The Apple Watch has been making a splash with consumers since its launch this spring, bringing tasks, messages, and other pieces of information closer to consumers than ever before. Alerts, messages, to-do lists, sports scores, activity goals, and more are now quite literally a part of the fabric of each consumer's daily life.
For brands, this is a key opportunity to make a very personal connection with customers.
However, wearables also present a significant challenge for brands. As the devices that people use to consume content become more immediate—worn constantly on our persons—they by definition become more intimate.
If I asked you to unlock your smartphone and hand it to a coworker to browse, I'm quite sure you'd balk. A wearable device is even more personal, so the stakes are higher for brands to get the engagement (timing, context, content, need) exactly right.
It's a fine line to walk: Getting engagement right could end up in an extremely valuable personal relationship with your customers; getting it wrong puts you at the highest level of risk for being labeled by customers as intrusive.
So how should marketers approach this high-risk, high-reward opportunity?
The first step is to ensure a brand's Apple Watch app is honed down to just the key features consumers would want at their fingertips (or on their wrist). For example, the PowerPoint app for the watch controls only slide advancement and keeps track of time—the two things you'd most want and need to do on such a small screen.
For a marketer, including the Watch in a broader brand experience while still treating the interactions that happen there distinct from interactions on other devices and touchpoints is a delicate balance.