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New Data: How Consumers Suggest Brands Can Use Virtual Reality

Watching movies on the moon is awesome. Being able to explore the most desolate places on the planet without having to leave our living room is simply mind blowing. Sitting (or standing) front-and-center at our favorite band’s concert, sans the mosh-pits and clouds of whatever hovering above us, is pretty amazing.

Despite its first introduction to the masses in 1962, virtual reality (VR) is still relatively a new topic of conversation. It’s been used in specific corporate industries such as: marketing, architecture, media, engineering, and education. For the average consumer, it’s a cool way to explore new places, become more immersed in the gaming world, and experience the impossible.

Why on earth would we ever want to be advertised or sold to by way of VR? Thanks to a recent consumer study by YuMe, there may be ways for brands to start integrating virtual reality technologies to enhance the consumer experience.

how brands can use virtual reality

About 4 in 10 respondents said they’d be interested in seeing brands and advertisers leverage VR to demo a product. A close second was how-tos and do-it-yourself instructions. However, anything that has to do with direct sales, exclusive content, shopping experiences, or immersive experiences – just looks dismal.

Though the study indicated less-than-enthused interest in immersive brand experiences, the report revealed one promising possibility. If a user tries a branded virtual reality experience, they may be more receptive to the idea of these types of applications. In fact, 60% of those who experienced virtual reality (including augmented reality and/or 360 degree video), said that the brands’ use of VR creates a positive view of them. Compare that with 43% of the entire sample who felt that way – and it’s clear to see that virtual reality could have a long-term, positive impact for brands. Furthermore, research from Nielsen earlier in 2016 proved the same theory. More than half of consumers found virtual reality more likable once they tried it.

With 86% of respondents reporting they’ve heard of at least one of the immersive technologies (virtual reality, augmented reality, and 360 video), only 29% reported having tried one. Virtual reality is a foreign to most, and would need to be experienced before drawing concrete conclusions about whether or not it would be smart and effective for brands.

Chalease is the Marketing Manager of Iron Springs Design. A creative juggernaut with a knack for creating mind-blowing digital strategies, social media campaigns, and branding initiatives, she's helped small businesses produce powerful results and attract not just customers, but loyal fans.