Immersive experiences in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) for branding are on the rise. What is their role in marketing, and how can they be used to foster and strengthen brand-to-consumer relationships?
Facts tell, emotions sell. Marketers and brands alike are constantly on the lookout for new, more meaningful ways to connect with their customers on a deeper, more emotional level. Fostering that bond means more than simply increasing sales during a product launch but rather, giving consumers a reason to keep coming back for more.
And that is exactly what AR and VR have to offer to brands. Those immersive technologies bring out a new level of engagement and interaction between the brand and the consumer. Experiences provided via AR/VR are not only memorable but also captivating, making it easier to tell a brand’s story and bring it to life – and take the customer on a journey as the story unravels.
The Rise of Immersive Experiences in Branding
What’s driving the increased interest of brands in immersive experiences? While there are several factors, like decreasing hardware or software costs, the main one has a lot to do with Metaverse. In 2022, McKinsey research found that the Metaverse has the potential to generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030 – and that got many brands acting fast.
Oreo, the beloved cookie brand, unveiled its new metaverse experience, “OREOverse“, only this week. Developed using Meta’s Horizon Worlds, the virtual world offers fans a chance to participate in cookie-themed games, including exploring, twisting, and dunking the cookies. The games were created to showcase the latest iteration of Oreo, “The Most Oreo Oreo”.
Oreo is only one of the many companies joining the Metaverse. From Nike and Addidas to Zara, Louis Vitton, and Disney, brands are not wasting the opportunity to connect with potential customers in the virtual world. It’s not surprising, when you think about the value these immersive experiences can offer:
- Enhanced customer engagement: Immersive experiences allow customers to interact with products and services in a new and exciting way, increasing their engagement and interest in a brand.
- Personalization: AR and VR experiences can be tailored to the individual needs and preferences of each customer, providing a more personalized and dynamic experience.
- Increased brand awareness: By providing customers with unique and memorable experiences, brands can increase their visibility and build stronger emotional connections with their customers.
- Improved customer understanding: AR and VR experiences can provide customers with a deeper understanding of a brand’s products and services, helping to build trust and credibility.
- Increased customer loyalty: By creating engaging and memorable experiences, brands can foster stronger customer relationships and increase customer loyalty.
- Competitive advantage: By leveraging immersive technologies, brands can differentiate themselves from their competitors and gain a competitive advantage in the market.
- Cost-effective: With advancements in hardware and software, the cost of producing AR and VR experiences has decreased, making it a cost-effective way for brands to reach their customers and create engaging experiences
Building a Strong Brand Identity with VR and AR
Immersive experiences have the potential to greatly enhance storytelling by providing an immersive and interactive experience that is not possible with traditional media such as books, films, and television. With VR, users can be fully immersed in a story’s world, allowing them to experience it in a way that is more intimate and personal. For example, a VR experience that simulates a historical event can provide a more impactful understanding of the events than reading about them in a book.
AR, on the other hand, allows brands to bring stories to life by adding virtual elements to the real world. This can create a more engaging and interactive experience that can foster a deeper emotional connection with the story. Take an AR experience that showcases a brand’s products as part of a story – it can make the products feel more real and tangible to the customer, leading to increased engagement and sales.
It’s also worth mentioning the role of product context in immersive experiences for marketing. Creating an AR app that lets users try on virtual clothing or accessories gives customers a much deeper understanding of how the product will fit into their lives, simply by allowing customers to see how the products look on them before making a purchase. This not only helps to increase customer engagement and loyalty, but also provides valuable data and insights that can be used to improve marketing campaigns and product offerings in the future.
Moreover, AR and VR offer the ability to add multiple layers of interactivity to a story, empowering users to interact with and explore the story’s world in new and exciting ways. This can increase the level of engagement and make the story feel more alive and immersive.
A New Era of Branding
VR and AR have a significant impact on brand identity, as they offer a unique way for brands to connect with their customers and create an immersive experience. These technologies provide a platform for brands to showcase their products and services in an interactive and engaging manner, thus increasing customer engagement and loyalty. Immersive experiences also provide a new level of storytelling, adding layers of interactivity and making the stories come alive.
The future of VR and AR in branding is promising, and it’s only a matter of time before these technologies become more widely adopted. Brands that embrace this technology will have an advantage in creating strong and memorable connections with their customers, shaping their brand identity in the process. Ultimately, the future of branding will be shaped by technology, and companies that invest in VR and AR will be poised to lead the way.
Curious to see how we can help your business capitalize on the potential of immersive technologies for marketing? Reach out to us today.
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