Nowadays, customers want to experience something memorable, something that makes them feel like they matter to a brand. However, everywhere we go, we come across ads that promote another excellent, one of a kind products. Turn left, turn right, look straight ahead – ads everywhere and they say more or less the same thing. Buy me, use me, you won’t regret it. Yes, there are also those unique experiences invented for the prospects, events full of branded gadgets that may or may not come in handy, apps and other tools that make it easier for a client to interact with a brand and its products. Still, the customers need more than that. They need something that will make them the hero of a brand, and not solely a number.
When we watch a traditional TV ad or look at the promotional poster, we see another person enjoying the experience of different products and services. We don’t know how it is to be in their shoes; we can only guess by the smiles or grimaces on their faces. Maybe, that’s why such marketing activities aren’t enough anymore – because people seek something that engages them.
First-hand experience in VR…
What can be better than experiencing the product first-hand? No, we’re not talking here about trying it out in a physical world, but the virtual one. The one to which the customer can step right into by putting a single headset on.
It may sound impractical, because who would prefer a virtual experience from the real one? However, with the increasing popularity of VR, such occurrences can quickly take over the traditional ways of interacting with a brand. Look at the numbers:
- there’ll be over 170 million VR users in 2018;
- Google Cardboard apps already have over 10 million downloads;
- when people buy VR headsets, 98% of them are mobile devices;
- with over 29% success rate, VR ads exceed the mobile and desktop ads;
- install rate is also higher in case of VR ads with over 12,5% compared to 0,5% from mobile ads and 0,2% from desktop ads.
VR enables its users to experience things in an entirely new way. There’s no stranger on our screens who is in the centre of the events. We are the ones who become the heroes of it all – either in a game, product ad or tour of a faraway place. How often have you saw an ad and thought about being behind the steering wheel of that fantastic car in place of that guy or be the protagonist of that game? That’s why VR marketing becomes a reality.
… that stays for long
Look at McDonald’s and their Happy Meal Boxes that any child can fold into a VR headset. A real treat for kids that engages them in fun and simplified VR experience.
If you don’t look for that, you can show the emotional side of your company and what you do for the greater good. Just like Toms who used VR to take their customers on a short giving trip. Simply put, demonstrate what your values are and possibly give the feels to your clients.
Or take your prospects on an insightful experience of your products. For example, Volvo provided their clients with a virtual test drive of a car they consider to buy. It not only allows the customers to put their hands on the product but also makes it a memorable experience.
But a real treat is what Jaguar did in New Zealand! When they were showing their Jaguar F-Type on the Big Boys’ Toys Expo, they used VR as a cover-up for the real test drive. Of course, the participants were unaware of that and enjoyed the VR presentation on their headsets. Not only a funny and comfortable experience, but also one that the customers will remember for a long, long time.
NIKE VR – The calm ones win
The launch of a new product doesn’t have to mean another typical marketing campaign. You can add to it a little spice and create an extreme experience that will make your customer’s pulse race. Nike is an excellent example of such an action.
When they launched their Nike Roshe 2 shoes, they decided to give their clients an experience they won’t forget for long. They developed a VR game, placed heart rate monitor and VR equipment in their stores, and let the customers take the control.
Jumping on a trampoline can be fun, but what if you were to jump higher than the tops of the block of flats? It’s hard to imagine doing so, but Nike decided it’s what their customers will be able to do in their game. What’s more, the participants with the lowest pulse rate at the end of the experiment got the Roshe 2 shoes for free.
That’s how you can test your customers and make it an exciting, engaging and memorable experience.
Luxon – on the brighter side of things
How often do you hear to look at the bright side? Luxon, a Polish manufacturer of LED lighting, decided to use VR to show their clients the brighter side of things. Meaning, demonstrating the advanced lighting solutions in a new and exciting way.
When their customer puts a VR headset on, they see the point of view of… a lamp. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But this unique experience of how their smart lighting solutions work enabled Luxon to show their key unique selling points. It did superbly on trade fairs, where their prospects could interact with their products in a more memorable and immersive manner than at the store.
Make the customer a hero
The customers are the ones who decide about the product’s chances on the market. That’s why providing them with better experience will help with strengthening their relationship with a brand. Indeed, the experience with a brand is the key to customer engagement. So, create the personalised and engaging experiences for your clients. Give them a VR headset, let them step into your brand’s reality and share your experiences with them. Don’t worry about the limits because the sky is the only limit when it comes to new technologies.
Simply put, let your customers be the heroes of your brand.