ENTERTAIN YOUR CUSTOMERS BEFORE THEY BORED TO DEATH: VR/AR MARKETING & BRANDING
What do people say about your company when you are not in the room?
The words they say shape your brand. And this bright idea is not mine, of course, it belongs to one of the richest men on the planet — Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon. And it seems that the knowledge about successful branding is bred in the bone in case of Jeff Bezos. That is how he transformed a marketplace into a powerful machine associated with ubiquity and infinite flow of goods.
So what do people say about your brand actually? You know, the worst variant if they say nothing at all.
It means that you’ve reached the bottom of branding and your customers are bored to death. It’s called brand fatigue. You must have heard about it already. Brand fatigue can be described as the loss of vitality and sparkle between you and your customers. It often happens to couples after several years in the relationship: no more passionate emails and pleasant surprises. Just mundane talks about work and tons of excuses. You can observe brand fatigue as goods that lay on the shelves in supermarkets till Christmas discounts.
Brand fatigue means that something is utterly wrong with a brand. Because healthy brands attract attention and hook customers evoking genuine interest. If a brand is a gut feeling people have towards your company, brand fatigue can be compared to a heartburn.
What are the most common reasons of brand fatigue? Experts form Forbes, Marketing Week and the owners of branding agencies keep discussing possible reasons, yet they agree that these 5 reasons can be decisive.
MARKET IS SATURATED WITH GOODS, SERVICES, AND, CONSEQUENTLY, WITH ADS
How many ads do your customers see daily? The exposure of customers to advertisements is staggering: an average consumer sees from 4000 to 10000 ads every day. Think about it: 7000 in one day on average (and honestly, I think that this number is underrated). This amount of ads makes us totally blind to any type of visual and textual influence. That is why outbound marketing with all its billboards, cold emails, TV ads, is dead.
Social networks can help but they are also flooded with business propositions. With more than 50 million small businesses using social networks, there is a problem of huge and never-ending flow of brand-written content in which customers get lost. Do you understand how bored customers are with new companies and their marketing efforts?
That is why potential customers feel reluctant to engage with any digital content created by companies that is why brands need to think outside the box to provide customers with something extraordinary.
Something that would make customers engage with a brand on a deeper level, something that would make them say «WOW!» How can a brand do it? Rebranding? (Doesn’t work if you did it already). Redesign? (not a new logo, please). How about an augmented reality marketing campaign? Anything to bring back the fire.
INADEQUATE VISUAL IDENTITY
Brand awareness and recognition depend largely on how the quality brand’s visual identity. Awesome visual identity is recognized immediately: think about Apple’s logo, people even stick it on their cars! Good visual identity stimulates associations. It’s silently eloquent. What does the visual identity of the brand include?
Logo, emblems, abstract marks, typography expressed in colors, forms, curves. Everything that appeals to the right hemisphere of a customer, the one that is responsible for the emotional purchase. If the visual identity of the company is as dull as the print on your high school T-shirt, people will not pay attention. These are the examples of visual identity that works:
Yes, you can hire a good designer to revitalize the visual identity of your brand but you can go off the beaten track. Instead of changing the visual identity of your company you can add new layers to it.
Adding new layers to your visual identity can be compared to changing the rules of the game everyone is tired of playing. Overlaying of digital information over physical reality is transforming your brand without actual change. That’s why some companies, such as Davidoff create augmented reality apps that overlay visual information over the company’s logo. Add a new layer making visual identity more persuasive.
COMMUNICATION WITH THE BRAND IS ARTIFICIAL AND ANNOYING
Instead of making friends with customers (gently and slowly) and providing them with useful information, a company keeps sending the same trivial emails full of clich?s. And it keeps sending them twice a week! These emails look like they were copypasted from the same free digital marketing guide, they start with the words «dear customer» and inform customers on some irrelevant stuff like new hires. Do your customers need updates on your company’s new hires? Like really? Only high-quality content can form meaningful brand communication.
Of course, customers will soon be tired of it. Such communication is soulless and lacks emotions. You have friends, you know how it feels when your friends want too much from you and at some point, you feel alienated and a bit indifferent to their requests.
Customers feel fake communication instantly, don’t doubt.
VR/AR marketing can be this magic pill against the dull pain of brand fatigue. The reason is simple: virtual and augmented reality marketing and branding are built on strong emotions and they are emphatic. They are affectionate. Joy, amusement, astonishment, shock, laughter, sympathy, awe!AR/VR apps in marketing evoke these emotions naturally because they invite customers to the world where everything is possible: dragons breathing fire (LEGO), UFO (Pepsi), and angels dancing at a railway station (Axe).
THE BRAND DOESN’T KNOW ITS TARGET AUDIENCE AND DOESN’T SEND PERSONALIZED MESSAGES
The brand doesn’t create the tribe of like-minded people, it tries to reach everyone. So when you as a customer gets the message from the company ( in any form — it can be an email, a post on social media, a big board on the street) he/she doesn’t feel it was personal. Brands that treat their potential customers as morons who dont know a thing about business, exhaust themselves very quickly. Because personalized experience in marketing and branding is one of the hottest trends of 2018.
Google will place more emphasis on search requests connecting customers with local companies. Personalization will become a new black. So the businesses reaching individual customers instead of theoretical target groups will win.
Forbes writers claim that to reach customers in 2018 brands will need to offer extreme personalization.
VR/AR marketing is totally and fully personalized. It’s hard to think of something more personal than delivering content created specifically for a customer via his/her cell phone. You customer just checked in at the Tokyo restaurant? Offer him/her recommendations regarding nearby places in a form of digital information. Are you selling cosmetics? Give your customers to try it with the help of AR app and encourage them to share this photo online. A lipstick chosen specifically for her!
A COMPANY CANNOT ACHIEVE ITS STATED MISSION
Behind every successful brand, there is a person who inspires others and who shapes the mission. This mission serves as a drive, as the energy that pushes the company ahead. If the company cannot reach the mission it stated, it means that the company is not authentic or its owners bit off more than they could chew.
Most brands face brand fatigue at some point.
There is good and bad news for you.
The bad news is that it’s serious and if you ignore it, it won’t go away. Good news is that you can deal with it. It’s time to be creative and experiment. Strong brands are flexible, they adapt fast, they use the most innovative solutions and they are not afraid to experiment. Big brands use innovative technological tools, such as virtual and augmented reality for marketing, to stand out of the competition.