The Apple Watch makes wearable technology mainstream. It really doesn’t matter whether you personally like the idea of the watch on not. You may not get in line to buy one, but others will and some of those people could very well be your customers. It’s happening and everyone on the planet who runs a business and manages a brand needs to sit up and take notice.
The Apple Watch ‘blurs the boundaries between physical object and software.’
This is what Apple claim in their guidance notes for developers, and even if the Apple Watch turns out a commercial failure, by launching their new wearable category they’ve started a process that will almost certainly lead to new types of interface design, new highly personalised types of user experiences.
This means new types of branding need to be created and developed for new levels of personalised and unique experiences.
As a designer when a new client asks me to design a brand identity for their business, I tend to start with their social media branding and think about how their brand will engage with users on all forms of mobile platforms. Then I work upwards to the desktop and beyond. It’s a mobile first strategy.
You’ll need to take a holistic approach to your total brand experience, as that experience will include areas of interactivity you probably hadn’t thought about even a few months ago.
But I’m already thinking about what the launch of the Apple Watch will mean for my own brands as well as those of my clients. These are new challenges, new potentially exciting experiences. As a business owner and brand manager you should think about these issues too.
If you own a digital online-only brand, what’s it like to touch your brand, to experience it using the Apple Watch’s ‘taptic engine’? You’ll need to take a more holistic approach to your total brand experience, as from now on that experience will include areas of interactivity you probably hadn’t thought about even a few months ago.
How do you use subtle, physical feedback in your branding, and how do you make your brand unique and more engaging than every other brand in your market? How will your brand use ‘force touch’ gestures to guide your users through the Apple Watch experience? These are the sorts of questions you won’t answer by slapping on a logo and hoping for the best.
If you haven’t thought about these things, or simply don’t care, you can be sure some of your competitors already have, and they will be coming up with some interesting interface solutions that could grab the attention of your users and your customers.
Brangento, for example, hasn’t officially launched yet but I’m already working on the user interface for the Brangento Apple Watch release. I’m expecting to create an experience for users of hardware and software feeling indistinguishable – an interactive experience unlike any other.
The Apple Watch is the new brand frontier – the gateway to new brand experiences. So what are you doing about it?