How to Make Your Product A Big Deal: Lessons from the Apple Watch

appleDue to launch on April 24, Apple’s introductory product in the wearable technology category has received its share of hype. Though the hard numbers have yet to be released, it’s estimated that Americans bought one million Apple Watches in the first six hours on the first day of preorders. Here are a few lessons to learn from the coveted Apple Watch:

1) Make it personal.
Just like a great suit, a great product should be able to be tailored to the different tastes of its target consumers so that they can make it their own. The millennial audience, for example, is intent on being unique and personalization plays to this desire as a form of expression. From a variety of watch editions, to faces, to bands – Apple has made a point to cover all of their bases when it comes to offering customizable design options for the Apple Watch to complement a variety of lifestyles and meet individual aesthetic preferences. The Apple Watch isn’t just for the techie – it’s for the athlete, the businessperson, and the doctor – virtually anyone and everyone. It offers impressive capabilities in a wearable, fashionable, and compact package.

2) Illustrate how it “plays well with others.”
A great product is one that can easily be paired with other items that your target audience already owns. Whether in the technology, food, or fashion industry (think little black dress) – the most successful products possess versatility and can “play nicely” with other items (or accessories), creating a synergistic experience. Not only does the Apple Watch obviously pair with the iPhone, Apple’s guided tours show it can also pair with a Bluetooth headset such as one of the wireless models by Beats by Dre. Knowing Apple’s reputation for synergy across its product offerings, more “pairings” with the Apple Watch will surely be revealed post-launch.

3) Leave room for a little mystery.
Everyone wants in on a secret. If you try to keep the lid on something, the world will want a taste (especially if you’re Apple). Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch to the world in September 2014 and the world has been buzzing with excitement since. On April 10, 2015, the Apple Watch was made available for try-on in retail stores and preorder. You can’t take it home just yet, as the official launch date is April 24, 2015, but even then it has limited in-store availability. Regardless, consumers are hungry. The watch reportedly sold out within six hours on its first day of U.S. preorders. In fact, in that first day, Apple secured more sales than all of the Android smartwatch manufacturers combined in 2014. Alongside a TV ad, Apple has released a variety of guided tours illustrating the watch’s many capabilities. Some are available to watch now, while others are enticingly labeled “coming soon,” further fueling consumers’ appetites.

apple24) Make it exclusive – at first.
Put your product in the hands of key influencers before you release it to the public. Choose people you know would enjoy your product, are well known, and have a diverse following. If you’re smart, you’ll pick VIPs who are active on social media and can further fuel the hype when they post photos and snippet reviews of your product. That’s brilliant advertising. Though the Apple Watch doesn’t officially launch for another week, a growing number of celebrities are already showing them off, including fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld who’s “one-of-a-kind” watch is a gold-on-gold combination that isn’t even available as a preorder option. The rest of us may have to wait a little longer for that version.

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