Brands are Leveraging Virtual Reality: Why You Should, Too

Forward thinking brands are using VR/AR in their marketing campaigns and as a tool for brand enhancement and development. They want to make a big splash; to do something that stands out from competitors. And it’s working.

VR is the most immersive medium on the planet today. There’s never been anything like it for marketing, which means the rules and playbook are still being written. Creative implementation strategies are popping up everywhere, each offering unique value adds tailored to the individual needs of the company.

Virtual reality lets brands connect consumers with their products and services, while giving them the opportunity to immerse themselves within the brand. A fully immersive VR experience means the user has to be able to control the environment and move freely within the space, as opposed to passively watching a 360 video.

More and more case studies of companies successfully creating VR experiences have emerged as the technology has improved over the last few years.

One example of a brand using VR experiences effectively is TOMS Shoes. The team built a virtual reality experience to allow people to experience firsthand what it’s like to give TOMS shoes to children in need. It provided a visceral opportunity for TOMS customers to see the impact they were having when they purchased a pair of TOMS shoes. The ability to embed a story into the VR experience allowed it to gain traction with the media, too. Compassion rarely extends beyond our line of sight, which is why VR is so powerful. As TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie said, “VR is the greatest technology I’ve seen to create empathy”.

VR allows brands to layer experience with both education and entertainment. Sleep Number wanted to create a VR experience that allowed users to feel the effects of sleep deprivation at a CES Expo. The company allowed visitors to put on the VR headsets with the custom-made simulation, feeling the drunk-like effects of missing out on necessary sleep hours. It was a memorable experience for users, as well as a spectacle worthy of social media sharing.

Brands shouldn’t have to deal with problems that have solutions. VR has only recently become a viable tool in a company’s marketing strategy, so it’s understandable that most employees don’t have deep understandings of how to implement it. That’s why the right partner is the necessary first step.

At In It, we understand that advertising in such an oversaturated world is difficult. Embracing new means of advertising can be scary because it’s fear of the unknown. We care about our clients, and we’re here to make sure that your customers understand the technology, use it to its fullest capacity, and make sure it works within your marketing campaign and your brand holistically.

Brands should be asking questions like:

  • How do I differentiate from my competitors?
  • How does VR both compliment and enhance my current strategy?
  • How does VR help me now, and how can it help me in the future when it is more widely adopted?

Oftentimes, clients aren’t sure how they’ll use our VR/AR services. After the initial consultation, we strategize specifically around their use case to clearly demonstrate how the solution will hit their KPIs.

In the same way brands were hesitant to engage social media as part of their marketing strategy only a few short years ago, ignoring virtual reality and augmented reality as exciting opportunities now would be an unnecessary mistake. Don’t wait for everyone else to be doing it. Reach out to us, we’d love to help you reach your marketing goals.

Originally published at medium.com on July 3, 2018.

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