Virtual Reality: How It Can Work for Your Brand

  • The Retail Innovation Lab
  • November 30, 2015

Alcone created the Retail Innovation Lab to keep a pulse on how emerging technology and innovative thinking are being used to transform the retail activation landscape.

We routinely attend conferences around the country that allow us to physically interact and engage with the market’s most recent innovations.

In early November, a few of us attended thinkLA’s 2015 Trends Breakfast, that provided more than just coffee and bagels, but also some valuable information and several Google Cardboards.

Yes, Google Cardboards.  The name and product, which once seemed so foreign, has resurfaced in the news a lot lately and brands are catching on.  For example, The New York Times recently announced a virtual reality project in collaboration with Google, which sent home more than one million Google cardboard devices to its subscribers.  The devices were branded with The New York Times logo and accompanied by a requisite [free] mobile app, dubbed "NYT VR" or New York Times Virtual Reality.  The app, used alone or in conjunction with the Google cardboard device, allows viewers to "simulate richly immersive scenes from across the globe."

Aaron Luber, head of Partnerships for Google Cardboard, was one of the keynote speakers at the thinkLA Trends Breakfast. He spoke about the ingredients to a successful VR campaign, and acknowledged that although device choice and distribution are crucial, content is what sets brands apart.

VR technology is remarkable, but more importantly, is becoming more attainable for consumers, and as a result, something that marketers are leveraging to an increasing extent. With T-Mobile announcing the availability of Samsung Gear VR in stores last week and Google Cardboard costing less than a pair of sneakers, selecting a device to launch the VR experience is hardly an issue.  We have been using Google Cardboards in our Lab quite a bit and put together a video to quickly demonstrate how to use the devices:

And some still shots to demonstrate as well:

We must admit, we're pretty hooked on the Google Cardboard device-it's cost effective and easy to assemble and use. In addition to Google Cardboard, we are watching the following devices:

Oculus Rift:

Samsung Gear VR:

Brands should view VR and tools like Google Cardboard as an invaluable resource to bring their personalities to life and promote a lifestyle….which, by the way, is exactly what consumers want.  As The New York Times example suggests, brands can easily distribute their own branded device and provide content that is unique and hopefully engaging and memorable.  It's just another way for brands to break through the clutter and differentiate.

Ready to learn more about what VR can do for your brand? And more importantly, how you can harness its power to drive both engagement AND transactions? Give us a call or stop by and see us.

Alcone Marketing Group, Retail Innovation Lab: