Throughout the past few years we have experienced the shift from desktop to laptop, and laptop to tablets and smart phones. We now stand at the brink of the next major shift into wearable technologies, the internet of things and the connected self.
LIFE+ is Mindshare’s global wearbabe technology group
formed to help brands take advantage of this nascent technology. Mindshare defines ‘wearables’ as any technology worn by a human externally that is ‘beyond the three screens’ and that integrates with a human’s own biometric characteristics.
SHIFT 2015 is a research project aimed at understanding the key consumer motivations for wearable technologies and the opportunities they present for brands and advertisers. The project is a collaboration between Mindshare and Dr Yael Gerson and Dr Chris Brauer of the Institute of Management Studies (IMS) at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Using a combination of consumer device testing, co-creation workshops, expert interviews and a quantitative survey we have addressed two key questions:
- What consumer need states and use cases will wearable technology fulfil?
- What opportunities for brand communication does wearable technology present?
We have identified six key need states that wearables can satisfy:
Making everyday life smoother or easier (e.g. opening locks)
Reflecting on ways you can improve your life (e.g. fitness and wellbeing tracking)
Connecting remotely with family, friends or shared interest groups. (e.g. sending hugs or heartbeats)
Helping with specific tasks to improve performance (e.g. heads up display sports performance apps)
Allowing tracking or data sharing for a consumer benefit (e.g. health tracking for insurance)
Using wearables to look and feel good (e.g. smart fabrics, Apple Watch)
We worked with our respondents to develop the different ways brands could tap into these need states and take advantage of wearables and their data in their communications.
We found five key areas embracing both advertising (push notifications and search) and content (brand utility, brand experience and content personalisation), delivered both on the wearable itself and across other platforms.
Our research also found that 13% of UK smartphone users say they are very likely to get at least one wearable device in the next 12 months. If this take up rate occurs, the number of wearables owners will rise from 6m (12% UK adult penetration) to 8m (16%).
As the adoption of wearables gathers pace, we’ve outlined the opportunities for marketers that this next great technological shift presents.
To continue reading, download Shift 2015 (pdf 2 Mb)