I have a confession to make. I like to collect things and I’ll go through obsessive stages where it’s either collecting ties with elephants on them or socks with unusual designs. (eBay is my best friend.)
Over the last year or so, I’ve also been collecting old pocket watches that go as far back as the 1800s. I find them fascinating and feel they are a piece of history.
They are also a style. A fashion, if you will. It’s from that perspective that the first marketing for the Apple Watch is taking the right approach. It’s not about functionality. It’s about fashion.
For the moment, the marketing is subtle. Model Candice Swanepoel is on the cover of Self magazine next month wearing an Apple Watch. There will also be a 12-page spread in an upcoming issue of Vogue.
Why is this the right approach? Because, let’s face it, the reason any of us (including grey-haired men with pocket watches) wear a watch is because of how it looks. We live in an era in which finding the correct time or any other piece of information is right on our phone. I have children who don’t wear a watch because they check the time on their phone. Even if you do wear a watch, you most likely chose it because of how it looks on you.
The Apple Watch is a cool device, like many other Apple devices. But to make the Apple Watch a success, Apple had to understand the reasons why people buy the watches they do.
That’s where fashion comes in. Right now, the approach is feminine but I can imagine Apple expanding that reach through a fashion reflection of other types of customers. The runner. The cool male. (Think Matthew McConaughey in the Lincoln ads.)
It’s the right way to go. Be an aspirational reflection of the customer and understand what drives the market.
If only other brands understood that approach, there would be more brands that were actually stealing share.