Promoting a product or brand by using Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) can be benefit a business by boosting its sales and its reputation. Here are some real examples on how businesses can use VR to deliver tangible benefits.
"Imagine a car dealership that has to have each model in every colour, with all the accessory packages on the market... That takes up some space!" says Bertrand Nepveu, President of start-up Vrvana, which produces the Totem VR and AR headset.
"With an augmented reality headset, he continues, the dealership can provide the client the chance to visualize their favourite colour on the model they just drove in the test drive, without having to keep every colour in stock."
"They could also offer a viewing of a series of options, whether it's the choice of wheels (chrome or other), the seat material (leather or fabric) or the dashboard colour. Therefore, this is a way to stimulate options sales through a virtual or augmented reality experience."
The emergence of virtual reality effectively illustrates the revolution that's taking place in the marketing of products and services.
Thanks to VR, consumers can now try items virtually. "When we’re shopping for clothes online, explains Bertrand Nepveu, it's hard to know if the garment suits us... You can imagine an application of augmented reality that allows us to see the clothing on."
The same goes for furniture: "People are hesitant to buy a television or a sofa without knowing if the dimensions and colour will go well with their living room. Virtual or augmented reality applications solve this problem by allowing consumers to visualize the pieces in their context of use."
Virtual reality focuses first and foremost on an immersive experience: "You're cut off from the outside world. It's the ideal tool when you want to disconnect and escape," explains Bertrand Nepveu.
So it's no surprise that virtual reality headsets are being used to promote tourist activities, like skiing in the high mountains or a visit to an ancient temple. Virtual reality provides an intense experience, leaving a lasting impression on the senses.
Such a method is pure gold in marketing. Creators live for chances like these to provide amazing experiences in campaigns that will become viral when properly designed. This then heightens the brand's reputation.
While VR and AR technologies are useful for connecting with consumers, they are also becoming a powerful communication tool for the B2B component of a business.
Bertrand Nepveu uses real estate as an example, where the VR and AR headset has just enriched the entire sales cycle for buildings.
"When designing the blueprints, architects can organize a virtual tour of the building or even create a virtual scale model in augmented reality. On the construction site, augmented reality proves its worth when the engineer wants to check if the blueprints are in conformity with the actual work progress."
To complete the sales cycle, Bertrand Nepveu emphasizes the attraction of AR to enhance the customer's experience: "You can bring the future owner of a condo to the site and give them a tour once it's finished. By using a drone, you can even show them the view that they will have from the penthouse!"
Creating immersive content is within the reach of all businesses, maintains Bertrand Nepveu. "The same thing is happening right now with virtual and augmented reality as with designing websites in the past. Creators have more and more tools at their disposal to produce affordable content."
In the case of augmented reality, the technology is even more flexible, since it doesn't always require the use of a VR headset. There are also applications for tablets, mobile phones and AR glasses.
Right now, virtual and augmented reality are enjoying a "wow effect", states Bertrand Nepveu. It's now up to businesses to seize the opportunity to set themselves apart!
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