Commentary

Brand Must Maximize App Usage

One challenge for apps is the transfer of app design on the significantly smaller screens of wearable. The right design and aesthetic will be an imperative component to ensuring long-lasting use of your app on wearable devices, and should be a priority before launching it on this new medium.

Similar to design, brands will need to be cognizant of their push notifications to maintain consumer satisfaction. Recently, many reviewers complain about Apple Watch’s incessant volley of notifications.

Since the Apple Watch employs a Taptic Engine that taps your wrist for every notification, brands can wear out their welcomes quickly. This is a consideration that could make the difference between a long-term user and a fleeting one.

Consumers have the power to engage, or object

Consumers, of course can turn off notifications. They can modulate the number of notifications for native apps, but for third-party apps it’s a binary affair: notifications are either on or off.

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To make sure your app doesn’t land in the “off” category, it’s a good idea to limit the number of notifications you push, but be  mindful you offer useful, compelling functionality

For brands, the challenge is to find a happy medium between helpful and overly promotional. While most apps seem to be focused on notifications, few have exploited the idea of reducing friction.

Brands can become more than a simple utility

The focus should be on the “pull” of the app rather than the “push.” For example, Domino app lets you order and then track a pizza. Chipotle’s app has a similar function.

For a certain type of customer, this will signify a closer connection to the brand than the mobile app alone. There’s one step removed between the thought and the action, allowing for a seamless experience.

With an app on your phone or tablet you might consider ordering your meal and then dig out your phone from your pocket or check your tablet constantly to monitor for updates.

With a wearable, you merely tap on a device that’s connected to your wrist, and receive updates automatically, making for a much simpler, effortless experience. It’s a subtle difference, but it represents an opportunity for brands to forge more intimate connections with consumers.

Apps on wearable devices are also making strides in empowering the customer and adding further value.  American Airlines’ app tells you if your flight is on time, the weather and driving time to the airport. Starwood Hotels lets you open the room to your hotel room door via your watch.  With a wearable, brands can redefine themselves as an ally to the consumer, instead of merely as a utility.

Wearables may be the gateway to the home 

With the new iOS 9 operating system recently announced at WWDC and the coming Brillo OS announced at Google I/O, the ability to control the world around you becomes even easier. Now, everything from your home to your car has the ability to connect to your mobile devices and developers have access to the tools needed to create IoT products.

If things go as analysts predict, by 2020 we’ll all be communicating with our washing machines, thermostats and cars as a result of the Internet of Things.

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