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Apple's Watch pitch will rely on trumpeting 'intimacy'

Gregg Keizer | March 10, 2015
New device requires a different marketing tack, one that stresses what it doesn't do, predicts analyst.

In a follow-up post to his blog on Friday, Dawson elaborated on the comparison.

"I see the Watch performing a similar role in relation to smartphones, which have now become in some ways general purpose devices in a similar way to early PCs," Dawson wrote. "If the Watch is to succeed, it will do so by allowing us to focus on those tasks that are most important to us, stripping away the rest of the stuff we'll leave for our smartphones.

"And for many of us it will do this for our personal lives in much the way early smartphones did it for our work lives," Dawson concluded.

Apple may reveal this pitch later today during its analyst-and-media event that starts at 10 a.m. PT. Or not.

Today's audience, whether on-site or watching the webcast, will not be the typical customer, Dawson cautioned. Those who take in the live-stream will be the most dedicated, loyal among Apple's fan base, those who are first in line for a new iPhone and presumably, the most interested in getting a Watch straight away.

Apple will use its advertising -- which has already started in fashion publications -- to illustrate what it believes are the value propositions of the Apple Watch. Its retail stores will also help deliver the message to consumers.

"Retail is absolutely critical" to the Watch, said Dawson. "Apple's never about the hard sell [at retail], where it's much more about asking questions than pushing something specific. Retail gives Apple a unique opportunity, a unique advantage over other smartwatch makers.

"Think about going to Best Buy to shop for an Apple Watch," Dawson said, relying on what he clearly thought was a counter-factual. "It would be a nightmare. Salespeople there are overworked and unavailable and commission-driven. None would be a good fit for this device."

Apple's webcast can be viewed from the company's site starting at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET, and as usual, will be limited to those running Safari on OS X or iOS, or who own an Apple TV.


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