Enhance Your Brand Experience With AR/VR

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality

Dynamic and robust technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) amaze, amuse and educate us. We find them novel and readily connect with them. 

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality

For a long time, these technologies have been known to be used only in video games. Today, these didn’t just come onto the forefront but are becoming indispensable in building strong customer relationships and marketing structures. 

Do you want to use AR/VR for branding

Want to know how?

Read on!

Why is Customer Experience (CX) so important?

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality

A pool of stellar customers is essential for your company’s survival. You can have the world’s best products or services, but if your customer service sucks, so will your ROI. 

Let’s face it:

After buying from you, a customer wishes to return the product. They dial your customer service, but they must wait for long before speaking to an executive. 

Nowadays, most would turn away if you tell people to write you an email or call multiple times. They just don’t have the time! 

Customer service doesn’t necessarily begin post-sales, by the way. It’s about creating a unique and remember-worthy customer experience, from invoking interest and continuing it post-sales. 

For instance, potential customers visit your website and get a general idea about what they want to buy. They still need some clarification, but sadly, there’s no one to reach out to immediately. 

They want to buy it right now, and other sellers will be happy to provide it if not you.

If you want long-term customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, you must make them feel wanted, seen, heard, and cared for. Buyers don’t have any issue in paying a higher price for such an experience! 

Here are the central pillars for building an enviable customer experience:

  1. Speed
  2. Friendliness
  3. Convenience
  4. Human connection

Since the Covid pandemic, companies have struggled to figure out the sudden short-term change in consumer behavior. 

Technologies like immersive experiences can help considerably to enhance your company’s CX. 

These new technologies are Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

AR and VR: What are they?

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality

AR and VR are powerful technologies that can take your CX to a new level, regardless of whether you’re offering a product or service.

However, which one’s the best for your customers? 

Your first step is to know about these technologies. After that, you can start thinking about integrating them into your CX building strategies.

Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality takes a user to a realistic world – it resembles the real world, produced with elements for its look and feel. 

For instance, using Google Earth 360 Degree image bubbles, users are transported to the middle of actually photographed areas

On the other hand, Chat platforms like Second Life and IMVU have developed virtual worlds where users can create virtual avatars and interact with others and the virtual world

VR transports a user to a completely different realm with a uniquely immersive quality. It is the same quality that marketing teams worldwide are now revving up to utilize for promoting brands – its products, services, and CX efforts. 

To experience VR, you must use special equipment like HTC Vive, PSVR and Oculus Quest. With these, you can see, hear and even feel the virtual universe! 

No one can deny how memorable and compelling VR is. This superpower attracts attention and appeals, something that makes using VR a good idea for boosting CX.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality

While VR transports you to a computer-generated world, AR combines real and virtual worlds, blurring the lines by overlaying the physical world with virtual digital content.

Pokemon Go and Snapchat image filters are great examples of AR. 

While it’s true that to experience a top-tier AR experience, you’ll need special equipment like Microsoft Hololens; you can access most AR experiences with smartphones and tablets. However, this technology isn’t available to the mass because of a major roadblock – ease of accessibility. Another problem is that AR doesn’t provide VR’s immersive environment. 

That said, you can easily view and share AR content with friends, significantly augmenting their mobility potential. This is something that VR cannot offer.

Why are companies investing in AR/VR for their CX?

Man Thinking

Smart device users are only increasing each year. Naturally, consumers today rely more on digital technologies to make and complete buying decisions and get post-purchase support. It is where immersive technologies can offer a fantastic, novel tool to support your CX strategy. 

Let’s go through some of the crucial reasons why different companies are now using AR and VR technologies:

Providing deep connections with brands through immersive experiences

With AR and VR, you can immerse your customers in beautiful virtual worlds, impress them with AR content on handheld devices, and make their lives easier with post-purchase support. 

These technologies can only be used throughout the entire customer’s journey but also for all types of customers. 

AR and VR are here to stay. Use them to augment your CX and enhance brand image and loyalty.

Supporting customers to make informed decisions

Realistic, immersive, and interactive content is an ideal tool to help customers make informed buying decisions. 

Retailers – from car sellers to cosmetic sellers, are providing “Try-Before-You-Buy” facilities. These are useful for AR customers to get an accurate visual frame of reference, based on which they can make their purchase decisions.

Providing practical post-purchase customer service

Immersive technologies can give you a lot more than marketing gimmicks and they can provide support through each stage of a customer’s journey. 

Take Nespresso’s Augmented Reality descaling instructions, for instance

Customers can unlock a video guide after scanning the package with their mobile phone. While not visually stunning or very sophisticated, it improves CX by solving their core problem-confusion about using the product.

How AR/VR is Transforming Experiences Across Different Sectors

Virtual car showrooms

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality

For car retailers, immersive technologies are heaven-sent! 

A car purchase is one of the more significant financial decisions customers make, which makes it all the more crucial for retailers to guide their target audience toward making a possible purchase properly. 

