September 10, 2014 — Published by: Drew Benvie
Those following brand social media trends will find last night's launch of the Apple Watch and iPhone 6 of interest, not just for the shiny gadgets that were launched, but for how Apple courted social media influencers from the fashion industry for the first time and in unprecedented numbers.
As reported here in Reuters, Apple sent a large number of fashion editors and bloggers out to Silicon Valley to attend the launch. Now we can see why, as the coverage of the Apple Watch has ignited discussion around a new category of product, new kinds of store and a whole heap of new ideas for accessories, all of which will be crucial to the company as it looks to diversify from electronics.
An absolute must read is this blog by London's Imran Amed from Business of Fashion, the high profile fashion trends influencer, who was sent out to the event. Amed's piece is long and goes into great depth, but the below section jumped out at me, because it shows how Apple needs to do more than just make its watch appealing. It needs to make the watch as an entire product category appealing to a new generation:
For vast swathes of young people under the age of thirty, Apple’s challenge is different. Today, this demographic rarely wears watches at all. The only expections are youngsters involved in some sort of activity typically associated with the need for them, like watches for diving or racing etc.. Their first instinct is to look at their mobile phones to check the time (and accomplish other tasks). Apple will need to convince young users that there is value in wearing something on their wrists in the first place. Apple is hoping that by positioning their new smartwatch as a companion device to the iPhone, enabling users can scan emails, answer phone calls and check their calendars without having to fish out their mobiles, the Watch will naturally mesh into young people’s lives.
Here Apple is taking aim not at the watch, but at the wrist, which I think will be a fascinating battleground for digital brands in the coming months. I for one am looking forward to getting a hands-on session with the watch, not only for how it will impact how we use social media, but for the digital health aspects too, something which I explored here last night.