Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Holiday Tech Caution: You Better Keep It Simple

We’re hoping that songwriters, John Coots and Haven Gillespie, will forgive us for muddling their song in aid of brand commentary, but given the season.  .  .

You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout
I’m telling you why:
If you had your hopes up for an Apple Watch from Santa – or anyone else – you’re likely not getting one this year!

Yes, it doesn’t scan as well as the original, but it captures the Apple Watch brandscape perfectly. Sales have been down by 71% year-over-year, despite the release of their Series 2.

Back in 2015 we conducted an analysis of the wearables category, which included the Apple watch and other Fitbit-like fitness tracking devices, and predicted that Apple would see very-early-adopter success, but not a lot more when early buyers thinned out and when consumer expectations grew regarding complexity, or the lack thereof. And that’s exactly what happened.

Apple – whose brand heritage was founded on design – seems determined to add complexity to a category where consumer expectations are based on simplicity. Oh, and reliability, which had been a hallmark of Apple, but the watch’s operating system has been deemed by consumers as less-than-intuitive. For $349 the Apple Series 2 is now GPS-enabled and waterproof, but many of the watch functions are dependent on the iPhone.

Fitbit – despite difficulties with its smartwatch – have seen double-digit increases in their shipments, confirming consumer desires for no-frills simplicity.

So if you’re making your lists and checking them twice, keep this in mind: when it comes to technology: complexity smothers and simplicity breathes. Particularly when it comes to consumer engagement, ROI, and brand profitability, for goodness sake.

Those are the kinds of gifts that make every brand’s spirit bright!



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