The Apple Watch is a chance for health brands to get personal, but not too personal

The wearable device isn't a fit for every brand.

Although the iPhone X, and its $1,000-and-up price tag, was the headliner of Apple’s September product unveiling, the device that stole the show for many observers was the latest edition of the Apple Watch. 

The third edition of the wearable, which comes with its own not-so-insignificant price tag, is as filled with opportunity for healthcare and wellness brands as it is apps. However, because of the nature of the device -- Apple has always billed the Watch as its "most personal device ever" -- they truly need to think through whether the opportunities are right for them. 

First, brands need to be judicious with just how much they invade the user’s personal space. How many reminders are truly necessary? Do interactions with the user need to be branded? At the end of the day, brands should be asking themselves if they are making the user’s life easier, more informed, healthier, or more organized via the wearable device. If not, it might be better to sit this one out. 

Second, remember your audience. Apple Watch users may not be healthier than the average customer, but most of them are making an effort. In fact, the technology giant is reportedly working with Stanford University on a study to determine whether the Watch can detect issues like abnormal heart rhythms. If a user has downloaded an app for the Apple Watch, there’s a good chance he or she is trying to be faster, leaner, meaner, eating better, or all of the above. That means there’s a tremendous opportunity for health and wellness brands to provide these consumers with content, whether that’s information about diets, sleep, or mental health. But again, see above, brands must be judicious in providing information without driving the user to delete the app. 

The third and last tip should be a point of emphasis for brands that have any interaction with the Apple Watch, especially in light of the recent Equifax data breach, which put the personal information of 143 million Americans at risk. Apple Watch users are sharing a mind-boggling amount of personal data via their wearables. Height, weight, activity, and heartbeat are just the beginning. Many users are sharing data about where and when they work out and even sexual health information. If a company is collecting any of this information via Apple Watch, it’s best for it to quickly make sure its data security is airtight, or it could be in for an embarrassing incident of its own. 

Frank Washkuch is news editor at PRWeek

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