One of the first questions our capstone team at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute had at the start of this project was whether millennials even wear watches. None of the three of us ever wore wristwatches, save for special occasions, and a quick look at our friends’ wrists suggested largely the same trend. This made us wonder whether there could be a future for smartwatches if our generation didn’t buy into timepieces to begin with, so we decided to incorporate that into our survey.

Fortunately for Apple, we were surprised by what we found. From 602 responses, 66 percent – about 400 University of Missouri students – said they wear a watch at least sometimes. Just over a third of the total respondents indicated they wear a watch every day.

How often do you wear a wristwatch?Interestingly enough, those numbers aren’t representative of both men and women. When the answers were separated by gender, opposing trends emerged. Forty-six percent of men said they wear a wristwatch every day, while just 28 percent of women said the same. Women reported they were more likely to wear a wristwatch sometimes and most likely to never wear a wristwatch, while men were less likely to wear one sometimes and least likely to never wear a wristwatch. This difference is something that smartwatch makers and marketers alike will need to focus on.

We also wondered if the trend we had observed among our friends was indicative of a move away from traditional wristwatches or actually a decrease in wearing wrist pieces in general among millennials. We were curious if there was even an interest in wearable devices, like Fitbits and smartwatches.

Our survey responses suggest there is. Forty-four percent of our respondents said they were very interested in wearable technology and another 38 percent replied that they were somewhat interested.

How interested are you in a wearable?However, the survey results showed a significant difference in the number of respondents who were interested in wearable technology and those who currently own it. While about 82 percent showed interest, slightly more than 40 percent actually own some form of wearable device.

This brings up several questions, but namely this: Why is it that less than half of those who showed interest in wearable technology have actually purchased it in some form? Optimistically, this data could suggest a serious window for potential growth. This also appears to signal a need for greater education on what all this technology is capable of doing.

One of the common questions I get when someone sees my Apple Watch is, “What can it do?” The lack of awareness for the product’s capabilities seems to impact sales. But as you will read in Samantha Healey’s post, Apple seems to be revving up its advertising as the holiday season nears. It will be interesting to see how that advertisement plays into Watch sales and whether the marketing efforts offer enough education on why consumers need this technology in their lives.

Lauren Slome  
Guest blogger


Related Stories

comments powered by Disqus
MU | Missouri School of Journalism | University of Missouri