3 Novel Ways Brands Can Gain Fans and Followers with Wearable Devices

3 Novel Ways Brands Can Gain Fans and Followers with Wearable Devices

Today, 1 in 5 Americans own a wearable fitness device, and 1 in 10 wear them daily. Thanks to the advent of the Apple Watch and other cutting-edge technologies, it’s a tech trend that’s likely not going anywhere, the latest figures have foundparticularly among the younger set.

As the tech gets better, opportunities for brands to use this trend have appeared, especially in the customer loyalty and rewards space. Gone are the days of one-off user surveys — now companies can reach the customers who love them in new, innovative ways.

There’s evidence that reaching out to health-minded consumers can reap rewards, for both busy customers and brands. In a 2015 survey, for example, 88 percent of those polled said they’ll pay more for healthy food. An article of the spending habits of women in the Harvard Business Review named fitness as one of the top categories women are willing to shell out for — an important note, as women make most household spending decisions, the same article concluded.

One way wearables fit into this picture: With more customer habit intel available than ever before, brands can offer these health-minded consumers premium prices and discounts on goods and services that the data show interest them.

Here are three possible use cases broken down by business type — but the possibilities are endless.

Scenario 1: Gyms could engage clients year-round.

When summer hits, many gym goers put the fitness center on hold and opt for outdoor exercise, resulting in a loss of revenue for the gym until colder weather returns. But instead of suffering through a seasonal slump, gyms could track their members’ workouts through an activity platform and reward individuals for any activity or a number of steps over a certain threshold. These out-of-the-gym movements could translate to real rewards inside, such as summertime discounts on membership dues or price breaks on supplements or apparel that could be used anywhere, courtesy of the fitness center’s partner brands.

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With this strategy, customers keep their fitness options open year-round and gyms stay true to their central mission of helping clients live happier, healthier lives — in and outside of the building.

Scenario 2: Hotels could corner the healthy-travelers market.

Hotels that want to keep activity-oriented clients in their rooms could consider a new kind of rewards system. One example: Any time a traveler logs a workout on a trip (or even at home), he or she would earn reward points. At a certain threshold, they would unlock perks inside the hotel — such as free-to-use gym gear during their next stay or a complimentary yoga class. Perks could also include discounts on appeal or fitness classes from favorite brands outside of the hotel; access to special fit getaway weekends at a discount; or deals on spa services.

Scenario 3: Stores could score Millennial customer loyalty.

In lieu of traditional rewards — customers who shop more, earn more — brands could help fitness-minded fans engage with the goods and activities they love even outside the store.

Here’s how it could work: As individuals enrolled in the rewards programs meet certain step thresholds or log a certain number of workouts, they could earn discounts on products (say, 50 percent off a sports drink or a coupon code for sneakers). The discounts could be used in or out of the original store, with partner brands, such as the apparel or supplement companies, paying to access the store’s customer base. Customers get new gear; businesses gain new sales leads; everybody wins.

As the wearable space grows, there’s no doubt these and other examples will become commonplace — serving both clients and brands better.

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