We haven’t heard those three words uttered onstage at an Apple event since 2011. Since the passing of Steve Jobs, Apple has refrained from using the phrase so intimately connected to its founder because “One More Thing” is much more than one more thing. It’s the thing that makes Apple enthusiasts salivate. It’s the thing that transforms an industry and leaves the competition gasping for air. It’s the thing that makes Apple truly exceptional.
Most recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook ambitiously adopted his predecessor’s mantra with the introduction of Apple Watch. An electrified global audience buzzed with excitement over the brand’s first commercially available wearable (in an array of colors and styles). But now that a week has gone by and digital pundits have dissected the thing, is Apple Watch worthy of its paramount introduction?
I think so. Give me five minutes on your watch (that only tells time) to convince you.
Some pundits argue that, from a technology and user-experience standpoint, Apple Watch isn’t any better than technology already in-market like Samsung Gear, Pebble or the Motorola Moto 360. And horology aficionados (watch experts) hate it because “you cannot compare something disposable with something that will last hundreds of years.” Ouch! But others are impressed, praising Apple Watch’s design. So, I’ll call that contest a draw.
But for the sake of this discussion, I’m not really interested in the traditional watch aspect of Apple Watch. I really don’t care if it looks like and acts like a regular timepiece. To me, it’s not a watch at all; it’s a wrist-based, sensor-laden, haptic feedback device, and the fact that I wear it, instead of carry it makes all the difference in the world.
This means Apple Watch is always in my partial or full view, making the device much more in the moment than a smartphone that needs to be fished out of a pocket or purse. For marketers, that means opportunity. While brands and their partners need to spend time with Apple Watch to design experiences for the new platform, I do believe it’s “One More Thing” that will change how brands communicate with consumers.
Context will play a big role in how marketers take advantage of Apple Watch technology. Eventually, sensors in the device coupled with iBeacons and other geo-location technologies will allow marketers (with the consumer’s permission, of course) to find perfect opportunities to seize the moment. Apple Watch (or any other wrist-based device) should be seen as a device that gives brands the opportunity to communicate with consumers in the most personal way possible. One-size-fits-all blast notifications and mass geo-fenced coupons have no place on Apple Watch.
Apple’s “Haptic Engine” is fairly basic at the moment. It can create taps on a wrist to alert wearers when messages arrive or which way to turn while walking to a destination. It can also reproduce a wearer’s heartbeat and send it to a significant other. But future iterations of this technology will become nuanced; delivering better defined and personalized touches.
Ultimately, as devices get smaller and closer to us, consumers demand better and more personalized experiences. Apple Watch, in combination with the iPhone, Apple Pay, iBeacons and other inputs will give marketers the ability to deliver the most intimate brand experiences to date.
Love or hate the form factor, is Apple Watch deserving of its “One More Thing” status? Yes, but only time will tell if I’m right.