6 Competitive Advantages VR Gives Top Brands

With a list of benefits that companies paid for in 2016

Chris Tan
Chris Tan
Feb 10, 2017 · 6 min read

I’ve moved my blog to founderknowledge.com. Founder Knowledge Fridays are when new posts are published.

Last week, I compared the growth of VR vs. the iPhone 1 and the results were ridiculously promising.

As I see it, Virtual Reality is poised to revolutionize* every single industry and I’m not the only one that realizes this. Many companies are leveraging VR to gain a competitive advantage and strengthen their relationships with consumers.

Since we distribute private applications for big brands, I wanted to give you some insights on the top ways VR improves your bottom line:

1) Consistent Brand Story

We live in a very noisy world.

With competition splurging on advertising to steal your customers, you have very few chances to strengthen your relationship with your clients.

VR allows you to establish dominance and forward thinking in your space (since you’re first to use VR in your industry). With VR experiences, you can tell your brand story like never before: you control the visual and audio cues to make clients feel the way you want without any interruptions from distractions like Facebook and WhatsApp.

Image for post
Image for post
James Harden using the (Adidas) Harden Experience. Source: nicekicks.com

Moreover, brand is the strongest differentiator you can have for your business. Without it you’re competing on price and features alone (competitors can almost always make cheaper products or have more features than you). When you build a strong brand (like Apple), customers are significantly more loyal to you.

This is becoming an absolute must for large brands as competitors continue to join the VR trend (which will eventually become the norm).

2) Drive Online to Offline Traffic

Though increasing sales by driving O2O is the most “obvious” benefit, execution of campaigns can be tricky.

The most successful events I saw throughout the year were marketing campaigns that leveraged VR with limited time events (like the Rio Olympics and Home Run Derby) to drive online-to-offline traffic and in-store purchases.

Image for post
Image for post
Todd Frazier using the T-Mobile’s Home Run Derby VR Experience. Source: T-Mobile

At events like these, especially when you try VR for the first time, your brain releases dopamine, making you feel happy then primed for making purchases.

Image for post
Image for post
Virtual walk-throughs in InsiteVR. Source: TechCrunch

For high ticket items, like homes, cars and planes, the investment on headsets and app development pays for itself with a single product purchase from a customer.

3) Significant Reduction of Design Costs

Imagine making a last minute floor plan change to the kitchen counter length for multiple units, constructing the units and then realizing that the refrigerator door hits the counter: not a fun issue to fix. Or, if your cabinets run into each other:

Image for post
Image for post
Architecture design errors. Source: Naver

To be fair, this is a common issue for many buildings because designers/architects are designing a 3D space on a 2D floor plan. With VR, designers are able to see and walk around the homes before construction starts and make any last minute changes quickly with no cost.

Similar parallels can be drawn with multiple industries including aeronautics, architectural and automotive firms.

4) Maximize Worker Efficiency

The only thing worse than training an employee and having them leave, is to not train them, and have them stay. — Zig Ziglar

You’ve probably heard this before but, for completeness, here’s my quick cost/benefit analysis on training:

Training employees is one of the cheapest ways to maximize employee output. The most interesting app I saw in this space was a sales training application for one of our telecom clients. Customer Service Representatives can put on a headset and rehearse answering commonly asked customer questions to build confidence before their first sale.

It’s only a matter of time before more content producers go into this space since you can create content once and sell it to many clients. (If you’re working on VR training apps, please reach out to me.)

5) Reduced Operational Costs

One major lesson I learned in 2016 was on how planes are sold.

Multiple types of planes (from all around the world) are flown into a single airport. The buyers choose which planes they want to buy and then the planes are flown back to where they came from.

VR let’s buyers navigate inside of an airplane to view features of an aircraft before the airport meeting. This allows buyers to reduce the number of planes to be flown in resulting in a major reduction in fuel costs, pilot fees, etc (and reducing global warming).

I predict this trend continuing for many types of large product sales (e.g. military vehicles, ships, home purchases, etc).

6) Get Investor Cash

Technically this goes under asset AND liabilities but another major lesson I learned in 2016 was how VR helps real estate developers.

For large projects, construction costs are initially paid with investor money. Before a building is built, investors are flown to the building site to see a mock unit of a development project and convinced to back it (i.e. a Kickstarter for building construction). When investors are unable to view the building site in person, a VR experience (and device) is sent to the potential investor to view.

Using VR for investment dollars works for any project that requires a significant amount of money to manufacture. The investment made on headsets and app development pay for itself with a single, multi-million dollar cheque.

Note: I wouldn’t be surprised if Kickstarter (and clones) started supporting VR demos of products users want to build (you heard it here first!).


*To SF: I apologize for using the word “revolutionize” (it was either that or “disrupt”).

** Skilled worker average mean wage in 2014 was 22.71 per hour

Summary — 6 Unfair Advantages VR Gives You

  1. Consistent Brand Story
  2. Drive Online to Offline Traffic
  3. Significant Reduction of Design Costs
  4. Maximize Worker Efficiency
  5. Reduced Operational Costs
  6. Get Investor Cash


I love working with innovative companies and seeing the world class experiences they’re building. Last year has been incredibly insightful for me as I got to see where the money was being spent in VR.

Although, I keep hearing that there’s no money in VR, I can see a very green side to the story.

If you are working on or have commissioned a VR development project, I’d love to hear which of these advantages you’re capitalizing on!

Want to ask an investor?

If you’re interested in asking a VR investor questions or seeing their thoughts, please let me know through the Wufoo form below.


Note: When we get 100 signups, I’ll ask a VR Investor your questions on a public live stream!


For the geniuses using VR as an unfair advantage, I’d like to leave you a quote from one of my favorite motivational speakers:

I’m highly ethical but I refuse to play fair; ever. — Grant Cardone

Always be learning,


Chris Tan is the CEO and Co-founder of ConstructVR.io. He is a Y Combinator Alumni from Vancouver, Canada and now lives in San Francisco, CA where he spends his free time meeting other VR enthusiasts.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store