March 04, 2015

he much awaited Apple Watch is all set to launch in April this year. As the launch date approaches, expect the surrounding buzz to grow stronger, and also expect Apple to do its considerable bit to whip-up the excitement.

In the run-up to its initial launch, Apple has done a clever bit of squarely positioning Apple Watch as a luxury fashion accessory - if the blitzkrieg of ads and magazine spreads over the last 6 months are analyzed. The bulk of the thrust seems NOT to be with the tech magazines, but with the leading fashion publications in all the potential markets.

It started in October of 2014, just after the release of the Apple Watch was announced officially in September, when Vogue China featured supermodel Liu Wen sporting the Apple Watch on its October cover.

Now, with the actual launch in a 9 March even looming close, Apple Watch has appeared in several fashion publications on both sides of the Atlantic.

Vogue France, Vogue USA, Self (USA), and Style (UK) are all leading fashion mags, and all of them are featuring the Apple Watch in their March editions. The US edition of Vogue Apple Watch spread is different from others - it is actually a paid spread, and is the most comprehensive - spanning over 12 pages.

Apple has also released a 360-degree video preview ad in the iPad edition of Vogue - you can watch the preview here.

That is not all - East Touch, a Hong Kong fashion and lifestyle publication aimed at the age group of 20 to 30 year olds, is also covering the Apple Watch in a four-page spread.

The appearance of Apple Watch in so many publications all around the world has revealed another important fact - that the device will be released simultaneously in several locations - this is not going to be a US-specific launch.

It is really smart of Apple to position its wearable as a luxury fashion accessory, and not solely as a hi-tech gadget. My guess is that Apple reckons the tech crowd is already won to the concept of a wearable device - as pointed out by a Business Insider Intelligence report that the smartwatch market could reach $ 12.6 billion by 2018, and a report by PWC survey that reveals that consumers favor Apple’s entry into the wearable space.

With the tech front already won, it makes ample sense for Apple to move to other markets that are ripe for pickings - and what better than the fashion conscious crowd to do this? The consumers in this segment are pretty clued in, and are ready to pay a premium price to acquire a fancier product.

The intent of Apple to position its watch as a luxury fashion product also dovetails nicely with its choice of premium materials - leather, stainless steel, even solid gold - and styling for the watch. The Apple watch designs are focused on fashion and customization, and have the right blend of form and function that will appeal to the fashion-forward crowd.

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