Monthly Archives: January 2014

Wearable tech could be very lucrative with the right execution

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Britain is a country with a passion for the latest technology. Consumption figures are huge with Britons spending £9billion on new tech devices. Clearly, this underlines just how present gizmos and gadgets are in our daily lives. What this figure also represents is a healthy sector that is ripe for the picking and one that technology and electronic retailers operate in. However, with the dawn of another year new tech trends are making themselves known and retailers must be abreast of them in order to get a slice of a lucrative market.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas many new devices made an appearance. One of this year’s stars looks to be a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush from Kolibree, which will tell your phone how “efficiently” you’ve been brushing your teeth, and for how long.

Technology by its very nature is an ever evolving sector, with the new quickly replacing the old and all but the most tech-adverse consumers wanting to keep abreast of what is coming on to the market. This desire to have what’s hot and new is one of the reasons why 2014 looks like it will be the year of wearable technology products. Beyond the constraints of the typical mobile phone or tablet, wearable tech means products that are not only portable, but are hands-free. Think of Google’s Glass or Samsung’s smartwatch. Much more than a straightforward time keeping device, the smartwatch is a transportable tech hub giving users access to all their data points, conveniently located on their wrist. In essence, its convenient aspect complements the general rhythm of the wearer’s everyday life.

This lifestyle-based approach is often targeted towards the health conscious. Personal health and wellbeing will be important factors in all wearable devices as consumers try to rationalise buying ‘gadget bling’ under the pretext of it improving their health and fitness. Take the Fitbit Force, a newly released wristband that learns your daily activity, calories burned, your sleeping patterns and weight. The brand understands that to be successful, wearable tech must not only chime with consumers’ lifestyle needs but also present a level of desirability. The consumer must genuinely want to buy the product and that usually means presenting it more as a lifestyle item and less like a complicated piece of technological innovation. CES has also shown that wearable technology and the connected health category now even extends to your pets, with US tech firm Voyce announcing a smart collar for dogs.

There is also a significant trend to manufacture tech with a more obvious focus on fashion and style. There were clear examples at CES to demonstrate that tech companies are starting to think about fashion and design. The Netatmo June bracelet is made with Louis Vuitton and Camille Toupet-designed jewels that track your sun exposure. There was also the MetaWatch, designed by ex-Fossil engineers and made with expensive metals and classic leather wristbands. However, the most noteworthy wearable at CES was the Pebble Steel smartwatch. It’s designed to be worn with either a stainless steel band or a genuine leather strap, forgoing the ostentatious sportiness of the original for a modern, sleek look – essentially embedding a level of customisability to match its style nous. Its designer Steve Johns said that the new design was influenced by both traditional watches and modern technology like mobile phones. This is a balancing act that may prove difficult, but will ultimately be what the consumer is looking for.

But what does this mean for the retailer? Clearly the fashion-focused watches represent the apogee of interactive but stylish consumer technology. However, it also represents that the more accessible, wearable tech items are of primary interest to the retailer. These devices that have a strong consumer lifestyle element mean that retailers are in the privileged position of being able to sell big-ticket items that have an inherent level of desirability. This means that these products are relatively simple to sell; retailers just need a structured through-the-line approach with multiple touchpoints in order to exploit them. Get the execution right and this new trend could turn out to be very lucrative indeed.

read the full article at http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/read/opinion-wearable-tech-could-be-very-lucrative-with-the-right-execution/033011

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IPA Bellwether Q4 2013: Industry reaction

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The Q4 2013 IPA Bellwether Report, published on Thursday, reveals a strong upwards revision to marketing budgets, marking the fifth quarter of consecutive growth and the second-highest rate of growth in the survey’s history.

The latest report also indicates that companies are “loosening their purse strings” as worries about the wider UK economy subside.

Here, Newsline presents industry reaction and analysis to the findings from Daniel Todaro of Gekko:

This is another remarkably encouraging report that highlights wider industry confidence in the British economy and its future prospects. Although the report is broadly positive, there is a clear split in where marketers’ money is going.

Once again, digital spending takes the lead as more and more people consume through smartphones and tablets, while sales promotion is also up, which suggests that attracting shoppers through neat tactics in-store and through mobile is paying off.

However, with marketing budgets on the up there will be increasing pressure on brands to deliver. As the consumer landscape broadens, with more and more comprehensive pictures being built up through the combination of data analytics, strategic thinking and predictive modelling, new consumer profiles are coming to the fore.