It is where immersive tech is so valuable. Whether in physical or virtual environments, they can aid customers in visualizing their experience in a virtual model of their dream vehicle.  

Here’s how well-known brands have introduced this technology to improve CX and boost sales:

Down the line, more car manufacturers will start using AR-based tech to improve CX, sales and customer loyalty.

Experiential marketing

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality

When customers develop an emotional bond with your company, they’ll invest more time learning about it and create a more robust loyalty to the brand. 

But how can you create such an emotional bond with a customer?

With experiential marketing!

Experiential marketing uses a combination of imagery, storytelling and cutting-edge immersive tech to create unique real-time content, which makes the coveted emotional bond with customers.

Nike and TOMS have used these technologies to reach millions of people, tell stories, and help children in need.

Nike and Footlocker- LeBron James AR campaign 

TOMS VR campaign for giving shoe donations to Colombian children


Augmented Reality Virtual Reality

In architecture development, immersive technologies can play a significant role. 

You can use VR with 2D and 3D animation to bring a plan to life, letting clients immerse themselves in their future home’s virtual version. They can see, hear, feel and even walk around their furnished apartment, all before a single brick has been laid. 

This is precisely what the BBCs series highlights.

As a result, architecture development companies improve CX significantly, and it also helps all parties to detect and address issues in the initial stages.

Fashion and cosmetic retail

Fashion and cosmetic retail

In fashion and cosmetic retail, AR and VR can make purchasing decisions streamlined with virtual changing rooms. With a “Try Before You Buy” feature, customers can try products out before arriving at a final decision. You can do all these from a brand’s dedicated AR app, such as Asos’s mobile app. Customers can streamline final choices based on their body shape and taste, dramatically decreasing the chances of negative CX. 

Cosmetic brands aren’t far behind. 

Brands like L’Oreal and Chanel are using AR CX, giving customers to try out products on their virtual faces. The benefits of these include more than helping build a positive CX. This lets customers share these images with family and friends through social media, which ultimately aids in spreading the word.

Using AR is ideal, not just for making online purchases. 

The pandemic has taught us that in-store visits and physical changing rooms may become redundant. In its place, AR can help brands remain competitive while keeping customers engaged with novel technologies.

Tourism and hospitality

Tourism and hospitality Augmented Reality

The pandemic forced people to limit travel, increasing their desire to experience the world. For now, though, that can be risky. 

The tourism and hospitality industries were devastated by Covid-19, but they are coming back. Some companies and organizations have introduced 360-degree virtual tours of resorts and tourist destinations to convert viewers into tour package buyers.

4 Major Challenges which prevent AR/VR Growth

You have seen what AR and VR are, their benefits and how companies worldwide use them. 

But why is their implementation so slow? 

Why aren’t more companies using them? 

What are the challenges that stare companies in the face?

Glad you’ve asked! 

Here are the challenges faced by companies which desire to utilize these technologies.

Limited User Features

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality

Most devices are incapable of giving customers the whole AR/VR experience. To get the complete experience, one must buy expensive, sophisticated devices.

Contemporary devices face several issues, ranging from battery consumption to display. However, you should remember that these devices are not meant to provide the complete AR/VR experience but to serve as an entry point for these technologies into the mainstream market.

Limited Use Cases

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality

Fascinating as these technologies are, they continue to serve niche sectors. AR/VR tech doesn’t interest most people, except for gamers and techies. 

If the world’s top companies hadn’t backed Google Glass, it would have died an early death. With a price tag of $1000, Google Glass wasn’t appealing to people. 

Even today, only hardcore gamers and techies buy such gadgets. However, companies continue to funnel millions to AR/VR R&D.

While this is a low-level challenge, the issues inherent in AR tech pose a significant challenge. For instance, Google Glass did not provide an authentic AR experience and it just projected digital data onto the wearer’s field of vision without adding real-world benefits.

Aesthetics and Comfort

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality

Contemporary AR/VR wearables are bulky, which is not something customers like. It makes prolonged usage quite uncomfortable. 

According to reviews carried out by AR/VR device manufacturing brands, comfort translates to temperature, shape, texture, weight and tightness. 

Additionally, users don’t want these devices to hinder natural movement.

Digital Fatigue

Man is tired

People prefer taking a break from interacting with devices to interact more with the natural world. While there’s a little problem with using TV and cell phones, being in a virtual world can be exhausting for most.

The bottom line

Addressing and improving CX is not an option; your business must survive and thrive in this competitive corporate environment. 

The pandemic has affected lives and enterprises worldwide, but it has also reinforced how vital customer relationships are for a company. For the times we live in, using AR and VR technology is the answer.

So how about you?

Will you use AR/VR for branding in your marketing strategy? Try them and write to us to inform us how they benefit your brand. 

How to Run A Successful Instagram AR Filter Campaign

How to Run A Successful Instagram AR Filter Campaign

It wasn’t just in 2020 that the trend of digital marketing became immensely popular. Over the past few years, many businesses have started transitioning to the digital realm to offer their products and services there instead.

