Friday, December 1, 2017

Brands Using Augmented Reality to Create Amazing Experiences

Have you ever had a moment with a brand that caused your jaw to hit the floor? Nine times out of ten, a jaw-dropping experience for me involves a brand utilizing technology to create an unexpected moment. And ten times out of ten, I’m carting that experience around to every friend and family member within a five mile radius to share it. For brands across all industries, there’s incredible power in utilizing mobile technology to create these moment-specific experiences–not only are you creating brand loyalty by wow-ing your customer, but you’re creating an endless cycle of brand praisers when you provide an experience worth sharing (and all on the device that consumers already love the most). One of the latest and greatest mobile wow-factors is augmented reality (AR). Thanks to recent mobile advancements putting the power of AR in our pockets, brands are taking mobile interactions to the next level. Here are a few brands utilizing AR to create some unforgettable moments:

19 Crimes Wine
This bottle of wine caught my eye while I was doing some grocery shopping last week. Multiple friends had told me about 19 Crimes’ incredible experience (my fellow Lumavate team member Aidan was among them–he sent me this article), so I had to buy a bottle to see what all the hype was about. 19 Crimes wine features a criminal on the front of each of their bottles. Each of these criminals has a crazy story to tell, which I’m sure you could find with a quick Google search…but why not have them tell you their stories themselves? That’s right–using the 19 Crimes app that has AR capabilities, you can hold your phone up to the bottle and watch the criminals come to life. The experience was so incredible that I saved the empty bottle and brought it to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner to show them. They weren’t too thrilled that I showed up with an empty bottle of wine, but quickly forgot about it as they watched the criminal on the bottle come to life on my phone. Now the whole family is in on the hunt to collect them all!

Disney (Star Wars)
We’ve already touched on the importance of brands creating moment-specific micro-experiences on this blog, which is why I love this event-based example of implementing AR. The Disney-owned Star Wars franchise launched a new merchandise line back in September of this year, and in order to drive sales they launched a weekend-long AR treasure hunt. Jedi-wanna-be’s were invited to visit big-box stores like Target, Walmart, and GameStop to find stand-up displays with the “Find the Force” logo. Using the Star Wars app, shoppers could scan the logo and be immersed into a virtual character interaction in which they could take pictures and videos to share on social media. This not only drove Star Wars app downloads, but also drove shoppers to the stores for the release of their new product line (I’m sure it’s much harder for parents to say “no” to a lightsaber when their Jedi Youngling already has it in their hands).

Ikea
There’s nothing quite like the uncertainty that comes with buying a new piece of furniture–will the color of these cushions look good with the wall color? How will that book shelf look next to my mantle? Will this couch even fit in my living room? If you’re anything like me, you’re running through these questions for about three weeks before actually getting a measuring tape out and doing the dirty work. Anxiety-ridden furniture buyers rejoice! Because Ikea is taking the guesswork out of furniture buying with their Ikea Place app. The app allows you to place furniture straight from Ikea’s catalog into your space to get a sneak preview of how it’ll look. And the best part? The digital renderings of the furniture are true-to-size, even when you move around the room. It’s as close to test-driving furniture as you can get, and you won’t even have to break out the power tools.

These are just a few of the brands using technology to “wow” their customers in specific moments, and it’s definitely paying off. While 19 Crimes is focused on a post-purchase moment that will increase their likelihood to repurchase, Ikea and Star Wars are using their mobile AR experiences to promote initial sales. Which means no matter how you look at it, these brands technology investments are paying off in sales revenue. Not only that, but they’re building brand loyalty that will stick around long after they close out of the AR-enabled experience. (Now if only they could increase adoption by eliminating the cumbersome app download…)