MARKETING THROUGH VIRTUAL REALITY
Virtual reality, or VR, is transforming the social world. Goldman Sachs estimated that investments in VR and augmented reality will reach $1.6 billion by 2025. As Marketing Tech said, the question for brands is not whether they should use VR, but how they should take advantage of the opportunities that VR offers to increase the consumer experience. Depending on the type of consumer you are trying to reach and how you want to present your brand, there are many different ways to utilize VR to enhance your brand experience and influence purchase behavior. One example of VR being used to help market a brand is the partnership of Swarovski and Mastercard to create a virtual shop. The VR aspect allowed consumers to walk through a shop, view and learn about pieces and even make purchases through the VR app. This more immersive virtual experience best suits brands who want to create a stronger connection with the consumers or teach consumers. Lowes is another company who has also used this type of VR experience in creating the DIY Holoroom to help teach basic DIY skills, supplies, and steps needed to complete certain projects. For those who simply want to introduce their brand or product to consumers, a simulation experience offers an easy and cost-effective platform. Ruinart Champagne used this concept providing a VR tour of their famous chalk pits to allow consumers to witness their Champagne in the making. Another way to subtly shape consumer preferences is through the use of virtual reality games. With social networks investing more into VR, such as Facebook’s purchase of Oculus and adding VR to WeChat, virtual reality will soon be a pivotal way that social connections are formed, and business is conducted. Virtual reality gives brands a unique opportunity to test new product concepts and even co-create offerings with consumers providing a more personalized and positive brand perception.