EMPOWERING BRANDS WITH WEARABLES
People are sometimes amazed at how we have become one with devices, machines, and the cloud. But overall, we’ve adopted this oneness with technology quite seamlessly; as we constantly seek to control our environments. Discmans evolved into ipods; Monocles to Microsoft Hololens. Our mobiles enable us with the ‘nowism’ of tuning in to customisable experiences, while our smart TVS load personalised content on and off the cloud.
We are intertwined with the Internet; it is part of our everyday lives. We carry the internet in our hands, on our wrists, our waists, and our babies. We are much more receptive to wearable tech than ever before. While some brands might not be quite ready to fully embrace this new age, we’re undoubtedly not as far off as we may think. Internet of Things (IOT) enabled brands are poised to jump on the bandwagon and reap the benefits of this new wearable technology, as long as the put the consumer first and understanding their needs.
We don’t expect wearables to reach mass adoption point anytime in the next year, at least in MENA. So far only 7% of active internet users own a wearable device. A further 13% will consider purchasing wearable technology next year. Even among early adopters, 25% are using these wearable gadgets only for fitness tracking purposes. And at least half reported losing interest within six months. So are wearables doomed to be shelved as fails, along with the Segways and the Zune? Not quite.
Adoption of wearables will depend on cost and scope of use. But psychology will also play an important role. At UM Labs, we believe opportunities abound for content within wearables.
That’s why we’re excited about creating connected content ecosystems for the wearable consumer.
In our view, now is the time for businesses to contemplate their relationship with this potential content goldmine. Offering a way for the consumer to connect easier, be happier, and more entertained, while on the move. It all rests on a fundamental human truth, people need things that help them improve their lives in some way.
To become a ‘necessity’, wearables need to help people improve their lives. For brands to leverage this successfully, they should consider this powerful psychological need.
At the Labs, we went ahead and mapped crucial trends that can help brands crack the attrition challenge and build a loyal following on wearables.
1. QUEST FOR SELF IMPROVEMENT
Show us a consumer who isn’t trying to improve in health, skills and knowledge, relationships, ethics – the list is endless. All too often though, good intentions are not backed up by consistent action. So now, connected consumers are embracing wearable devices that supercharge self-improvement by offering material rewards when they hit personal goals.
Some of you have probably bought a wearable tracker in the hope that it will inspire you to be more active. You’ve probably also learned pretty quickly how to reach your daily goals and left your gadget gathering dust in the drawer. That’s because people are apathetic. It’s much easier for us to relapse into bad habits.
So clearly, people need to be motivated, through positive or negative reinforcement. For brands, the go-to method has been to throw money, coupons or points at the problem.