Building brands – what does VR bring to the table?
After working with digital branding over the past 20 years, VR caught my attention when media started to hype the technology a couple of years ago.
While drivers in digital branding have been about building stronger relations in the digital space, adding dialogue and digital interaction points between consumers and brands, VR on the other hand has new properties to discover. VR is connected to the digital realm, but its abilities as a tool for branding and especially brand experience is beyond what the world wide web can offer.
VR is the very first medium where you can take your target group to any desired place with basically no limits to which world you want to play out your brand stories. Sport clothing brands can let their target group experience the wilderness where the products perform at its best. The ecological food industry can invite their target groups to experience their production facilities, or any luxury brand can invite you to live the lifestyle they suggest in their advertising for that brief moment.
Branding in VR is all about living the story rather than telling the story.
How does the VR platform engage users in your brand?
- Immersion – wearing a headset you are completely immersed in the content, meaning more attention on the message.
- Impact – the intensity of a VR experience is greater than traditional media generating strong emotions in its users which are linked to real behaviour change.
- Memorable – our brains are built to remember events linked to locations, this means that VR experiences have a longer trace in the audience’s memory.
- Novel – with high media and public interest in VR early adopters can benefit from favourable media exposure.
All branding efforts is driven by the wish to connect your brand to the target groups through stories told in different media and on different devices. VR is adding a new dimension to the scene where brands can invite their audience to live their stories.
Is VR the next frontier in marketing?
Given the media hype and the investments large player have made in VR technology, there should be no doubt that VR will have a big impact on how brands meet their target groups in the future.
The car industry as well as the real estate industry were early adopters to use VR in increasing brand value through immersive experiences. The early adoption for these industries is connected to the idea of selling something that does not yet exists. In addition, these brands have the ability to control the stage in showrooms and conventions spaces. Today we see other industries are catching up exploring worlds where their brands can meet their target groups, creating their own worlds and realities in any available physical space the brand owner has available.
Every brand can create a VR stage for their brand story, but the actual VR experience is still limited to the few that have access to the VR venue or have VR gear at home. This is why brands spend time and effort to tell their VR story in other channels. When Volvo invited their target group to a VR experience for the launch of the new XC90, there were more than 50 000 people watching the story_behind the VR production. More people were exposed to this story than the actual VR experience.
Capturing people’s response just after a VR experience is often a good way to capitalize on the VR production and continue the story in other channels.
The virgin moments when you see people take off their headset can be part of any VR project at this early stage is perfect content marketing for social media or for the company website.
VR and PR
In Glitch we always evaluate the PR effect of any project we take on. Virgin technology mixed with creative ideas and deep understanding of marketing is a good mix for added PR value in any projects.
It benefits us and it benefits our clients.