17 Sep Captivating brand experiences
Virtual and Augmented Reality in Marketing
Purchase decisions are usually a complex matter. The easier variants include online purchases. Food, shoes, kitchen appliances – many things can be ordered easily and quickly on the Internet. Descriptions, pictures and ratings from other customers help us choose the right product. The desired goods are delivered, inspected and tested. If the purchased item does not fit or does not please us, we will send it back. This may seem practical and convenient in our fast-paced world. But wouldn’t it be better if everything matched and no resources were wasted? If every purchase would immediately achieve the desired result? And what about purchases that are expensive, durable and individually configurable, such as a motorcycle?
The purchase of a motorcycle can hardly be done with a few mouse clicks. If you want to buy a machine, you can inform yourself on the Internet, go to various dealers and take a test ride – at least with the bikes that the dealer has available. This often raises the question of individual optimisation, personal wishes and optional extras. What paint finish should the machine have? Does the chromed exhaust system fit? And wouldn’t it be nice if you could test the on-board computer before you afford it? It may also affect essential aspects that influence comfort and safety, such as seat height.
Who has the choice does not have to have the agony
In principle, there are three ways to address these questions. The first option involves a certain willingness to take risks, because one relies on one’s own experience, that of the seller or consultant and on one’s imagination. Then you decide on something and buy the motorcycle in metallic blue unseen without having tested the lower seating position – thinking ‘It will fit somehow!’
The second option involves a lot of time and money. You order a model version or corresponding parts to try out or view. Waiting time: three weeks. Then you go back to the dealer, and if you don’t like the blue, order red just to try? Difficult decision, because who spends a lot money wants to be satisfied in the end. Sometimes personal configurations such as special paintwork are only possible if the purchase decision has already been made, because a highly personalized product may not find a second interested buyer.
The third option is fast, flexible, resource-saving and does not involve any risk – neither for the buyer nor for the dealer. Adapt, change, configure and try in the twinkling of an eye. What sounds like a paradisiacal shopping experience is not a cheap advertising promise, but the sophisticated application of an innovative technology: Virtual and Augmented reality marketing.
“Too expensive”, “No necessary accessories like AR glasses”, “What can you do with them?” or “It’s not mature yet”, many may think when it comes to Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR or VR) for marketing purposes. In fact, Microsoft already offers affordable AR devices such as headsets and motion controllers, because modern technologies are increasingly conquering marketing. They create intensive brand experiences, increase customer satisfaction or have a positive influence on product development.
Watching is not everything
360-degree videos are now widely used advertising media. For example in travel agencies you can visit your holiday destination of choice: Once you put on your VR glasses, you are already standing on the beach in Bali. The videos take you into a virtual world, but the user’s interaction possibilities are limited to a change of perspective. With VR and AR much more is possible – we are talking about so-called Engaging Content.
Marketing with VR and AR addresses customers multisensory. It is particularly impressive and generates immersive experiences. Ikea, for example, has an app with which the couch from the catalogue comes virtually into the living room. The customer can see how it looks at home and make an ideal purchase decision. Amazon, too, has already launched an app in the USA with which customers can project products onto their smartphone in 360 degrees and thus virtually bring them into their home. The aim is to make purchasing decisions more consciously, because the scenario of ordering and returning described at the beginning is not ideal, but annoying, complex and expensive.
Familiarizing with the brand
In addition to a concrete purchase decision, customer loyalty is most important from a marketing point of view. Through “immersive storytelling” it is possible to create an emotional brand experience. The customer interacts with the virtual world and has an intensive and personal experience that brings him particularly close to a brand.
People who are interested in a particular brand can be thrilled with exclusive background stories, such as the assembly of a mechanical watch from the watchmaker’s point of view. Brands can also create an exciting experience for their customers that would be hard to imagine in the real world, like a virtual test drive on a motorcycle through the desert. Experience a manufacturing process from the product’s point of view, slip into the role of the producer and create something yourself or perhaps simply see a new vehicle model in 3D before it is on the market – there are no limits to the imagination here.
In other words: Marketing with VR and AR has a huge potential to touch the customer, to inspire him, to surprise him with something new – to engage. The possibilities range from classic advertising and targeted measures to large-scale campaigns and long-term brand strategies.
3D simulations prove to be particularly attractive in marketing. This is especially true for engineering and industrial applications, where the potential of VR and AR ranges from product development and training purposes to configurations and individual solutions. It is precisely these aspects that can also be used for marketing.
Let’s suppose the motorcycle customer has a special request and asks what the machine would look like in pink, or he wants to test the extra low seat height. With the help of a 3D simulation, a product is changed, personalized or configured in real time. The customer can try different options without incurring production and delivery costs. The same applies to developers who want to test different types of construction or design on the same product. Even market analysis can be done with virtual products.
In the search for a suitable industrial machine, the customer could test the handling of the system on the virtual object and convince himself of its operability, for example by carrying out virtual maintenance himself and thus familiarizing himself with the machine before purchasing it. The visualization of functions that are not visible on the finished product can also generate an exciting brand experience with informative added value.
For marketing purposes, playful approaches are also useful, in which virtual products can be designed or assembled by the user: Changing the tires of a Formula 1 car yourself, freely determining the color of an aircraft or dismantling a system in competition with others. With the help of 3D AR marketing, a space for creative solutions is created with which customers can experience a brand in a new and captivating way.
As a company for augmented reality solutions in the field of industrial applications VISCOPIC offers customized 3D simulations for your marketing ideas. We help you generate immersive product experiences and to raise your marketing to the state of the art. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.