We are already living in mixed reality, and what our human eyes see is now amplified by what technology can show us. Just as virtual reality (VR) opened up a new world of opportunity for brands to engage with consumers in novel, exciting ways, so too will mixed reality (MR) and augmented reality (AR) do the same. By the year 2022, the MR and AR market in the U.S. is expected to reach 80 billion dollars.
From allowing consumers to view products in 3D to previewing how those products will look in their homes, MR and AR provide opportunities never seen before to engage with audiences and customers in truly innovative ways.
While MR and AR differ slightly — MR is associated with digital objects that interact with real-world objects, whereas digital elements in AR are not able to respond to or interact with those in the real world — both require brands to have a firm understanding of their own DNA.
As these immersive realities have the ability to augment the way consumers see and experience the physical world around them, brands must first be keenly cognizant of exactly how they see and experience the world. Having this awareness will enable brands to harness this new technology in a way that makes real sense for their identity and voice, and ultimately create content that inspires, informs and builds brand love.
To ultimately succeed at mixed and augmented reality, here are four things that your brand must consider:
1. Understand the core values that make up your brand’s unique identity.
Knowing your brand’s unique identity will guide you as you determine how to influence the way consumers see the world in mixed and augmented reality. In a recent study by Oath that mapped the factors that drive brand love, 14% of consumers want to be seen using brands that share their same values.
Whether your brand’s core values center around connecting communities around the world or making people feel good about themselves, hone in on the one thing that sets you apart and build your experience from there.
2. Simplicity is your friend, especially when starting off in MR.
What’s the most important view you’d like to share with your consumer? Narrow it down and focus on one big thing that your brand sees differently and can show to the world. Don’t try and do too much at once; spend time prioritizing the most important vantage point that must come across in an experience.
3. Intrinsically know what problems you can help consumers solve.
Once you know what problem you want to solve, figure out a way to create a solution that’s easy to digest for consumers. Ikea is a perfect example of a company who saw a problem — customers wanting to see what furniture would look like in their home before purchasing it — and a solution: creating an AR app that lets you put pieces in real-world scenarios.
4. Deliver a mixed reality experience that equally represents both a brand’s unique offerings and enhances the consumer’s view of the world.
Taking a consumer on a journey that involves wearing a headset or downloading an app is still considered asking a lot. It’s important to ensure you are giving them an experience that’s meaningful, useful, or solving a problem in a simple way. Take L’Oreal, who launched an AR app called Style My Hair, which allows users to virtually try hairstyles and colors before visiting a salon. This app helps solve a real problem.
With MR and AR continuing to become more common, brands will have the power to deliver thrilling, unexpected new ways for consumers to view surroundings. Following these tips will help ensure you succeed at MR and AR, while jumping on the technology sooner rather than later will keep your brand relevant and ahead of the competition.