The launch of the ‘Thinking Cap’ from menswear brand Rochambeau shows the power of harnessing wearable technology for content marketing
Wearable tech is no longer a niche concern from the geekier side of society – it’s a real and in-your-face, sometimes on-your-face, concern.
This week, New York fashion brand Rochambeau showcased its latest combination of fashion and tech – and content is an intrinsic factor.
The Thinking Cap – made in collaboration with Internet of Things (IoT) software company EVRYTHING – has NFC (near field communication) and QR (quick response) code labels hidden inside. When scanned, they unveil a raft of content on the wearer’s phone, dependent on their location and the time of day. This ranges from audio-led walking tours to playlists from local musicians.
It’s the latest in a series of wearable innovations that utilise content marketing to engage their audience. And as the market grows, there are new challenges to consider that can help you get ahead of the game.
Gone are the days when technology could be innovative and functional but lacking in the style department. All wearable tech, and the content housed within it, needs to look good.
This is where Rochambeau, as a fashion brand, has a natural advantage. Their caps boast innovative, engaging content but also work as purely fashion items.
The much-vaunted Google Glass discovered the perils of having top-quality technology but looking, well, a bit silly. Content marketers should be well aware of the power of surface and first impression – books will be judged on their front cover, at least to some degree. When bringing together content and wearable tech, don’t forget that image matters.
Expand your wardrobe
Wearable tech has so far been somewhat dominated by smartwatches. But the concept of the IoT has changed the landscape of what can be done.
A recent partnership between EVRYTHING and Avery Dennison means that clothing could soon come with its own digital application, accessible via a phone. The apps will offer up style tips, help with how to wash the clothes properly and give info on how to buy a new version of the same item.
Another perk is that you will be able to find the clothes via the app if you’ve lost them.
Bringing in new interfaces can provide a point of difference for content marketers. Professionals in the world of content marketing looking to embrace the wearable trend would do well to consider what garments or accessories could work best for showcasing content.
Location, location, location
Location-specific content throws up a great deal of opportunities for content marketers, and wearable tech is the ideal means of delivery.
QR codes that can be scanned to unlock content are now a common feature in towns and cities (Talking Statues being an excellent example).
Is there more that can be done to embrace the fact that people are taking their tech with them wherever they go? Could your brand produce video content for the smartwatch to reflect the history of the part of town the wearer is in? What about audio soundbites relaying stories of prominent characters?
With more information available than ever before about the habits and whereabouts of audience, content can become ever more tailored to location.
Towards the end of 2016, Rochambeau also released a limited run of 15 connected jackets. These acted as a VIP pass for exclusive events such as club entry, gallery tours and special tasting menus at restaurants.
Although this particular example was more a showcase than product launch, the idea of bringing exclusive content to as many people as possible is one with which content marketers will be more than familiar.
The rise of wearable tech sees a more personalised approach to content. Content is no longer just carried in bags – on computers or tablets – it can be worn as part of a person’s outfit.
Content marketers should be aware that wearable tech means more personalised tech. From fashion to location, the task in hand is to collide practicality, style and innovation – while at the same time finding new ways to spread your brand’s message.