Augmenting the Reality of Your Brand
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are becoming more common, and not just for entertainment purposes. There’s been a notable uptick in the use of VR and AR in the marketing strategy of several prominent brands–Marriot, iKea, and Volvo to name a few.
Here’s a quick run-down of the difference between VR and AR. VR is a total experience and requires a device to be worn that covers at least the person’s eyes. Think goggles and headphones. AR meets audiences where they are and supplements the information they supply. Think Pokemon Go.
So why are major brands looking to these emerging technologies? It’s simple. Audiences respond to content that’s engaging and emotional, and VR and AR supply both.
With so much information available at any given time, why should consumers care about your message? The content not only has to matter, but the method in which it’s delivered has to be engaging.
Enter VR and AR. VR immerses your audience in your product, location, or service. For example, Marriot’s VR experience transports their guests from their hotel room to another Marriot location elsewhere in the world. AR is more versatile. Common applications bring a product to the potential customer’s home (such as iKEA’s “IKEA Place” app), but AR can also bring customers to you (such as placing Pokemon Go “lures” in your brick-and-mortar). Both engage audiences through the senses–sight and sound.
Which leads us to how VR and AR stimulate audience emotions. These three dimensional, sensory experiences are just that–experiences. They’re memorable; they elicit human emotions. And after all, most buying decisions are based in emotion, not need.
Both VR and AR are engaging and elicit an emotional reaction, so adding either element to your brand strategy may be a smart decision. One thing is for sure: these tech-based experiences are showing up everywhere and are here to stay.