Thursday, October 03, 2013

Coolhunting Oakley Apple Google - Wearable devices industry

by Diego Mendez

Using the software Condor and its capacity to interpret word sentiment I will explore the context and relationships between the 3 brands Apple, Google and Oakley on the Web. This approach is based on coolhunting the Web through qualitative data analysis.

Brands Selection
What do Apple, Google and Oakley have in common? The relation between the giants Apple and Google is obvious, as they both compete in the technology arena and they are both trendsetters in their particular and common markets.

How does Oakley fit into this profile? Oakley is the top innovator in the eyewear industry (e.g. they invented the curve lens); this culture of innovation has carried them to explore other potential uses of this eyewear. In particular ,Oakley launched a product called AIRWAVE last year. This product includes a particular technology that allows any snowboarder (or skier) to watch and read analytics, track information, text messages, videos etc… through a very small display embedded into the lens.
Oakley's Airwave. This is, basically, Oakley’s moving into the tech industry.

On the other hand, it is publicly known that Google has launched a device called Google Glass.
Google Glass.This is Goggle’s landing into the eyewear industry (or wearable industry).

How about Apple? Well, the market has been wondering for awhile what is their next big thing. A kind of wearable device? Is it a watch (Oakley also owns a line of watches)? Is it glasses?
Oakley, Google, and Apple have in common their aim in marketing high end technological accessories (wearable industry). Let’s see what the SWARM can tell us?

Brand names association
Twitter brings a good scenario for finding words associated with the brands. Tweets are short with a strong content.

Traditionally associated with coolness, extreme sports and innovation. Fetching tweets (sample over 1500 tweets) containing only the brand name, we could not observe a good sense of this sentiment.

Most of the tweets are referring to e-retailers advertising points of sales (these tweets include re-tweets). Perhaps that is the reason why Oakley Canada has a strong presence.
The only reference to a product is the #frogskin (this is an Oakley lifestyle line); for the moment, no sign of Airwave.

Traditionally associated with disruptive technology.

The tweets (sample of 1500) reflect a stronger presence of products or business concepts (iTunes, music, download), mainly from the music area. It is interesting to see words like amazing and kicking in as positive sentiment. The tweets are cleaner, not as many e-retailers looking to generate traffic to points of sales. This might suggest  better digital marketing management at Apple as opposed to Oakley.

Tweets (1500 sample)

I encountered expected words such as "search", "report", "analytics", "page" along with other negative sentiment words (there were very few negative words in Oakley's and Apple's analysis above). Perhaps, the most interesting finding is  that the word "GLASS" is associated with negative sentiment. Further analysis shows an association of the word "GLASS" with others such as "Privacy" or "Spy".

OBSERVATION 1: Neither of the 3 Brands has a strong association with their products Airwave (Oakley), Glass (Google), or iWatch (Apple).

If we combine the 3 data sets and ask Condor to order nodes by betweenness centrality we can identify actors with a mediating role.

  • The large nodes at the the top and bottom end are the queries "Oakley" and "Google"
  • The query "Apple" loses its relevance
  • Nodes in the middle connecting the big 2 queries are 2 identifiable users.  Their follower base is 2,292 and 127 respectively.

OBSERVATION 2: Reaching out to these users represents an opportunity to influence other followers.

I now use a web search for comparing the 3 products (Airwave, Glass, iWatch). The main reason is that websites offer more content, as opposed to tweets which are shorter.

Airwave (Oakley) vs. iWatch (Apple)
The word Airwave by itself is not strongly related with the brand Oakley; however, if we search for Airwave together with iWatch, we observe the brand Oakley. The web is relating the Airwave goggles with the possible iWatch. Below are the strongest sentiments, graph prunning and some examples of content:

Example of Snippet:
  • Dec 13, 2012 ... And in TEST 24 we check out Oakley's Airwave - the goggles that ... latest releases (a new iPhone, and maybe also an iWatch and an iPhablet?)
  • Sep 9, 2013... previously worked for Oakley on that company's Airwave heads-up goggle ... The company has since filed for trademark on the term iWatch

OBSERVATION 3: Oakley Airwave and iWatch might be complementary goods.
OBSERVATION 4: Talented people working for iWatch might have worked for Oakley Airwave.

Airwave (Oakley) vs. Glass (Google)
The sentiment of these 2 words together is positive (in general). Both products are observed as truly disruptive in their markets (words as "technology", "video", "smart", "wearable").

The snippets suggest a hint of competition.

  • Oct 26, 2012 ... Watch Oakley unveils its version of Google's Project Glass videos on CNET TV: The new Airwave goggles gives skiers an eyefull of stats
  • Mar 5, 2013 ... With the recent development of Pebble Watch, Oakley Airwave and Google Glass , we have been ushered into an era of wearable computing.
  • Mar 11, 2013 ... Since Google announced it wearable device project, Google Glass (originally ... Airwave, the digital ski goggles by Oakley which provide jump
  • Sep 4, 2013 ... In all, it's a full-on wearable technology device that's getting a bit into Google Glass territory, though it's important to note that the Airwave's

OBSERVATION 5: A pattern of new competition is being established in the wearable market.

iWatch (Apple) vs. Glass (Google)
Both products have not been launched yet. However, they both have generated big expectations (words as "rumors", "talked"; word-dates as "Sep" and "Aug").

Snippets suggest a competition between the 2 brands in the new industry (wearable devices)
  • Aug 12, 2013 ... Wearable tech is all the rage these days, with much of the talk about these devices centring on their use as entertainment and lifestyle aids.
  • May 30, 2013 ... Wearable computers are the next big thing. Reports say Apple is coming out with a watch. Analyst Gene Munster guesses it will cost $300.
  • Aug 28, 2013 ... The age of wearable computing is underway, and one by one, tech titans are fielding their futuristic devices to consumers in the hopes of

OBSERVATION 6: The Swarm considers these 2 brands to be in competition in the wearable market.
OBSERVATION 7: The Swarm, perhaps, does not see Oakley as a direct rival for the 2 big names Apple and Google.

This first analysis opened up some possible hypotheses for further development
  • Can Oakley compete in this wearable-technology market? Or due to its smaller size, does it need to partner up?
  •  Will other big brands penetrate this wearable technology market? (there have been rumors about Dell)
  •  Might Apple or Google identify the big influence-users from Airwave on-line and lure them to their own new devices?

1 comment:

  1. I find wearable gadgets as interesting, useful and helpful for everyone.
    Wearable Technology