Marketers need to be aware of these in order to operate effectively. With increased budgets there is more opportunity to build long lasting relationships with consumers. Brands just need to be aware of increased expectations.

Read the full article at http://mediatel.co.uk/newsline/2014/01/16/ipa-bellwether-q4-2013-industry-reaction/

Wearable Tech: The Ultimate Lifestyle Product?

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Britain is a tech hungry country. Last year, Britons spent £9 billion on new tech devices and carried around £22billion worth of gear around with them – a hefty sum, reflecting the dominance of gadgetry in our everyday lives. Preparations for Christmas 2013 focused on new and up- and – coming technology, with many tech brands pushing their latest product heavily. This trend is set to continue in 2014 as high-end consumer-facing technology becomes an ever more viable and long-lasting proposition.

The new devices set to make an appearance at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week are a perfect example. One of this year’s stars looks to be a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush from Kolibree, which will tell your phone how “efficiently” you’ve been brushing your teeth, and for how long. Technology by its very nature is an ever evolving sector, with the new quickly replacing the old and all but the most tech-adverse consumers wanting to keep abreast of what is coming on to the market. This desire to have what’s hot and new is one of the reasons why 2014 looks like it will be the year of wearable technology products. Beyond the constraints of the typical mobile phone or tablet, wearable tech means products that are not only portable, but are hands-free. Think of Google’s Glass or Samsung’s smartwatch. Much more than a straightforward time keeping device, the smartwatch is a transportable tech hub giving users access to all their data points, conveniently located on their wrist. In essence, its convenient aspect complements the general rhythm of the wearer’s everyday life.

This lifestyle-based approach is often targeted towards the health conscious. Personal health and wellbeing will be important factors in all wearable devices as consumers try to rationalise buying ‘gadget bling’ under the pretext of it improving their health and fitness. Take the Fitbit Force, a newly released wristband that learns your daily activity, calories burned, your sleeping patterns and weight. The brand understands that to be successful, wearable tech must not only chime with consumers’ lifestyle needs but also present a level of desirability. The consumer must genuinely want to buy the product and that usually means presenting it more as a lifestyle item and less like a complicated piece of technological innovation. CES has also shown that wearable technology and the connected health category now even extends to your pets, with US tech firm Voyce announcing a smart collar for dogs.

This is not to say that innovation is to be ignored; far from it. Wearable tech has the potential to become an even greater part of everyday life and this has been reflected in recent developments. For instance, at CES Samsung unveiled their plans for a Smart Home. This is a house that can be controlled through various smart devices – including wearable tech. For example, washing machines could be manipulated through a smartwatch whilst the wearer is at work.

Samsung’s Smart Home concept may be a long way from full fruition but it does highlight that wearable tech has the potential for greater integration into our daily lives. Far from being a flash – in –the –pan gimmick wearable tech will continue to grow. Analysts already expect 1.5 million wearable devices to be sold in 2014. Clearly, this is a growing market. However, what technology producers must be aware of is that the consumer wants devices that are in synch with their everyday life and can complement it. This means that brands should focus on making their products accessible and more ‘lifestyle’ based in lieu of concentrating on marketing the innovative technological advancements that only appeal to a niche market.

Read the full article at http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2014/01/13/wearable-tech-ices-2014/

Google Endorsements: Industry reaction

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This weekend Google announced its latest advertising platform – Shared Endorsements. Similar to the soon-to-be defunct Sponsored Stories option on Facebook, Google’s Shared Endorsements will pull in users’ names and profile pictures in adverts, ranging from Google Play store recommendations to adverts for restaurants.

Following the announcement The Drum asked a cross section of marketers what the introduction of Shared Endorsements could mean for advertisers and what lessons Google could learn from Facebook’s mistakes.

It’s no surprise that Facebook’s Sponsored Stories didn’t meet with vast amounts of success. So how can Google’s Shared Endorsements avoid that trap?

The trick is to offer consumers exactly what they want. No-one likes to be bombarded with messages that are completely irrelevant to their tastes and buying behaviours. Think how frustrating it would be to be marketed a beer ad if you only drink wine.

Nonetheless, the potential this offers to marketers is huge, with a massive, global audience who will potentially see their ad.

Therein lies its key factor – its reach. Google’s audience is so vast that it outstrips all other forms of advertising. What brands must ensure, however, is that the content that they are putting in front of people actually appeals to them. After all, a targeted campaign will always be more effective than a blanket approach.

read more at: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2014/01/14/google-endorsements-industry-reaction-digitaslbi-havas-mec-iprospect-and-more

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