Wearable technology, from your grandfather's watch to Google Glass, is here to stay. Brands have already begun experimenting with ways to play into the development of these devices, particularly those with screens – though I have to give props to Disney for the Mickey Mouse wristwatch trend of my youth.
Here are five smart ways you and your brand can enter the wearable world. Hint: no pop-up ads.
1. BYO – build your own
Well, this is basically the Mickey Mouse watch. Wearable tech is heading into a heyday, and if you can think of a spectacular idea that meets your brand strategy, go for it. Perhaps it's a wearable virtual pet for your pet brand. Perhaps it's modifying your phone product so it can be worn in an unusual way. This solution will only work for brands with a solid idea, and is likely to be short-lived, even if successful.
2. Adapt your app
If your brand already has an app, it's time to think beyond mobile and tablet. Could your app be more useful in a worn device? Could the ability to activate it with just your voice be helpful? Could it use what your user sees to its advantage? Making your app compatible with worn screens like Google Glass could one day be considered table stakes, so it's a good idea to start getting flexible now.
3. Integrate into someone else's app
If you're not a tech brand, getting someone to download your bespoke app can be a misguided struggle. You've probably already had meetings about how to integrate into existing, popular apps with helpful tips and product placement. Consider the same possibilities for apps becoming popular on wearable technology.
4. Enhance an experience
Think about your consumers' experience with your brand. Do they buy your product? Do they come into your store? Wearable devices can enhance the way people explore your merchandise and your locations. Think about ways a buzz on the wrist or a prompt on the screen could be useful.
5. Partner up
Love a wearable device? Show your love by sponsoring an event or competition related to its use. Like-minded consumers will love you for it, and you'll have an opportunity to provide samples of your products and otherwise expose your brand to them.
Annie Scott Riley is a Google Glass Explorer and senior social engagement manager at Carmichael Lynch Spong. Follow Annie on Twitter: @AnnieScott