tracker, 52% of 13-32-year-olds are on Instagram. Now the popular platform has introduced an Apple Watch app just in time for the device’s arrival. The design of the app is simple, and is intended for brief interactions. The image sharing platform might be one of the more natural smartwatch fits. While users won’t be able to take pictures or post content from their Apple Watches, they will be able to scroll through feeds and check on and post likes and comments without taking out their phones for the first time.