Commentary

Wearables & Leading to the Marketing Messaging

Wearable computing is going more mass market.

We’re not talking just about smart watches or fitness trackers, but actual clothing that’s being made ‘smart,’ thanks to embedded technologies.

Like fitness trackers, smart clothing generally needs a companion mobile app so the wearer can receive information captured by the smart thing being worn.

One latest example of smart clothing is the Ralph Lauren polo shirt that can transmit workout information to a smartphone.

But wearables can be a range of things, including sensor-infused devices, clothing that reads biometric data off a body, a body mounted camera or smart glasses.

The most frequently seen are fitness trackers and smart watches, but wearables can be worn on the wrist, back, chest, head, foot or clothing.

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Driven largely by smart watches, the wearables market will grow from 18 million shipments two years ago to 197 million within five years, according to the research firm Tractica.

By 2020, smart watches will be the lead wearables category, accounting for 48% of total shipments, followed by fitness trackers with 45 million units shipped, according to the report.

But the ultimate wearable computer is a piece of smart clothing that can be worn as a garment, according to Tractica.

Marketing efforts to date have focused around device features, the look and feel and design in creating fitness products while lacking an explanation of the actual consumer value, according to the report.

Coming next is the messaging. The true value in wearables can come from extracting useful data from the devices and generating actionable insights, or with the software filtering contextual information and presenting it to the device.

The ultimate success of wearables will be in the services provided. Companies like Fitbit and Jawbone have created feature-rich member services with highly personalized messaging, which is a start.

But the play for brands and even retailers goes beyond that.

A BMW app could alert users when their wearable data suggests they are too tired to drive, a Walmart app could recommend groceries based on activity and diet plan or Google Maps could suggest a route to work that includes the optimum amount of walking, as examples cited in the report.

The value will not be in the actual device but rather in the messaging that brands and marketers can create based on the data the comes from the wearable.

8 comments about "Wearables & Leading to the Marketing Messaging".
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  1. Adam Hollander from Brand Marketers, August 24, 2015 at 1:13 p.m.

    It seems in 2015 #wearbles is finally a hot topic.  But it seems to be all about feedback and connectivity... We have been putting wearble displays on Brand Ambassadors to advertise since 2004.  For a differnt spin more marketing focused on wearble technology check out
    www.t-shirttv.com

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, August 24, 2015 at 3:01 p.m.

    Unique approach, Adam, thanks for sending along. Any data collection involved as well?

  3. Craig Spiezle from AgeLight LLC, August 24, 2015 at 3:34 p.m.

    The real  question is how safe, securit and private will your data be.  Innovation is great; assuming these key fundementals are understood and addressed.  More see the draft IoT trust framework.  https://otalliance.org/IoT.  The public RFC to this draft closed on Sept 14th.

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, August 24, 2015 at 5:13 p.m.

    Totally agree, Craig, security here is a very major underetaking.

  5. Mark Addison from Code Case, August 24, 2015 at 6:22 p.m.

    There are some companies already jockeying to be the analytics provider to IoT and wearables devices. Those companies will (hopefully) have the scale and wherewithall to invest in end-to-end encryption and security of the data (at rest and in transit).

  6. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, August 24, 2015 at 6:46 p.m.

    Yes, there are statups in this arena as well as heavyweights and some of the bigger players like IBM have scale in their DNA.

  7. Steve Caldwell from Strap, August 27, 2015 at 8:25 p.m.

    Great post Chuck. Love the use cases... Great discussion and one that we engage in frequently here at Strap. www.straphq.com - happy to chat more with folks about how we are approaching important issues like privacy, etc. 

  8. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, August 28, 2015 at 5:51 p.m.

    Thanks, Steve. Intereting approach...you essentially competing with the fitness tracking info aggregators? (you can email me chuck@MediaPost.com anytime)

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