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Will Wearable Devices Kill Brand Storytelling?

Google Glass and NikeNike Fuelband and Google Glass have carved out a new industry in wearable screen-less smart devices, and advertisers are scurrying to figure out how this disruption will affect their marketing strategies. These extremely interactive, personal (and fashionable?) devices raise an important question for both brands and agencies: will brand storytelling become irrelevant?

Will brands begin to search for agencies who have wearable device experience? Will we begin to see agencies who have specialized expertise with these devices appear?

Storytelling in the Past and Present

Advertising of the past 30 years could be summed up by Apple’s 1984 Macintosh computer ad—a compelling story that motivated legions of people to align with a brand. Consistent and compelling  storytelling has ultimately decided the brands that win the war for consumer attention (think Coca Cola) and those whose memory fades into history (think Kodak cameras).

Even successful companies have had difficulties in sharing their stories—consumer attention spans have gotten to the point where brands have only 140 characters to make a lasting impression, although many have gotten past this by simply posting links to images and videos. Just as the advertising world has begun to accept storytelling as the gold standard, a new screen-less and disruptive technology threatens to usurp the whole enchilada. En première vue, the future of storytelling looks bleak.

Google Glass + Nike Fuelband = The Future of Advertising?

There are a couple reasons why you shouldn’t discount storytelling on wearables. First of all, there’s huge potential in the market: wearables are slated to surpass 300 million units shipped within five years, according to Business Insider. Secondly, there’s a wealth of personal information that can be gathered from wearables—relevant personal data about interests, favorite locations, or even general body health can be recorded and shared.

Access to this relevant personal data might be the future of storytelling. This personal data will provide insights to brands that will help shape their stories to fit their consumers’ interests and lifestyles. The brands that use this personal data to successfully share relevant stories will ultimately succeed. The challenge that lies ahead for advertisers is adapting to this screen-less technology and crafting the most effective method to share their brand stories.

Are You Ahead of the Game?

Are you part of the Google Glass Explorer program? Have you already started strategizing and developing for this shift in consumer touch points? Agencies, be sure to update your portfolio on Agency Spotter to let brands know you’re in the know! And, tweet us @AgencySpotter so we can help spread the word!

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About

Joseph is committed to helping brands and creative agencies find each other. He has special interest in how digital strategies impact business performance. Talk to him about marketing, startups, and customer experiences. He holds degrees in business and accounting from College of Charleston and an MBA from Boston University. Obsessed with group fitness, Joseph is also a newly minted kick-box instructor.

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