What was I doing this week? Oh, I was just having fun viewing a panda chewing bamboo in my living room and a dinosaur peeping through my window from the garden and a tiger walking in the hallway (real size).
Such an underused technology, Augmented Reality is something that deserves more of our attention, for sure! A technology that helps businesses and customers equally, Augmented Reality (AR) is not any more of the future, but of the present. It is something that businesses can leverage well, especially now.
What is AR?
Augmented Reality is a technology where a computer-generated image is superimposed in the view of the real world of the user. A simple example would be Pokemon Go — a game that became extremely popular throughout the world.
AR in 2020
Today Augmented Reality is put into use by sectors like entertainment, education, military, gaming, manufacturing, and more.
With Reliance launching Jio Glass now (what is expected to be a revolutionary in Mixed Reality), we’re merging the physical and digital world in ways that we did not imagine was possible.
I also tried out BBC Civilisation AR and tried my hand at understanding the history of important artifacts from across the world.
I am amazed at the possibilities. You can scale the sizes, read information about the artefacts, even listen the description and flip the globe around to see which artefact you’d like to study about!
BRANDS THAT HAVE ADVANTAGED AR
When Augmented Reality was perceived to be a tech for educators, game designers, or factory workers, some brands jumped in to make it work for their company.
· Gucci’s Try On Shoe app — The customers can try on the shoes and understand how they’d look
· IKEA Place — Place a piece of furniture in your house, with the real size and color accuracy and understand how the product would look in your residential/office setting
· Sephora – Users can try on different looks, after scanning their face
REASONS TO USE AR IN MARKETING STRATEGIES
Give the customers a chance to try/ understand more, before they buy
Every brand can use AR and when used effectively, it is sure to stick in the memory of the people. If a brand has products like shoes or furniture, we can superimpose the product. If the company sells, say milk products, we can bring the manufacturing process of the products like a separate campaign, instead of launching an app. The more the customers are intrigued and learn more about the brand and the product, the more people will give the brand a chance.
It creates a huge buzz
Attention is good when AR is yet to be tried out big, especially in the metro cities of India. It generates lasting memories. A well-designed virtual experience that adds value to the customer is very essential, for the growth of the brand. Since it has been used mostly by big brands, a growing brand experimenting with AR, (e.g. a jewelry brand letting customers try out pieces), will be the talk of the town, in India.
Experts suggest that AR is a tech that involves customers a lot more. With more access to information in an interesting way, it makes people more fascinated with the process. People are with their smartphones for long hours. Why not give them something interesting to engage in, then just scrolling through memes/posts?
BUT, WHY IS AR NOT POPULAR YET?
AR has been around for many years but is not commonly used. Unlike Google’s AR Animals that I showed you in the beginning, many businesses need us to install apps. But, when promoted right and when more people understand how fun and educational AR apps can be, it is revolutionary. Brands need to think about usability, interactive nature, design, and value addition.
We are ready for AR and AR is ready for us.
Choosing the right AR plan that aligns with the business goal can be tricky. But, once we start experimenting and the brands taste success with the possibilities, it will become an inescapable marketing trend. Which brands are going to pioneer in the movement?