Power to the People: Why Virtual Reality Is Good For Business
The difficulty in business has long been the “distance” between brand and consumer. Though each group maintains opposing positions they are diametrically aligned with one another, consumers have problems and businesses/brands provide solutions. The issue however is that the general consumer market is now wary of advertisers’ attempts to sell them things they may not actually need. Instead of providing a service to their constituency, many business have instead opted for bottom line growth. The truth however is that business and consumer remain bedfellows, and the world benefits tremendously from this relationship. Thankfully, emerging technologies are helping to suture consumer wounding from past brand transgression. The gap between business and consumers was once bridged by traditional advertisements…print campaigns, commercials and product placements that used 2 dimensional images to code a message of promise to their intended audiences. However today, Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies are virtually eliminating that gap, by putting the power back in the consumer’s hands through experiential advertising. No longer need brands be reliant on clever tag lines and perfect pictures to sway opinions and drive behavior, because experiences deliver a opportunity for the consumer to arrive at their own conclusions and generate authentic emotional reactions to drive behavior. While experiences will still be specifically curated so as to produce a desired feeling, the transparency factor remains an important component of experiential advertising…meaning at the end of the day, consumers choose how to feel about or react to a given experience.
There is an additional opportunity for brands to serve their communities to a degree well beyond a simple product or service, by giving their communities moments and memories through experience. And the more brands and businesses can capitalize on the opportunity to improve the lives of their consumers beyond conventional means, the more the entire ecosystem benefits. By adding more value to a customer’s experience, they not only improve the likelihood of purchase, but also the relationship and potential loyalty between brand and customer.
Additionally, by using Virtual Reality, brands and business have the opportunity to not only show people what their product or service is, but give people the experience of it and how to best use it. Consumers may be hesitant to try new things, spending precious resources on chance items is risky, but through the use of VR companies can deliver a “try before you buy” moment. This ultimately builds consumer trust, increases conversion and reduces the number of unsatisfied customers. What’s more is that by using Virtual and Augmented technologies to train employees organizations can harness the power of experiential learning, which to date is the most powerful learning format devised. This creates more knowledgeable and better trained team members, who are more capable and prepared to serve their clientele, which ends up resulting in happier customers, bigger bottom lines and reduced employee turnover.
Finally, as more and more of the world recognizes and adopts a digital existence the opportunity to bring the experience of a brick and mortar shopping experience into people’s homes is tremendous. Soon, Virtual Reality will give businesses the opportunity to bring their in store magic into the ultimate comfort of the consumers’ living space to proved them with an intimate purchasing experience like no other.
Ultimately, the problems consumers face will never go away, they will only evolve, and as long as those issues persist there will be businesses to solve them. While seemingly on opposite sides of the aisle, consumers and companies have vested interests in one another and Virtual Reality is only making more a more amicable, transparent and profitable relationship for the two.