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A Tale of Two Watches

May 20,2015

Preface: Brand Ubiquity and the Apple Watch

In our line of work, there are often times when we meet with entrepreneurs looking to bring products and brands to market. When their answer is “everyone” to the question “who is it for,” we know we have our work cut out for us.

No brand – whether a consumer product, an entertainer, a politician, or a law firm – has a fighting chance to capture its total possible audience (or total addressable market) from the outset. You can’t build a better mousetrap to catch a bear, just more mice.

Of course, many brands ultimately achieve ubiquity – cutting across every age group, geography, and lifestyle. But they didn’t start that way; Facebook started with Harvard University students, Starbucks started with Seattle’s cultural class, and Uber started with the San Franciscan tech community.

The story of how Apple went from niche technology brand to global juggernaut doesn’t need to be retold. A testament to its vast appeal, however, is on full display at the Finch Brands office as CEO Daniel Erlbaum and Senior Art Director Scott Richards – two very different personalities – await delivery of their Apple Watches.

We have decided to conduct an experiment in our offices. While the Apple brand clearly transcends all boundaries, does its newest innovation, the Apple Watch, suit an equally broad and diverse user base?

Two points of pretext:

1.) Granted, while living wildly divergent lives, Daniel and Scott are just two people and therefore don’t represent the many flavors of human beings that exist. If you do not identify with either, you may want to sign off now.

2.) This idea of journaling their experiences with the Apple Watch was a ploy by Scott to get the company to foot the bill for an extravagant purchase. If the brand insights seem forced, that’s because they are an ulterior motive rather than the true purpose of this exercise.

Apple Watch: A perspective from two very different lives. Part I.

Apple Watch. Oooh! Ahhhhh! The crowd goes wild! The latest “must-have to continue living” product is here. That’s the hype. But is it the reality? Two members of the Finch Brands team are about to find out.

Scott is an early Apple adopter and loyalist and very much in keeping with the early 2000s archetypical Apple guy – highly creative, fashion conscious, and brand conscious. Daniel is a late adopter, circa 2013 – he’s a business guy who prefers function to form and has inherent aversion to cult brands. These two will describe their experiences with the Apple Watch from preorder through to everyday use. The hope is that those who are on the fence about the purchase may gain some clarity about the product’s relevance. Perhaps, others more broadly interested in consumerism and brand insights might find some value in this journal.

As they await their watches, here’s a bit about Scott and Daniel:

Age/Martial Status/Religion?

Daniel: 42 years old, married forever, super-Jewish

Scott: 28 years young, single, atheist

Typical Saturday Night?

Daniel: On the treadmill working off the Sabbath gorging and then on the couch watching the next episode of whatever on Netflix.

Scott: Out and about in Center City with friends.

Do you wear a watch now?

Daniel: No, but I have a drawer full of ex-watches. Tennis has done in my wrists and my heavy watches started to aggravate the problem.

Scott: Sometimes, more as just a fashion statement. Usually the batteries are dead anyway.

Exercise routine?

Daniel: Three jogs a week and tennis on Tuesdays.

Scott: Swimming laps and a fast circuit workout daily.

Do you think the Apple Watch will have a significant impact on your life? 

Daniel: Nah. Doesn’t mean I’m not excited though. Looking forward to small conveniences, like having to reach into my pocket less often for my phone. There’s a part of me, though, that’s a bit ashamed of feeding into society’s over-active consumption of things that are unnecessary, I must admit.

Scott: I actually think it will. At first, I thought… ahhh I don’t need another Apple device, even though I can be considered a cult member of the Apple following. After I read more about it and watched some reviews and videos about this product, I actually really wanted it. I think it will improve my life and actually help me get a little more disconnected from my actual iPhone.

What are you most looking forward to with the Apple Watch? 

Daniel: Running! Looking forward to being able to quickly skip to the next song when a track from Sally’s Music Circle (part of my collection for my kids) comes on or adjust the volume up or down depending on whether Simon & Garfunkel or Led Zeppelin is playing. Currently, I need to contort myself to control such things from my strapped-to-my-arm-iPhone. Will be nice to be able to control from my wrist.

Scott: I’m really looking forward to the Mickey Mouse watch face (no, really I am). Also, I’m really excited about the fitness part of it, because keeping fit is a big part of my life. I’m also a big music fan – whenever I get home I connect my phone through Bluetooth to my Bose speakers and put on music for a few hours while I do things around the house, so I think it’s going to be great to be able to control that from my wrist, rather than lugging this big iPhone 6 around with me. Also, it’s a really sexy piece of jewelry.

Greatest concerns about the product?

Daniel: Technologically, I’m concerned about what it may mean to the battery life of my iPhone 6. Practically, I’m concerned that it may be a distraction as I aim to disconnect from work communications and connect with my kids and wife at home. Existentially, I’m concerned that it’s a next step towards the actualization of the Terminator.

Scott: My concern is addiction. I got addicted to my iPhone very quickly, so much so that I had to actively leave my phone in my kitchen when I got home from work, so I wouldn’t be on it all the time. I also shut off all vibrations for texts, so if it is in my pocket I won’t constantly feel the buzz of a text. (I’m pretty popular so the texts flood in.) After reading up on the Apple Watch, I know that I’m probably going to have pretty strict notification settings so my wrist isn’t constantly “blowing up.”

stay tuned for part two.....

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