There is a revolution happening all around us, yet many of us simply aren’t noticing it. It is called the “The Internet of Things” (IoT) and it is defined as a network of physical objects and devices that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data.
Gartner Research reports that 6.4 billion connected “things” will be in use in 2016, up 30% from 2015. The IoT sector will support total service spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22% from 2015. Leading sectors include homes, automobiles, and consumer products.
You might be surprised to learn that the IoT revolution is now impacting the beauty, apparel, and jewelry business sectors.
L’Oreal is not a name typically associated with the International Consumer Electronics Show, but in early January, Guive Balooch, global VP of L’Oreal Technology Incubator, was in Las Vegas to unveil the beauty giant’s new foray into wearable tech: a temporary tattoo that measures sun exposure call “My UV Patch.”
It is a “stretchable sensor” with a diameter of one inch and thickness of 15 microns (think band-aide-like). My UV Patch contains flexible electronics that with the help of your smartphone, can tell you how much UV exposure you are subject to and at what times of day, with the help of your smartphone. “It’s a fashion statement” Mr. Balooch said in a NY Times interview.
As to why they started with a patch, “We know from our consumer insight research that UV exposure is a big issue for people,” Mr. Balooch said. “We really only wanted to make products that would disrupt the industry.”
After testing out the technology on ball boys at the 2014 US Open, Ralph Lauren began selling a PoloTech™ smart shirt for men that is embedded with sensors to track vital signs like breathing, heart rates, stress levels and calories burned.
The PoloTech shirt streams the information to an app that generates customized workout programs. From all this data, the shirt will essentially tell you how to exercise.
Fashion designers are also now exploring the potential of sensors and internet connectivity to create clothing and accessories that are often beautiful and intriguing as well as smart.
Lauren Bowker at The Unseen in the UK has created materials that change color and pattern in response to sensors, including a dress that “interprets human magnetism and emotions by reading brainwaves,” and a “4,000-piece gemstone headdress that reads brain activity, portraying distinctive color states of the individual’s thought process.” (shown at right)
The UK Guardian reported on the trend last year “Get yourself connected: Is the internet of things the future of fashion” including dresses that glow thanks to LEDs embedded in the fabric of a programmable shirt that features a video display, built in camera, microphone and speakers with the ability to show status updates, songs and photos.
There is more to connected accessories than smart watches. The fashion-forward Altruis from Kovert Designs is meant to remove people from the spell of tech and put them in a more meditative, connected to the here and now frame of mind. Unlike their better-known competitor Ringly, the Altruis collection is designed to limit the demands your phone places on you.
Instead of providing a constant technological tug and alerting you to activity across your social media accounts, it lets in only a select few who try to reach you with calls, texts, and email messages. Prices: $345-$430.
Ringly is the acknowledged category leader in “smart jewelry.” They create jewelry and accessories that connect to smartphones and provides customized notifications to on-the-go women. Ringly is also working with MasterCard to make their jewelry a mobile payment device. Imagine using your bracelet to buy a stunning gold necklace.
THE FUTURE OPPORTUNITY
At BLACK + GOLD we’re excited about the IoT wearable technology as it enters the beauty, apparel and jewelry business sectors. We think this convergence spells plenty of opportunity for both large and small businesses alike to test “disruptive ideas” that will evolve the function of their products
Keywords – everyone seems to be talking about them. But what’s the best way to use the art + science of keywords to help build your business?
Keywords are usually thought of as an “index term” to help people and search engines find relevant web content. They can also be the primary gateway to eCommerce or other business engagements.
Let’s take a look at them in a broader way. In this post we’ll look at:
- Using keywords from an artistic / visual branding perspective
- How keywords work, and why you need them
- The different types of keywords
Consider the artistic and creative perspective on keywords. Your brand should have a unique character, and an equally unique aesthetic look and feel.
Here’s a fun marketing exercise:
Pick three keywords to describe the aesthetic character of your brand.
Is your brand fun? Colorful? Intimate? Quirky? Serious? What’s the personality of your brand?
Think in terms of the three words that can immediately describe the way your brand looks and feels. This is a useful exercise – as the key words can lay down a consistent foundation for your images and related marketing content. This process is something an algorithm can’t do for you.
Consider Tiffany, the legendary jewelry brand. If you were to distill the visual character of their brand into three words, they might be elegant, powerful and loving. The company embodies these terms, and they are used as a visual blueprint for every image the company’s creates.
Without using keywords as a road map – you may fall victim to the old adage: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there” and this certainly applies to the visual presentation of your brand and its products.
In terms of the science of key words, a business should create content around relevant topics for their products or services, and these are expressed as keywords, which helps them “rank” well in search engine result listings.
A simple informative video of how search works from Google can help you understand the mechanics.
Why do you need keywords?
- Keywords should be used as the foundation of your website, blog and social media presence. They can also inform offers and e-mails.
- Keywords can help visitors and potential customers understand the purpose of your web page / blog and business.
- When a search engine crawls your web pages to index them – it will parse the keywords on the page to determine the purpose of your pages.
There are two different types of keywords:
Broad Keywords: Are short words or phases that can apply to your own company, as well as every other firm in your industry.
Long-tail Keywords: Tend to be longer words or phrases that are more specific to your company.
When you’re first getting started, you definitely will want to start by targeting long-tail keywords, because these are easier to rank for and they also bring in the most relevant and qualified traffic.
Using a combination of both “art” and “science” driven keywords will help spell success for your eCommerce / online marketing efforts. Be sure to test different keywords to see which yield the best outcomes or results in terms of building site traffic, visitor engagement and eCommerce.
That’s the art + science of keywords in a nutshell.
How do you plan to use keywords to build your business this week?
Welcome to the new BLACK + GOLD blog “The Art + Science of Modern Marketing.” We’ve created this blog to talk about how we view the current order of marketing and creativity.
Much has been said and written about how much marketing has become a science, with all the advancements in technology and the web impacting eCommerce. As famed consulting firm McKinsey Company wrote recently in their white paper The dawn of marketing’s new golden age:
“Advances in data, modeling, and automated analysis are creating ever more refined ways of targeting and measuring the returns on marketing investments, while generating powerful new clues about why consumers behave as they do.”
While we respect and practice the science of modern marketing, at BLACK + GOLD we are firmly committed to the art of visual story telling with great photography, creating images that reflect and celebrate the authenticity of a brand and its products, in a way that no algorithm can define.
BLACK + GOLD is made up of artists, writers and creatively inspired people first and foremost, and we use that lens for everything we do. And we then combine our artistic sensibilities with proven business acumen.
Is freely mixing art + science in business, marketing and eCommerce like trying to mix oil and water?
We think not.
On this blog we’ll be sharing ways that will help you understand and then put into practice both the art + science of modern marketing.
We invite you to comment on and share our posts on social media, and let us know if there is anything you’d like us to write about going forward.