The Apple Watch Marketing Ploy That May Link Virtue, Self-Indulgence
Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) newly unveiled smartwatch's health features could provide a link between virtue and self-indulgence in the mind of consumers that helps sell the product, an analyst said Monday.
"Apple's contribution to medical research may help sell the watches to do-gooders around the world," Pacific Crest's Andrew Hargreaves said.
Hargreaves cited Harvard researcher Uma Karmarkar, who found that re-usuable shopping bags in supermarkets had a "licensing effect" that spurred shoppers to load up on junk food -- in addition to organic products.
"You're sort of being good in one domain and allowing yourself to be a little bit bad in another," Karmarkar told the Harvard Gazette last year.
Hargreaves said the link between virtue and self-indulgence could come into play in consumer purchasing decisions regarding the Apple Watch.
If consumers feel they are contributing to a broader health cause, Hargreaves said, "they may buy more Apple Watches, even if they do not use the features."
But Hargreaves is skeptical that the watch will receive wide acceptance.
If the device is perceived as "cool or fashionable" then its success is assured. But "if Apple Watch is perceived as nerdy or trying too hard, then it won't overcome the fashion deficit," Hargreaves said.
Successful marketing will be "crucial in driving consumers over the edge," the analyst said.
The watch's primary functional value "seems to be the convenience of being able to do certain tasks without taking your phone out of your pocket," Hargreaves said.
The device is very cheap compared with a high-end Swiss watch, but very expensive as an iPhone accessory, according to Hargreaves.
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