And it’s not hard to see why. Internet penetration is at an all-time high right now, with the majority of people consuming social media voraciously. In fact, the Digital 2020 report from Hootsuite and We Are Social shows that almost 300 million people came online for the first time over the last 12 months. More than 4.5 billion people use the internet today, with at least 3.8 billion of them on social media.

Not only are there plenty of users on the internet, but they spend a great deal of their time on it as well — a potentially large audience to tap into, so why wouldn’t businesses jump onto that opportunity? Statistics show that we are spending an estimated time of 6 hours and 43 minutes online everyday. To put that into perspective, that’s more than 100 days a year! Of this, the daily social media usage of internet users worldwide averaged out to 144 minutes.

With Instagram being the fastest growing social media platform, many brands are turning towards the app to market themselves in order to stay relevant. Just on Instagram alone, 80% of users follow at least one brand while 60% of users regularly discover new products on the platform. Additionally, 75% of them have taken action (such as visiting the website) after seeing the brand content.

This, alongside the rising popularity of Instagram Stories, means that brands are sure to up their social media game to produce better and more engaging content. Facebook has even revealed that there are 500 million daily active users just of Instagram Stories alone. After all, we know that video posts are more popular with consumers and often receive twice as many comments as image posts.

So what can we do with all this information? Well, perhaps it’s time to take a look at how brands can use Instagram Stories to their advantage. Evolve your online video strategy to stay ahead of the times and remain savvy. What do we mean?

Instagram’s augmented reality filter campaign.

Yes, you heard that right. Instagram recently partnered up with Spark AR to allow users to create their own custom AR filter. Not many brands have made use of Instagram’s AR filter function which is really a pity since it could very well be the future. Want to know how to run your own AR filter campaign successfully? Here’s how.

1. Define your objectives

Are you aiming for more conversions, engagement, or just increased brand awareness? Having a goal guides your creative team and makes it easier for them to settle on a clear design for the filter, depending on what you want to achieve. Remember to also keep in mind which audience you want to appeal to. Build out a persona for this group so that you can provide them the value they seek.

2. Get familiar with Spark AR

Facebook has a free downloadable programme for users interested in making their own AR filter. Brands can use this to experiment and find the best filter that works for them. The app also has plenty of pre-made templates to help beginners who are just starting out.

Alternatively, you can outsource the task to a talented filter creator. As a creative digital agency, MIU has the capability to design for you a captivating filter made specifically for your audience. While it might be more of an investment, the end result would be worth it if your brand manages to stand out amongst its competitors. AR filters or otherwise, we take pride in our work. Click here to contact us for more information today!

3. Include a call-to-action

How to Run a Successful Instagram AR Filter Campaign slide 4.jpg

The end-goal of every marketing plan, a CTA is important to nudge your audience into taking the necessary next steps you want them to take. Otherwise, you might miss out on reaching the objectives you set.

Ask yourself this: what will your filter enable the user to accomplish, and how does it support your business objective? Whether your CTA is just to raise awareness for a certain issue, your brand, or to increase engagement, you need to keep it in mind so as to push the audience to take a certain action, be it subconsciously or otherwise, and reach your objectives — even if it is just to grow awareness.

4. Promote your filter

Once your filter is completed, it will be published directly to your profile and you can use it on your own Stories and Highlights. It can also be accessed via a dedicated filter tab found under your Highlights reel once it goes live. When you use said filter in your Stories, you can add a ‘Try It’ button for your viewers to test out the filter themselves. Anyone who uses your filter will automatically have a button linked to your filter so that their followers can easily try it out for themselves as well.

If you have a branded AR filter, your business partner can also promote your AR filter through their Stories! Branded AR filters also gets access to metrics (including impressions, captures, and shares) to allow brands to keep track of how their filters are performing. Furthermore, every Instagram AR filter has its own unique URL that can be found inside your SparkAR hub or from Instagram itself. Post this link across your social media channels and website to drive even more engagement.

Another efficient and effective way to promote your filter is by entering into a partnership with Instagram influencers. Reach out to those who are popular in your industry and you could work something out! Otherwise, you could also set up a paid promotion which allows brands to partner with influencers as business partners as well.

5. Check your ROIs

Even as your filter has been officially launched, your work is not done. Measuring your metrics and watching analytics is but part of the job. In order to know what works and what doesn’t, it is important to keep track of how your filter is faring and if it’s meeting the objectives you’ve previously set. This will allow you to better optimise your filter for future reference and improve on your marketing strategy.

That said, the world of social media is evolving ever more rapidly with new techniques and tools constantly being introduced every single day. It is up to you, as a brand and a business owner, to learn to stay with the times and keep your brand relevant. Hopping onto new trends early not only expands your marketing possibilities but also gives you a competitive advantage.

With the wide variety of tools that Instagram offers, it is the perfect platform for launching new social media campaigns. From Stories to Highlights to filters and so much more, these functions allow your brand to be even more interactive with your audience. Always keep a close eye on new innovations that surface to boost your business performance and craft a successful social media strategy.