EM­POW­ER­ING BRANDS WITH WEAR­ABLES

ArabAd - - TRENDS - HEAD OF UM LABS, UM MENA

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.

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