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Virtual Reality, for Real Brands

How virtual reality is disrupting the branding arena. Today -yes, today-, activating a brand force us to think in multiple layers that intermingle reality with parallel worlds. Meta-layers? That’s a challenge!

After 2 years of pandemic, technology has been speeding up faster than ever. It wasn’t far from now when we saw the street signs empty, and Brands had to make a migrate entirely to a digitalized world in the blink of an eye.


But now, we are not only on a digital screen, but we are also moving to a VIRTUAL world and environment. Virtual reality is here to stay, it is de NEW NEW, and brands will need to adapt. We are having just a pinch of it with headsets for enterprise use and video games among other uses. But this world, the meta verse, will become part of a day a day routine.


There’s not only one Virtual reality in game now. We are confronting a spectrum of realities starting with VR and AR – Augmented Reality. VR is a virtual world, the metaverse, meta layers, avatars, a whole universe online to explore, interact and expand. While AR – interacts with the real world but is digitalized. For example, we can scan a real room and add things to it or move things around. One of the greatest examples is IKEA. They help you choose your furniture and try it on a digitalized environment before buying it.


Stating this difference of AR and VR, and knowing that they are kind of cousins we confront the real challenge for brands: how these come to disrupt branding and marketing as we know it.


It is no news that even toddlers are now able to skip an ad on YouTube while watching “baby shark”. Generations to come, Gen Z and Millennials, are hardly engaging in the new normal sponsored ads on digital platforms. So, how will brands be able to engage this growing generations into this whole brand-new virtualized world?


This shared space with avatars walking around as yourself, with your soft skills, physical characteristics and interacting with each other will also need brands to engage. The metaverse will have no limits since each person that enters and interacts will be expanding each time more this world. So, how to make your brand grow here?

1. Make your brand a statement – if you are a statement in the real world, your brand will be worth it in this virtual world. Let’s take Gucci as an example, a luxury brand that even you would like your avatars to wear.

2. Sell an experience with sensory marketing – VR can be visual or multisensorial. The classic headsets as we know offer an entire virtual reality, through sound and vision, but there are other technologies where you are able to feel as a whole experience.


3. Keep moving with technology – keep evolving. The pandemic has shown us how we can’t be stuck on the known, we need to explore every aspect of technology and not only adapt, but anticipate quickly to changes and evolution.

We have been preparing ourselves for this virtual world a long time before, without even noticing it. it. We’ve seen it in movies such as Iron Man and Her and thought it was so far away, but it’s now here. Microsoft has built an accessible headset that many companies are using for their resources. People are being able to interact with their avatars in a virtual office, go take a coffee together, and chat in a virtual environment. Helping mainly in the onboarding and recruiting process. Interactions felt as real, but in a virtual world.


Brands will have to make a turn and make up their minds that the metaverse is coming, and that this new virtual reality is – Real. This technology will become more accessible, and Microsoft is a proof of it. We are going to see a whole lot more on virtual reality, augmented reality and this will become our day a day interaction.

 

Felicitas Molina


Project Manager at Accenture. In addition, she is leading her own small gastronomic family business.


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