How to Market Wearables
3 min read

How to Market Wearables

In 2016, Snap showed the world how to market its first hardware product: Spectacles. The campaign is one of my favorites. More companies are entering the wearables market, what can they learn from Snap?
How to Market Wearables

Images from spectacles.com via Wayback Machine on 10 Nov, 2016

The wearables market is gaining momentum.  According to IDC research updated on 18 December, 2020, the demand for (earwear, watch, wrist band, and others) grew to 126M units in Q3 2020.

As an early adopter, I am forever watching the wearables space. Marketing is important when launching new product categories, and the Spectacles (original) by Snap is my favorite digital marketing experience so far.

Snap launched the first version of the Spectacles on 10 Nov 2016. The novel approach included digital and physical content/experiences. Snap effectively used Twitter sent devices to influencers to build excitement further.

👉 Use the Wayback Machine by Internet Archive to view sites from days gone by.

Spectacles by Snap Inc.
Spectacles are sunglasses that Snap! Tap once to make a memory — from your perspective. Then, relive it later in Snapchat.

Snap didn't, and to this day, doesn't have retail locations like Apple. Rather than shipping Spectacles direct to customers, the glasses could only be purchased in person from Snapbot – a smart vending machine. The campaign integrated Snap maps to show the current location of Snapbot. The movement grew considerable mindshare, and excitement grew in the early adopter community to determine where the next Snapbot place would be. Devices were limited, and FOMO set in.

I just bought Snap’s new Spectacles from a vending machine
A physical-world stunt for a multi-platform digital media phenomenon. Welcome to the future.

The campaign accomplished many goals:

  1. Announce product - website, video, social media
  2. Create a buzz - scarcity, and Snapbot vending machines
  3. Grow interest - reviews by influencers and tech journalists
  4. Introduce a new feature - Snap maps
  5. Free advertising - due to the novel approach, media outlets worldwide picked up the story, and fans immediately shared their Snapbot  experience using their newly purchased Spectacles

Today, most wearables are marketed in traditional ways. However, companies large and small will be introducing new products to consumers in the next 6 - 18 months. Specifically, how do you market augmented reality (AR) devices and hand-tracking devices to non-technical users?

I hope companies will find new, useful, and fun ways to market new products.

What is your favorite wearables marketing campaign?

The Snapbot – look at the lines of people!

Snapchat Spectacles Unboxing and review! | iJustine

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