Consumers are tired. There’s a myriad of advertisers vying for the affection of consumers who cannot afford to pay attention. The marketplace is becoming more crowded, meanwhile, the audience is thinning out; perhaps, just jaded. So let’s take the text in the previous sentences for what it is: the fatalistic rant of a doomsday prophet. But if we could offer you a little context here, maybe we could put these statements in perspective.
Brands have traditionally treated themselves and more so, also been treated as formal entities occupying a different world from consumers. The introductions have been specific, and pitches always pattern driven. So, when the consumers started to get distant and emotionally disconnect themselves from the brands, the brands were left with no option but to humanize themselves some more. And what better way to achieve this than by telling stories. But when every other brand, big and small started discovering the silent benefits of storytelling, it turned into quite a free for all and with it came the need for stories to be told in a more organized manner using the rapid advances in technology.
The stories of brands can’t change but the way it is told and the platform it utilizes for this can change for sure. And here’s where the biggies have stolen a march by moving on to greater things, literally (Goes on to prove that money does help you imagine). Enter Augmented Reality! By augmenting the reality of their customers, companies like Pokémon Go and Snapchat are already carving a niche for themselves. According to Annie Eaton, the CEO of Futurus, “Augmented Reality is a surefire way to bring products to life”, hinting that existing advertising platforms are, perhaps, dead.
It is then no surprise when Markets and Markets estimated the current value of the Augmented Reality market to be $4.21 billion. It is further predicted that by 2023, this value will skyrocket to over $34 billion.
With this sort of wide market reach, advertisers and marketers have a platform, like never before, to tell compelling stories about their brands. By integrating the digital world into the real world, innovative online campaigns will extend to a wider audience. How can this be done? We shall look at some of the companies with recorded success and glean a few things.
With a record of about 7.5 million downloads within a week of launching and a revenue of over $1.5 million from in-app purchases, this game has successfully raised the bar. The creators simply inserted fictional characters in real-life locations while keeping the users engaged. The strategy is simple, however, the message is well received.
Startups are not left behind in this trend. Apollo Box, an e-commerce company in California has integrated Augmented Reality in its business. This has led to a drastic improvement in customer experience. Now, users can interact with the virtual products in 3-Dimension using the markerless Augmented Reality application.
They are not stopping there. They are employing more sophisticated tools (A.R 2.0) to increase customer engagement. Li predicts a surge in the adoption of AR technology. Apollo Box’s success was borne out of connecting AR to the core values of the company. Doing this should engender similar results.
A company renowned for storytelling is doubling its efforts to be more compelling and enthralling. They recently launched an experiment which allowed readers explore some notable buildings in real-time. By simply pointing their phone’s camera to the ceiling, the AR application replicates one of the notable building’s ceiling in the user’s location.
The user then listens to a narrative by architecture critic, Philip Kennicott. The Washington Post has more experiences lined up in the months to follow and the response they have received is overwhelming. This is perhaps why the New York Times recently jumped on the AR train.
When Volvo launched their XC90, the aim was to display the innovative design and show consumers its amazing capabilities. The car manufacturers were set to generate immense hype and anticipatory excitement among the customers and they relied on Augmented Reality for this.
After a few consultations, they came up with a ‘Volvo Reality’ app which changed the game completely. This application gave consumers the opportunity to experience what driving the car felt like and it highlighted the features of the vehicle. Guess what? Their sales hit an all-time high!
These are just a few examples of how brands have taken it up a notch in their attempt to showcase themselves in audience in more engaging manner. And while the big boys and girls play in this league, there is no reason why your startup on little shop cannot take advantage of this technology.
At Biztruss, we are strong advocates of technology for all. With Software Development Kits (SDK) and Open Source frameworks that are easily affordable, anyone, literally anyone, from a mom and pop shop to large enterprise can utilize Augmented Reality to build their brand story. All you need is a bit of a helping hand here and maybe a bit of your lunch money. But the very first requirement is an open mind to adapt and adopt.
So till we roll out our next one from our editorial stables (makes us sound pretty rad, doesn’t it), get ready to showcase the best version of your brand through Augmented Reality.
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