Today is Apple Watch Day

Today is Apple Watch day as Apple provides more detail this afternoon (ET) on its newest invention.

As I wrote earlier, the first stages of its rollout campaign have focused on fashion with an appearance in Self as well as a 12-page spread in Vogue.

I made the point that, in today’s tech world, the only reason you’d wear a watch is for fashion. Keeping time or any other function a watch may have can be done on many other devices, including your phone. Fashion is the only reason left to wear a watch.

Here are your choices.
Here are your choices.

Because Apple is rolling out three variations of the watch, each has their own brand face (the self-reflection of customers when they use the brand). There’s the Apple Watch Sport for those into exercising, hiking or any other physical activity. There’s the Apple Watch Edition, which is the luxury version. The more utilitarian of them is the regular Apple Watch made from stainless steel.

What’s interesting is that there are also six types of wristbands, which also relate to fashion. One of them is even a magnetic leather band you see teenagers wear.

All of this is smart and people have long underestimated the desire for crowds to own Apple devices. The iPhone was supposed to be a bust. So was the iPad. (A big iPhone many suggested when the iPad was first unveiled.)

What will be interesting is how Apple unveils its watches today and through its mainstream advertising. The Apple Sport seems like a no-brainer (expect lots of exercising imagery, especially outdoors). But it has never done a luxury brand in terms of high fashion before.

My guess is that Apple will get it right. Like its other devices when they were first introduced, Apple has shown a canny ability to answer the main question: “Why do I need one?”

Men’s Wearhouse can fix its problems, but will it?

Have you seen any of the new TV commercials for Men’s Wearhouse? I’ll bet you can’t quite remember.

What is going on at Men’s Wearhouse? It seems just about everything is going on except fixing the REAL problem. A few weeks back, Jos. A. Bank tried to buy its biggest competitor (Men’s Wearhouse). Then, Men’s Wearhouse turned the tables and is attempting to buy Jos. A. Bank.

George Zimmer Men's WearhouseA couple of months ago, Men’s Wearhouse forced George Zimmer, the company’s founder and branded spokesperson, out as Chairman and consumer focus. At least holiday sales should provide cover for all of this scrambling. It won’t be until 2014 begins to wax that the trouble will be evident.

Men’s Wearhouse needs to rebrand and it needs to begin that process right now. Stealing Share would love to help.

I am not privy to the internal research that seemed to demonstrate that George Zimmer was not bringing the equity he had previously delivered to an older demographic to the 30-something set. But, for sake of argument, I’ll accept that Men’s Wearhouse had good reason to make the move. However, what it sacrificed was a distinctive brand feel. No one else, with the slight nod to Jos. A Bank, felt distinct and different. The advertising agency had captured a tone and feel that was paid off by Zimmer’s promise, “You’ll like the way you look. I guarantee it.”

Now, the brand communications seem younger, but they sure look and feel like everyone else. I guarantee it.

If we were to create the new and important brand for the Wearhouse, everything would be on the table. Logo, name, theme, tone, and theme-line. It is not enough to simply focus on a demographic. Men’s Wearhouse needs a new brand. The new brand needs to represent the highest emotional intensity in the category and it needs to be different and better than the competition.

Right now? Well, it is failing in every which way. I want to see the brand succeed. How? Well there is a process to find the answers and I guarantee it.


Who needs a smart watch?

Go ahead and ask. Who needs a smart watch? First the rumor mill said it would come from Apple or Google. Now, apparently, it’s Microsoft that will be first with a smart watch.

What kind of impact will a smart watch have? It might be a collective shrug because most see watches as fashion, rather than being excited about its technology. Overcoming that perception is the biggest hurdle for smart watch manufacturers.

who needs a smart watch? Microsoft.Who needs a smart watch?

Remember the Casio calculator watch, or even the Casio wrist remote controller? Those watches never had mass appeal because being able to calculate numbers or control the TV with your watch was not all that exciting. In fact, keeping time – with cell phones and computers and clocks all around us – isn’t either.

For a smart watch to be successful, it has to overcome the existing perception that watches are dumb technology and almost strictly fashion. The fact that Apple, Google and Microsoft are all strong brands means they have the initial interest of consumers. But, considering that we already have smart phones, that won’t entirely resolve the big question.

Who needs a smart watch?