Co-Founder at Imaginovation, overseeing the company’s global creative and strategic marketing, branding and advertising initiatives.
The ultimate goal of every branding initiative is to grab attention and stay at the top of their consumers’ minds. Today, forward-thinking businesses are trying to up this game by introducing immersive technologies in branding campaigns. With 360-degree videos and 360-degree content, for instance, marketers can creatively promote a product, engage consumers and help them make faster decisions.
At Imaginovation, a company I cofounded that offers custom web and mobile apps as well as custom immersive experiences through emerging technologies, we’re seeing some creative uses of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) that are transforming marketing experiences.
Advancements in immersive technologies have unlocked many opportunities for creative marketers. It’s an exciting time to be in the marketing and branding world. Let’s take a look at how you can use immersive technology to boost branding efforts.
1. Boost Awareness With 360-Degree Videos
When done well, videos never disappoint. In fact, 92% of marketers believe that video marketing is a crucial branding strategy.
With 360-degree video content, video marketing has become more powerful and inspiring. It has revolutionized the way brands tell stories, making them more compelling, exciting and immersive. Take, for example, Oreo’s 360-degree video that takes viewers on a virtual tour. It lets viewers explore the world of cookies and the inspiration behind its new product.
Whether you’re introducing a new product or highlighting any underutilized features, you can use a 360-degree video to help create a more compelling messaging.
2. Drive Engagement With Immersive Activities
Strong visuals, engaging interactions and resonating messages are crucial elements of a successful branding campaign. By incorporating immersive technology, you can go beyond the traditional approaches and create experiences in which the customers are completely immersed.
Brands like Cadbury, Coca-Cola and Rekorderlig are leading this new wave of creative messaging. Their campaigns include fantasy worlds, bus rides, ultra-modern visuals, content pieces and more. Coca-Cola went one step further and created an immersive experience called the Coca-Cola Future Room, which allows viewers to explore Coca-Cola’s history with vibrant imagery.
3. Offer Real-time Product Experiences With AR
I find that one of the common concerns with online shoppers is that they don’t get to try the product before making the purchase. People are more likely to buy a product when they get to try it before the purchase. It is also easier to convince your potential customers to purchase something when they know what they’re going to get in return.
By using AR technology in your marketing, you can allow your consumers to try out products without having to visit your store in person. For instance, consider creating AR-enabled mobile apps that allow customers to see how a particular product looks on them.
A well-known example of this is YouTube’s AR Beauty Try On. The social video channel has partnered with popular cosmetics brands, such as MAC Cosmetics, to create an AR experience that allows users to try on makeup virtually. Users can watch the makeup tutorials on one side of the screen while trying on the makeup and seeing how it looks on the other part of the screen. YouTube tested the feature with several beauty brands and noticed that 30% of the viewers activated the AR experience, spending an average of 80 seconds to try the lipstick products.
4. Provide Interactive In-store Navigation
Whether shopping online or in the store, consumers usually do a little research before buying something. Retailers can capitalize on this phone usage to digitize and enhance the in-store shopping experience. One way this can be applied is by helping your customers quickly locate a specific product in your store with immersive tech.
Lowe’s, for example, created a digital experience for in-store navigation. It’s an AR-powered navigation app that uses indoor mapping and geolocation technology to overlay turn-by-turn directions on the user’s screen to help them find their product.
The digital in-store shopping experience can help customers find products faster and reduce buying friction.
5. Use Gamification To Keep Customers Immersed
Gamification is a fast-growing marketing technique. It can help marketers reinforce buying behavior and boost engagement, especially when integrated with immersive tech.
In 2018, VANDAL, a Sydney-based creative studio, partnered with Virtual Immersive to create an immersive, AR-enabled game experience for the Lunar New Year, aimed to increase branding and sales of World Square retailers. Using mobile devices, users could bring the World Square Dragon to life and participate in the “Red Pocket Treasure Hunt” to get discount coupons and vouchers.
Getting Started With Immersive Tech
Technologies like AR, VR and MR have the potential to reinvent business processes. These technologies can help businesses drive empathy, change perceptions, improve brand loyalty and even solve critical business pain points.
Before developing an immersive experience, make sure you understand your business objectives, audience and needs. The experiences you create should be authentic to your brand. An authentic branding experience inspires customer interaction and leads to better results.
Immersive technologies are transforming marketing experiences, and marketers now have these innovative tools at their disposal to be used creatively in reaching out and engaging consumers.
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