It’s #MWC16 day 3 and we turn our focus to smart watches. In a world where “premium” is being both democratised and commoditised, brands are living through challenging times as more and more brands, upgrade their product portfolio and position themselves towards “luxury”. The smart watch is a product that is demanding premium brands rethink how added value can be incorporated into their products and communicated through their brand values. This year at the Mobile World Congress, we found examples of how smart watches have been positioned:
First, the Samsung S2 smart watch, their latest model, was redesigned based on consumer feedback to look much more like an analogue watch. The model can be personalised – it comes in most colours, materials, styles and is priced at $250. You can even choose a version that has been processed with a layer of rose gold (although no price mentioned).
Second, the Chinese manufacturer ZTE concentrated more on what their Axon Watch was associated with. The $200 watch, which features a 1.4 inch sapphire screen with an IP67 rating, was surrounded by other premium fashion accessories, including an original Swiss IWC Schaffhausen analogue (valued between $4000 and $6000).
Third, and maybe the most interesting case, was a collaboration between Swiss watch manufacturer Tag Heuer and Intel. While the core business of Tag Heuer remains analogue watches, they clearly want to offer the latest technology and design to their clients too. Their idea is simple yet powerful, especially regarding customer retention: try the luxury smart chronograph that has been created with select high-end materials for $1500. If you don’t like it return it for a $1500 voucher, which can be spent on an analogue watch. You therefore get a new product from the same brand under the same brand values. Client retained. Bravo!
We look forward to what is to come in this area – where tradition, design and technology continue to be challenged and rethought.