Do trends like 3D, VR and AR offer content producers more or less flexibility for expressing their message? Why or why not?”
Leading brands today are strategizing for the future and are looking at what disruptive technological business tools can expand their content reach.
3D, VR and AR offer content producers increased flexibility for expressing their message through more immersive experiences. At Shikatani Lacroix Design, we have long seen the business potential that 3D, VR and AR represent, and consequently, we are always researching cutting-edge applications and testing their use for implementation in order to expand our content creation reach.
Leveraging such new and disruptive technology is not an easy task, especially considering how fast consumers’ expectations are evolving. The use of immersive technology must specifically address these evolving consumer needs and must also fit into the company’s strategy as a whole. At SLD, we have been extremely successful at connecting corporate strategy with VR/AR activations, particularly in the financial industry.
Here are three key ways you can expect VR/AR to play a role in your branches, both in the short and long-term:
- 1. VR/AR enables the financial institution to extend its channel interactions to meet the consumer anywhere they are.
These days, for any business, it is vital to have a brand presence at every consumer touchpoint, whether physical or virtual. Of course, Internet-connected virtual reality will become another of these touch points. Soon, a consumer will be able to interact with tellers from the comfort of their own home by using a VR/AR technology. This not only continues the company’s omni-channel strategy, but also addresses evolving consumer expectations. In this industry’s case, the key to ensuring happy customers is to meet their financial needs wherever and whenever they need them. As the technology grows, hardware will become more affordable, and the VR/AR glasses or new form of visualization will become far more portable and wearable, enabling consumers to perform virtual teller interactions on the go. Designing and implementing a virtual teller strategy will play an important role in the branch of the future.
- VR/AR can leverage neuroscience to support and justify a new branch design or element.
The current and typical approach to redesigning a branch or merely an element of a branch is to consult with a professional integrated design agency, perhaps perform some traditional consumer research if the budget allows, and then gain approval from all internal stakeholders to build a physical prototype that can be tested. This approach is expensive and difficult in part because it relies on leveraging a large amount of intangible, unquantifiable factors and exponential costs. Because of this, the entire process tends to be inefficient due to things like up-front product development costs, construction, research and design testing.
At SLD, we create a typical consumer experience in a 3D virtual version of the design and then aggregate the neurological data from the experience. Through this method, we can gather quantifiable data about any design idea, we can understand how the consumer feels about a certain idea and then we can sell the idea using these facts to justify the design. This makes an almost indisputable case for the implementation of the design and inspires confidence that the design will meet the needs and wants of consumers.
- 3. VR/AR (especially when coupled with neuroscience) enables a method of collecting consumer data for more accurate and targeted Customer Relationship Management (CRM) campaigns
This point is one of the more forward-thinking tactics relating to the coupling of VR, AR and neuroscience, and is also perhaps one of the most controversial elements of the technologies. In the future, as VR/AR and neuroscience components miniaturize to the point that they become ubiquitous among smart devices, the data that can be derived from them will enable any company (financial or otherwise) to mold their strategies around statistical pain points in real time as the consumer walks around the retail environment. What this means is that financial institutions will be able to specifically understand and perhaps even fix any process, from unsuccessful teller interactions to why a transaction is inefficient to distaste for certain décor elements in real time, enabling you to be agile and make the customer journey a positive one. Perhaps most importantly, CRM systems will be updated in the background to instruct any teller how to best interact with this customer in the future.
Some might interpret this neuro-related approach as a new kind of invasion of privacy. However, studies show that Millennials are not concerned about their privacy if it means more meaningful and relevant communication and reach.
Ultimately, VR/AR is coming – and quickly. Content producers should look to develop a strategy to incorporate these immersive tools into their offerings or partner with companies that have already taken the leap and increase the flexibility and reach they can offer.