How to use augmented reality to provide a lasting brand impression
Augmented reality (AR) superimposes virtual or digital objects on the user’s seen environment in real time. The popular game Pokémon Go uses augmented reality, as do shopping apps that allow users to digitally place furniture in a room in the house, or virtually test a paint color, or put makeup on their digital image and see how it looks. AR can provide thrilling novel experiences that can be deployed effectively as part of a marketing campaign. But for augmented reality to have a lasting branding effect, it must add value to the user by creating a meaningful experience that is tied to the brand’s values and message.
The augmented reality experience must have substance that enhances the user’s understanding of the world and the brand’s place in it. As augmented reality technology becomes more common and affordable, a short-term gimmick won’t leave a lasting impression that memorably ties the experience to the brand. Novelty alone won’t create a meaningful brand experience, and may make it harder to access to the product’s website and content.
The Advantages of AR
Effective uses of AR offer customers the opportunity for a highly personalized experience of a product in the way that they will use it most. Brand-focused AR should be highly interactive, making the consumers into participants that connect them to the brand and focus their attention on what the brand can add to them. It’s not just about placing digital objects into the real world, but highlighting aspects of the brand that help the consumer’s life. For example, AR can group items in the supermarket according to dietary needs, restrictions and preferences, or help users navigate a map by showing how it moves with them. Imagine having all gluten-free foods pop up on the screen, or every local accessible restaurant highlighted. The visualization applications allow users to take a product and bring it directly into their lives in the ways they use it most.
While AR is most commonly used on tablet and smartphone screens, users may be hesitant to download a product app. To reach more customers, AR can be integrated directly into websites, banner ads, social media and even cars, bus stops and billboards. Value-added AR will create a strong brand experience and develop brand ambassadors who will then share their experiences online to showcase their results. With AR becoming increasingly common, more and more opportunities are opening up to develop an AR strategy that adds value to consumers while emphasizing your brand’s values and brand promise.
As you consider your marketing strategy going forward, how will you use augmented reality to provide a valuable brand experience?