March 2019

A lot has happened since Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) first became big buzzwords a few years ago. There has been uncertainty and confusion on how to leverage the technologies, and at the same time never ending fantasies about what they can be used for.

So how could they benefit your brand? VR is the use of technology to create a simulated, 3D environment that allows users to immerse in the virtual world; whereas in AR, the real world is expanded or enhanced through the use of digital elements to live view through the camera.

Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok and Snapchat offer endless choices of AR filters and stickers to connect brands to their customers. Today, VR and AR have become an integral part of planning a sophisticated Omni-Channel strategy for many brands. Let’s take a look at 6 ways in which VR and AR can support your brand strategy and the tips to roll them out globally:

1.     Be Interesting

AR provides a fun and interactive way of engaging with users and building brand awareness. Gucci’s beauty portrait Instagram filter is a great example, where users can pick from three renaissance or baroque headpieces for themselves that were created by creative director Alessandro Michele and contain Gucci-themed details such as earrings, or lipsticks, among many things.

Gucci AR

2.     Gather Consumer Data and Conduct Market Research

Kellogg's recently teamed up with a virtual reality merchandising solution company to test how the combination of VR and eye-tracking technology can help brands find better ways to conduct market research and understand consumer behaviors. Kellogg's decided that placing their “Pop Tart Bites” on lower shelves is more effective than on top shelves. The result? 18% sales jump during the test.

3.     Try and Shop!

For beauty brands, AR try-on tools bring the ultimate fun to your customers anywhere, anytime. Sephora’s “virtual artist” function provides more than 2000 shades of eyeshadow and lip colors for users to try on, and then makes it super easy for the users to directly add the items to their shopping carts.

Sephora AR

4.     Enhanced Loyalty Programs

Remember the time when signing up to a loyalty program meant receiving an actual “membership card”? Downloading a phone app is how your customer shows commitment in this era. Macy’s was able to enhance the relationship with its customers thanks to AR tryon tools on its app, and discovered that twothirds of its online traffic and half of its digital sales came from mobile devices, thus making their app users their most loyal customers.

Macy AR

5.     Create Efficiencies for Your Customers

Navigating through a furniture store to find that perfect couch can become a thing of the past if you use an AR camera to place any wanted items right in your living room - IKEA and Amazon are seeing great results from this already.

Ikea AR

6.     Brand Story Telling  

A great VR experience takes you to another world, and always makes you want to stay a little longer. Coty Inc. launched a VR experience that lets users choose to unlock different visuals and sounds of unique scents. In fact, the five senses, sight, smell, sound, taste and touch can all be incorporated into the storytelling of VR today.

 

All of the above needs to be tailored to each local culture and consumer behavior to create a truly successful campaign. Should you build AR filters on Douyin or in a standalone app in China? How do you design a VR experience for your customers in the Middle East? If you’d like to explore how to incorporate AR and VR into your brand strategy on an international scale, connect with us! Our Digital Consulting team will help you navigate how AR and VR are best experienced in each local market.