It's that time of year again. If you happen to be in Austin, please join me at SXSW on Friday (yes, that's Friday the 13th) where I will be talking about the intersection of brand and technology that will lead us toward creating experiences that we not only need but that we want and desire. Some highlights that I will cover during the session:
The term “Wearables” is bullshit. We need to reframe how we think about the wearable industry.
The term “wearables” shows us that we’re looking at the world from a purely tech perspective. Though technology will continue to play a crucial role, it can no longer be the central focus of product efforts. Our experiences will become less about the tech and more about how it will make us feel.
Congratulations, we made it work. Now we must strike the right balance between utility, emotion, and meaning.
Currently, we’re heavy on utility as we try to prove out the technology and get these new wearable devices to work. We need to strike the right balance between utility, brand alignment (adding the emotional quality and connection), and meaning (solving real problems) that will lead us toward creating experiences that we not only need, but that we want and desire.
Our technology products will become our own personal brand.
Brand is personal. The brands a person selects are an expression of that person and chosen for the way they make that person feel, or sometimes for how the person wants to feel. We’re used to looking at clothing and cars this way, but it’s time we start looking at all our technologies this way. We will soon select our technologies as an expression of self, as a part of our own personal brand.
“Fashion Tech” is an example of how our current approach is out of balance.
We must go beyond fashion embellishment and “snap-on” branding if we are to create products that are truly meaningful for people and resonate with people’s needs.
To go past early adopters toward mainstream, we need to do better than measuring steps and putting notifications on our wrists.
The opportunity that the wearable form-factor brings to our ecosystem of connected devices, is that we now have the ability to make our experience much more personal. Whether it’s making someone happier or healthier, we can use this new form-factor to solve real problems and make a world that improves and possibly saves our lives.
To solve real problems, we have to change our organizational structures, our mindsets, and ultimately our culture.
Chrono Therapeutics is an example of a company that gets it; we of course have people representing seemingly disparate disciplines – from engineers to behavioral experts to designers to medication scientists, we also have a culture that emphasizes the importance to collaborating across those disciplines to strike the right balance.
My challenge to the industry is to constantly ask ourselves these questions:
- Are we moving beyond a device-centric approach toward one that is more human?
- Are you aligning the right technology capabilities to your brand or the brand that you are collaborating with?
- Are you striking the right balance between utility, emotion, and meaning?
- Are you solving real problems?
- Does your organization have the right attitude that pulls from different perspectives?
I hope to see you there!
Info on the talk:
En Vogue: Blurring the line between brand and tech
Brand matters. As we’ve seen on TV, even a $20 Casio watch will excite people if it has an Apple sticker on it. In her talk, leading wearable technology and fashion expert Jennifer Darmour will reason that for wearables to have this kind of enduring consumer engagement, we need to align brand values and technological capabilities in a way that makes the experience more meaningful.
As wearable technology and the IoT collide, we’ll see more technology embedded into products we use daily, from our clothing to our homes. So far, brand values have been an afterthought for these smart products but it’s time to think about it the other way around – creating new experiences tied to the values of brands we love.
In her talk, Darmour will explore the intersection of fashion and technology by breaking down models of brand collaborations from Tory Birch and Fitbit to Apple and Gucci, and discuss how incorporating brand from the beginning will result in tailor-made experiences of the future.
Friday, March 13
12:30PM - 1:30PM
110 E 2nd St
ATTENTION: This session requires advance signup to attend.
More info and to sign up for a seat, go here.