Over the last few weeks TAG Heuer has released a Monaco V4 iPhone application- the first TAG Heuer mobile application, or app, which offers some great video and photos of the new V4 Monaco. Far from being just a novelty download, the use of a dedicated mobile app- whether it be for the iPhone, Nexus One, Palm or other platform, is perhaps the most exciting new marketing channel for watch companies since the development of the internet itself. Before explaining why, here is a brief overview of the app itself.
The Monaco V4 App
The Monaco V4 app is available here through the iTunes store- so only for iPhone users at this stage:
There are three menus within the app- Interact, Discover and Locate.
- Interact: Shows a rotatable 3-D image of the V4- similar to the feature found on the TAG Heuer website. There is also a sub-menu here to “recharge”, which is the coolest part of the app, because you have to tilt your iPhone from side-to-side to get the central weight of the V4 to move up and down- once you do this, additional content is unlocked
- Discover: Ten close-up photos of the V4 and ten one-minute videos that show the development of the watch
- Locate: Locates the nearest TAG Heuer Authorised Dealer based on your current location.
The app itself is actually pretty good, and there’s enough interesting content here to justify keeping it once you’ve downloaded it. TAG Heuer are by no means the only watch company to put out a mobile app- Lange & Sohne, IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre and Boucheron to name a few have all developed an iPhone app. Generally, the content is pretty similar- a catalogue of the current watches and an ability to locate your nearest Authorised Dealer (although special credit to Jaeger for their “Watch School” feature). So far, so normal- so why is the mobile app such a great opportunity for watch companies?
The Importance of the Mobile App
The holy grail of marketing is the ability to push tailored, interactive content direct to a consumer, which is exactly what the mobile app allows.
- Portability: The beauty of pushing this content to your mobile is that there is nothing more permanently attached to a consumer than a mobile phone. Your computer may well have photos of watches, but when you leave the house or office you generally leave it behind. Your mobile goes wherever you go.
- Interactive: Sending out e-mails has been the traditional way of pushing content, but e-mail isn’t interactive and given the volume that most people receive daily, many emails are quickly discarded. The app can interact with web forums and other apps (such as Google Maps or Twitter).
- Updates: The iTunes platform can send out and easily install updates to the app, meaning that you could download the 2010 TAG Heuer catalog, and as new models are added, TAG Heuer can send those updates direct to you (and this would be a great addition- while TAG Heuer have won several digital awards for their website, I still find it frustrating that there are many watches you will find at the local dealer that are not on the TAG Heuer website).
- Localised: The iTunes platform also offers the ability to tailor the app for different countries- so the TAG Heuer app for Japan can have different watches to the app available in the US.
Making of all this even more exciting for the iAddicts out there is the imminent arrival of the Apple tablet, which is rumored to have the ability to run the same apps as the iPhone, but on a larger screen with enhanced video capabilities. Perfect for a watch catalogue with a few videos thrown in (in fact, magazines such as GQ are already publishing their monthly editions as iPhone apps).
So this is an incredible opportunity for watch companies to gain “real estate” on your mobile phone and- with good content- to stay there.
What Should We Expect from TAG Heuer?
The benefit for the watch collector in all of this is that there will be a lot more information made available in the form of interactive catalogues and video content. If there isn’t a regular stream of information and updates, the chances are good that we’ll simply delete it.
So what should TAG Heuer add to future mobile apps? The obvious one is to add the catalogue of all the available models- it could even show the recommended retail price in each market. And as new models are added or deleted, simply update the app. There is also a great opportunity to launch new watches through the mobile app- for example, revealing a little more of a new watch each day until the official launch date- perhaps Basel 2010 wil be an opportunity for TAG Heuer to try that out. There’s also the opportunity to create regional/ country specific price promotions for particular watches
So if you do have an iPhone, I’d certainly recommend downloading the Monaco V4 app- not just because it’s an interesting program in itself, but also because it offers a preview of the way that watch companies and collectors will interact in the years ahead.