How Brands Use AR, VR and IoT to Wow Their Customers
The business world is experiencing one tech disruption after another. Augmented reality, virtual reality and Internet of Things are among the technologies that continuously change the business landscape. And as the competition continues, AR, VR and IoT make immersive experience the competitive advantage of various brands. Let’s have a look at how these revolutionary tech marvels help brands stand out and amuse.
AR, VR and IoT: Brief Facts
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) constitute the so-called immersive technologies that merge the physical and digital worlds. In this new dimension, brands have ample opportunities to create an unforgettable customer experience.
AR is partially immersive since the “reality” in this case doesn’t change but alters: digital objects simply overlap with real-life settings. VR, on the other hand, is totally immersive, allowing users to explore the virtual environment through diverse VR devices. Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Sony PlayStation VR and the Facebook-owned Oculus devices lead the market of the VR tech. What’s more, AR is something any smartphone user can experience today using apps like Snapchat or Pokemon Go.
Internet of Things, in its turn, strengthens the fascinating effect that brands strive to produce and customers would love to experience. Data from connected devices provides brands with information on the users’ preferences and the most common use cases. Marketo points out that more connectivity via smart devices leads to more data and customer feedback. This gives marketers smarter data which is used as the base for more relevant marketing campaigns. And, of course, with companies tailoring their campaigns for a 99% target hit, customer engagement grows massively.
Industries and Brands that Thrive on VR, AR and IoT
Making a customer king in a digitally-disrupted businesses means putting users at the heart of the company’s digital initiatives. But only with a certain level of personalization will they create the desired “wow” effect. For this reason, businesses should target the right audience with custom-fit immersive tech solutions. Millennials and Generation Z representatives will be the ones who appreciate VR and AR in marketing the most.
We’ve gathered examples from different industries to show you how global brands astound their clients with AR, VR and IoT approaches in marketing.
IoT is great for tracking various logistics processes and performing actions that could be automated on numerous levels, from remote quality control to anticipatory shipping. AR and VR tech supported by IoT data help manufacturers and operators improve traceability and controllability through visualizing different shipment and delivery procedures. As far as consumers are concerned, VR, AR and IoT enhance customer service, personalize customer experience and allow reviewing products in detail before you buy them.
Example: Rolls-Royce. The automotive giant showcased a truly captivating futuristic concept that converges immersive tech with IoT. In it a land-based control center remotely manages a fleet of autonomous vessels across the globe. Using the AR technology, a small group of experts can monitor drone shifts that navigate with the help of IoT systems, AI and machine learning.
Probably one of the most well-tried fields to experience new realities is the travel industry. Hotels, airline companies, travel agencies and other industry players have already benefited from VR/AR programs. Imagine working with the best travel agent ever: in the blink of an eye you’re transported to a distant exotic country, find yourself in hard-to-reach landscapes or catch sunny rays on a palm-fringed beach. The reality everyone dreams of.
Example: Marriott hotels. After the enormous success of using Oculus Rift to engage people in virtual traveling, the hotel giant hasn’t stopped impressing. Today in some Marriott hotels visitors can order VRoom Service – a Samsung Gear VR head-mounted display pre-loaded with a number of virtual experiences set around the world, from Brazil to Japan.
The first thought of VR headsets and AR apps immediately leads us to the world of entertainment. The ubiquitous use of mobile device, extraordinary looks of VR devices and increased availability of the IoT data make immersive tech perfectly fitting for the entertainment industry.
Example: “Ascend the Wall,” the demo, part of a Game of Thrones exhibition by HBO, Framestore & Relevent. The Oculus Rift experience was a part of the exhibition at The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals that also included costumes and props. It allowed fans to venture into Westeros for a thrilling tour and take a look down from the Wall, of course.
Brands run after consumers far beyond the catwalk, providing them with a fully immersive experience. Imagine being able to land a front row seat at New York Fashion Week just by putting on a VR headset. Experiments like this will provide fashion brands with a broader audience, happy fashionistas and higher sales.
Example: Tommy Hilfiger. With the help of the Samsung Gear VR headset, Tommy Hilfiger’s fall 2015 catwalk show is VR available in specific stores around the world. The show’s 3D and 360-degree versions have managed to catch the client’s fancy.
Artificial reality has brought a fresh perspective to the automotive industry. From design and safety testing to providing a futuristic customer experience, car manufacturers know how to handle AR and VR in marketing. Entire vehicle lines are virtually available to customers now. They can also use AR “see-through displays” to enhance the driving experience or even test drive without actually being in the vehicle.
Example: Jaguar Range Rover. This automotive brand released an AR advertisement for users that offered to get behind the wheel of the Range Rover Velar SUV through a smartphone camera. Even without installation users could see what’s inside the vehicle simply by moving their mobile devices around as well as look at the scenery outside the car window.
Yes, even in this seemingly conservative industry more and more participants are eager to embrace innovative technologies. Some banks use VR and AR apps that showcase their digital banking solutions in an artificial 3D environment while others use it for customer service and marketing purposes.
Example: Citi, a leading global bank member of Citigroup. Citi uses Microsoft HoloLens to create holographic workstations for their traders. With HoloLens on, traders view data as 3D images represented in holographic spheres. These spheres are placed at the top of the virtual workstation, resembling a cloudscape. The system supplements Citi’s financial tools while adding gesture and voice control to the entire experience.
Initially, brands perceived them as a technological gimmick with little relation to the serious business area. Now, augmented reality, virtual reality and IoT promise to make the marketing and selling efforts of different brands fully appreciated. Playing with realities can definitely make you stand out, but keep the audience differences in mind: the positive response to AR/VR apps by millennials strongly contrasts with incomprehension from the older generation. Still, companies must carefully monitor the latest tendencies and developments in the VR/AR technologies and IoT to rationally implement them in their engaging promotional campaigns.
VR, AR and IoT have gained the reputation of wow-effect drivers and the examples above only prove that. Contact Skelia to see how your brand’s initiatives can be strengthened by the technologies powerful enough to change the reality we live in.