A virtual experience almost sounds as if it should appear in a science fiction blockbuster, featured alongside futuristic looking cars and flying vehicles, right? Well, wrong – rather than something that is yet to come, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) represent the present and are very much happening right now. As early as 2018, 78% of people were familiar with using this technology and that number is rapidly rising. So why has this new trend taken the market by storm? Quite simply because it can effectively deliver the brand experience wherever you are in the world. This was especially handy for companies during the recent lockdown.
Augmented Reality Vs Virtual Reality
So what exactly is the difference between these two clever pieces of technology? In essence AR enhances both the virtual and real world while VR only enhances a fictional reality. The majority of brands have optimised their apps and websites, implementing AR and some VR capabilities into the mix to enable their users to get a taste of the brand, their products and what they are about.
Social media adopting this new technology
With consumers demanding better and more engaging experiences, social media platforms have jumped on this bandwagon, adopting AR and VR into their systems. For example, Facebook is already taking a giant virtual step by introducing ‘Horizon’, a social virtual reality where users can connect, play games and explore. Many brands have also been utilising these new technologies into their social apps, strengthening customer relationships through engagement and interaction. The consumer is able to essentially ‘try before they buy’ meaning they are a step closer to investing in the product. Let’s have a closer look at some great examples of this in the ‘real world’.
The wonderful virtual world of IKEA
As we all know when it comes to purchasing a new piece of furniture it is always a tricky decision to make. There is so much to consider, will it go with my colour theme, style, fit of the room? To fill this void IKEA launched their app based on Apple’s new Augmented Reality kit technology called ‘IKEA Place’ enabling users to experience, experiment and share. Customers could kit out their spaces without even leaving the house. The whole process is efficient, smooth and less time consuming, revealing the power of implementing innovative marketing strategies.
Experience luxury with Gucci
Luxury apparel brand Gucci took this one step further and added the Augmented technology featured in their app to a Snapchat filter, enabling users to literally walk in their shoes, to coincide with the launch of their new line of trainers. This resulted in a whole new venue opening up for user generated content, passing over the baton to the target audience and allowing them to promote the product.
From a tap of a button the consumer is transported into another world, allowing an illustration of the brand or product to unfold right before their eyes. The success this new technology has had reveals the power of storytelling in the digital world. Consumers want to truly feel and experience the brand before they take that leap of faith and book, purchase or invest.
If you have been blown away by this cool technology just as much as we have and want to know more why not get in touch with us. We’d love to chat.
It is time to be nifty.