When you think of Augmented Reality (AR), an image of teens crowding the streets and flocking to parks playing Pokémon Go might come to mind. Or Snapchat filters. But with the release of ARKit (iOS) and ARCore (Android) earlier this year, millions of devices will become AR-capable — bringing AR to the masses.
While we’ve already seen it’s potential in gaming and entertainment, AR’s potential as a marketing tool is just beginning. And marketers should use it as such — a tool, not a gimmick, that brings digital elements to your physical surroundings.
The Possibilities of AR
For retail, AR can merge brick and mortar and traditional media to virtual experiences and a wealth of online resources. With just the scan of a product (on the shelf or in a catalogue), customers could see more info, instructions, reviews, and even coupons. Informed customers typically make for more loyal customers and increased sales.
A great example of an AR app is Ikea Place, which lets customers see what a piece of furniture would look like in their home.
Similarly, AR can add another dimension to services, not just products. Imagine dinosaur bones coming alive in a natural history museum when viewed on your phone. Or hungry restaurant-goers scanning the menu to see how each dish looks. AR can make services more customer-friendly and live experiences more enriching.
Kate Spade used AR to promote the opening of its first Paris store. Hidden drawings at popular landmarks could be unlocked by scanning them with the app.
Although it’s easy to be swept up in the hype of a new technology, remember that AR is just one of countless digital tactics that may suit your brand. Don’t use AR just to jump on the bandwagon. Use it to effectively and creatively convey the message of the unique value of your brand.
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