Are wearables just for the kids?
Jeff Berry, Editor-in-Chief of COLLOQUY and Senior Director of Research and Development at LoyaltyOne
Through a special arrangement, what follows is a summary of a study from COLLOQUY, provider of loyalty-marketing publishing, education and research since 1990.
A COLLOQUY survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers found 58 percent saying they would like to use a wearable device, but felt that they were too old.
The finding was one in the study, “Weighing in on Wearables,” that showed that the jury is still out on just how far consumers are willing to follow the wearable technology trend.
Indeed, the survey showed mixed signals in how influential the style has become. Encouragingly, 33 percent said wearable devices make a fashion-forward statement. More than a third, 35 percent, find people who use wearables nerdy — but “cool nerdy.”
On the other hand, 35 percent said people who use wearables are just trying to show off, 22 percent said those who use wearables seem to be obsessed with technology, and 21 percent felt wearing the technology all day, every day “is just too much.”
From a functional standpoint, however, older generations appear to value wearables more. Those 36 and older, for example, were twice as likely as Millennials to use their wearable device if it helps them measure themselves against others in reaching a specific goal. Again, though, a full 61 percent of people who would buy a wearable for health and fitness reasons, for example, said they consider themselves too old for the technology.
Overall, simple awareness remains a major hurdle. Just over one out of every two Americans, 52 percent, say they don’t know enough about wearables and don’t understand them.
Most, however, are pretty familiar with Fitbit and or other interactive health and fitness wristbands, and have more recently learned about smartwatches. But wearables are popping up everywhere with new functions being tested constantly.
Nevertheless, only 18 percent of those surveyed find “the functions (wearables) offer are not something I would use.” People apparently see the benefit, but more education is needed. In fact, those who were shown how a product is used, through a demonstration, video or the like, were found to be twice as likely to be highly engaged with their wearable devices — 41 percent engagement, up from 20 percent.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think growth in the wearables market will be driven more by function or fashion? What will it take to sell older generations on wearables along with younger ones?