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Online Trends

Published October 24th 2022

Apple Watch vs. Garmin: Who Wins the Online Conversation?

This smartwatch debate has been going on for years. But which brand triumphs online?

With over 56 million Google results for the term “Apple vs. Garmin,” it’s safe to say that consumers are curious about which smartwatch comes out on top.

Apple and Garmin are both pros in the smartwatch game, with each brand offering different variations of much-loved features. Whether you’re into tracking your workouts or taking your music with you on your wrist, there’s bound to be a smartwatch that’s just right for you among the products offered by these brands.

Yet, there’s another competition between Apple and Garmin: who wins online? We took a deep dive into the data to see which brand comes out on top among the social media conversations.

Let’s take a look.

A note on methodology: All of the data used in this blog comes from Twitter mentions tracked between 1 Jan 2022 and 15 Oct 2022.

The mentions game

It’s clear that Apple wins the mentions game. The tech giant gathered over a million more mentions about its watches than Garmin on Twitter this year – an impressive number by any standards. So, how does Apple gather such high mentions online for its smartwatches?

It’s all in their new releases. Apple’s signature keynotes gather millions of viewers every year. 2022’s keynote saw over 3.5 million live viewers on YouTube – a viewership that was 35% higher than the previous year.

Apple announces their latest releases at their keynote events, including their smartwatch offering. After their most recent event, the conversation about Apple Watches spiked heavily, as seen by the graph below. Interestingly, this spike was followed by a consistent increase in the baseline conversation about Apple Watches on Twitter as the hype continued.

Pro Tip

Brands might benefit from following in Apple’s footsteps. Having regular, dedicated events for the releases of new products proves effective for boosting online mentions on social media.

While Apple wins the mentions game by numbers, Garmin comes on top when looking at original user posts. Over 50% of mentions about Garmin watches were original posts, whereas 45% of Apple’s mentions were shares or retweets.

Users are more likely to want to talk about Garmin’s products, including tips on using the watches and suggestions to other Garmin users. 

Here are some of the original content Garmin users share on social media.

Garmin users are more likely to share their workouts on social media too, which boosts the percentage of original posts. To even the numbers, Garmin could do with creating more shareable content, while Apple might consider encouraging more original posts from consumers.

Pro Tip

Try to give your customers an easy way to share your brand or product on social media. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, include a link after purchase for customers to tweet about their latest buy.

Yet, this doesn’t tell the whole story. How does sentiment compare between these two tech giants?

How sentiment and emotions differ

We used Brandwatch Consumer Research to see the emotions behind the mentions to explore the nuances between conversations about Apple and Garmin watches.

Off the bat, Garmin has a much higher percentage of positive mentions. An impressive 59% of emotion-categorized mentions about Garmin watches were joyful, compared to Apple’s 35%. Plus, only 6% of Garmin’s categorized mentions were sad – undoubtedly a positive stat.

So, despite Apple having a higher number of mentions, there is also a higher percentage of negative tweets. What drives these conversations? 

A viral tweet shared how consumers might struggle to incorporate new tech, like smartwatches, into their day-to-day lives. Brands might benefit from helping to make this transition a bit easier to encourage repeat custom and continued use of products. Additionally, software updates and new features could bring back old customers who no longer use the product.

So, what causes consumers to discuss smartwatches in a positive context, and how can these brands encourage more of these mentions?

There seem to be different themes running through the mentions of each of these brands. Apple users are excited about the customizations of their watches. Whether it’s a new lockscreen or the usefulness of having a high-quality smartwatch, Apple users are quick to sing about its ease of use. For Garmin users, mentions are mostly fitness-related. From tracking heart rate to sharing training schedules, Garmin users share their activities and lifestyle habits.

Which watch reigns supreme? 

Now, let’s look at the individual products. Apple’s product line covers collaborations with Nike and Hermès. Alternatively, Garmin is more diverse in their products, offering a variety of watches with differing features tailored to suit any lifestyle.

Let’s look at the online sentiment towards each product Apple and Garmin have on offer.

In short, Garmin’s individual products are better received on social, despite fewer people talking about Garmin in general. However, by just the numbers, Apple’s products receive a higher mention volume.

Pro Tip

As your brand is discussed more online, you might see a dip in positive sentiment. Brands would benefit from monitoring sentiment with consumer intelligence and running campaigns to combat an increase in negative mentions. For example, if you’re seeing an increase in complaints about your pricing on social, you could run a campaign offering discount codes when customers sign up to your mailing list.

What are Garmin doing right? Here are some tweets from people sharing positive mentions about their “quatix” watches on Twitter.

It seems Garmin’s reliability and features are what draw customers to share their experiences online. Brands might learn from this by focusing on marketing much-loved features. This can encourage original recommendations on social.

Now, let’s look at what the bottom players are doing wrong. Apple’s Hermès watch is among the few which received the worst-rated sentiment on social media. A key player in this was the price.

Hermès, a luxury fashion brand, is known for its impressive quality and high pricing. Taking these prices over to the Apple Watch has caused many to question its affordability. However, it’s worth noting that the Hermès Apple Watch is a new product – so consumers' minds might change after the durability and quality of the watch have been tested.

Roundup

Apple and Garmin both offer vastly different product ranges, styles, and features. While Apple wins the mentions game, Garmin storms ahead when it comes to positive sentiment on social. Brands can benefit from keeping this in mind and monitoring their social media conversations to encourage positive sentiment and increased conversation volumes.Lastly, one thing is clear; consumers use social media to ask for advice. Recommendations are rife on Twitter, and brands that offer high-quality products will always be endorsed from consumer to consumer.

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