One of the hottest conversation topics in marketing technology is the emergence of VR as a sustainable business platform. As I’ve touched on before, the presence of VR in branding is ever-growing and marketers are turning their heads towards the power that VR has with consumers. Brands like Tom’s, HBO (Game of Thrones), and even the New York Times have found ways of implementing VR technologies into consumer interactions.
VR World, which bills itself as the largest Virtual Reality center in the western hemisphere, believes that VR isn’t just a temporary fad in marketing—it’s here to stay, and for a long time.
“Right now everyone wants to get their hands on VR,” said Tommy Goodkin, Head of Content at VR World. “You’re already seeing this in franchise properties with pop-up shops and experiential stunts—especially with major blockbuster shows and films.”
Unfortunately, pop-up shops and experiences are live for a limited time. A location-based VR center like VR World offers brands longer experience flights or even a permanent home.
It is well publicized that younger consumers are allocating their spending away from goods and more towards experiences, and part of what VR can offer brands is the opportunity to engage more consumers with experiential retail concepts. And of course, this in turn gives more physical impressions to brands than online marketing does.
Take for example, Richie’s Plank—the most popular attraction at VR World. A fully immersive experience, Richie’s Plank takes you hundreds of feet above the New York City skyline to the top of a skyscraper. The objective? Try to walk the plank over the city.
“Your mind knows you’re only an inch above ground, but you’re still terrified,” said Goodkin. “That’s the power VR has—the power to take the customer to a different world and a different place.”
If you’re a brand, you want to live on in the mind of the consumer for a long time, which is what makes VR so valuable to marketers. It provides an experience so immersive that consumers want to talk about it for days. And when it comes to VR World and Richie’s Plank, yours truly, admittedly, forgot she was only an inch above the ground when stepping (jumping) off the plank. The ground hurt—I will tell you that much.