Grabbing the Consumer by the Wrist: The advent of Apple Watch

Three mornings this week of hearing the Apple Watch conversation, and now it’s in even my head–and I’ve been actively avoiding being sucked into the Apple ecosystem, and all it entails and symbolizes.

The Monday announcement of Apple Watch was the big tech event of the week, on the heels of last week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), the biggest tech event held annually in Barcelona–an event that Apple has maintained a policy of missing–and nearly as often, disrupting from afar. In fact, a sustained peek at its subtle and often invisible marketing strategy shows us its intricate ingenuity. Cheeky and sneaky, really.


I would love to read a detailed and approachable case study into Apple’s marketing timetable. From the article cited earlier, it seems the lead-up to the day next month when Apple Watch is available in stores has been clever and even merciless. I’ve gleaned the following distinct components to the process:

  1. November 2014: in the name of providing “proper lead time” to retailers, Apple attempted to disrupt Christmas sales by getting consumers to postpone any wearables purchases by revealing its intent to make a smart watch
  2. “Spring Forward,” a cryptically simple email invitation sent to members of the press a few days before MWC as a save-the-date for its March 9 product launch, which was ultimately to be a watch fittingly announced the day after the clocks changed to daylight time: “With a single email blast, the conversation turned from “what’s coming up in Barcelona?” to ‘what is Apple going to talk about on March 9?’”
  3. As its chief rival Samsung was set to unveil its new flagship product, the Galaxy S6, Apple pulled the rug from under Samsung with a media offensive from all sides

And all of that about a month before anyone will be wearing an Apple Watch.

For the past half decade, the big 4 tech companies have been Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. And, Apple has been the richest of them all, based almost entirely on the sales of physical products. It seems that Google has the information and content, Facebook has the people and preferences, and Amazon has the goods and supply lines. It’s amazing how by sheer quality, design, branding, and marketing Apple has amassed a cash pile approaching a trillion dollars. And with increasing rarity, the Apple empire to this day is one which rests upon brick and mortar.

There is no wheel that’s being reinvented by Apple. Computers, tablets, portable music devices…all pretty much polishing the shoe. One of the countless articles marveling at the prowess of Apple’s marketing juggernaut states: “Apple is able to convince people that what they are offering is fundamentally new. Come on, a watch is not new! The first wristwatch was made in 1571. Watches tell time; it’s just another chronometer, right?”

[pun alert] Well, it seems that time will tell?