So, let’s just say you’re Apple. What do you do when your customers already own your latest smart phone or tablet? How do you keep people spending on your products while they’re between upgrades? Simple: you innovate and blaze a trail in a new product category that hasn’t been exploited yet.
Fashion, tech and innovation: The Apple Watch
Apple is finally bringing the fashion and tech worlds together to create wearable technology: the Apple Watch. By embracing fashion, they’re hoping to take advantage of the demand for smart accessories, after all, jewellery and watches are things you buy on impulse (I’m a sucker for accessories, as they can totally change up your look – I am their target market!) Style is something you can buy into at any time, no matter how many other similar products you own. Apple has found a niche with no limits…IF they can carry it off.
And by selling the watches through selected department stores and boutiques (as well as Apple stores) they’re creating the impression of a luxury product right from the point of purchase. Very clever indeed. This is smart jewellery and smart marketing.
Apple as a fashion
Apple has taken out ads in Vogue and made a splash during Paris Fashion Week to show people it means business in this new industry, but it’s already a successful fashion brand in its own right. Yes, there’s limited styles of iPhone, iPad and Mac available, but customers are already drawn to the products by the brand name alone (how many people do you know that line up to get the new release of iPhone? And don’t get me started on the rivalry between Macs and pcs – Apple devotees are loyal brand ambassadors to the end).
This new direction is going to challenge the company though – long gone are the days when great tech is the leading factor in sales. The way things look matters just as much as how practical they are. The new Apple Watch has different style options ranging in price from entry level through to extravagant, making it both accessible and exclusive.
The Apple experience
The Apple Watch isn’t an essential item – it’s a luxury. The tech market is all about buying things you need to solve a problem (even if you didn’t know you needed it!) The fashion market is indulgent – if Apple can persuade you to buy things you want but don’t need, it has opened up a whole new avenue of income. Now that’s smart thinking.
Will you be buying an Apple Watch? Does it look good enough to make you ditch your favourite designer timepiece?