Virtual reality (VR) is the new emerging industry that is a game changer when it comes to industries such as movie-making, game programming…and branding/marketing. In the Chinese VR market according to iResearch Consulting Group, this emerging industry is expected to rise from 1.5 billion yuan in 2015 to top 5.6 billion yuan in 2016, and reach 55 billion yuan by 2020.
For the first quarter of 2016 alone, Baofeng, a Chinese media technology company, sold 1 million units of its 180 yuan ($30) headset through its 20,000 brick and mortar store network. This achievement helped China break free from the stereotype that it is merely a copier of Western technology. China has proved that its revolutionary technology in VR will foster and drive the future of the Chinese VR market and many other business industries in China as well.
Although VR is still in its infancy, many business firms have been preparing themselves to integrate their brands with VR as soon as possible. It is an opportunity opened by new media technology that nobody wants to miss, especially if you want to do business in China. Here we provide some insights to better prepare your brands to implement VR in your business marketing:
Native VR marketing concepts
As the web and technology has evolved, marketers need to be relying on the key indicators of how VR marketing will be successful rather than getting lost in this new venture.
According to the VP of Google’s virtual reality, “VR will eventually touch everything, changing how people communicate, travel, build buildings and remember things” He also admitted that currently “little of the world knows about VR.” This is a crucial point for all marketers, VR will eventually change communication methods. What will future marketing/advertising look like? Even though there is no definitive answer, we can develop and elaborate on this concept of VR.
For many years, marketers adopted advertising tools to present the target audience with something to aspire to and dream about.. Thinking about participation and engaging in this new marketing trend, business brand can do more in developing ideas to increase the interaction with the target audience in relation to new technology. Think about how you can present messages in this virtual reality format?
It is not just about the VR video.
The funny thing is that many brands think they need to make a video in VR just to say they are part of the VR industry. They forget to think in the first place about why its brand needs a video in VR. With the booming VR market, what Chinese customers need is definitely more than a video but compelling content relating to your brand.
Before jumping into this VR market, spend more time thinking about your brand’s identity and less time chasing the current trend in media if it will not prove fruitful.
Jaguar Land Rover knows their brand so well that they integrate new technology with their great performance product–cars. Jaguar in partnership with IBM first launched a VR experience back in September 2014. Before VR technology, Jaguar has been devoting themselves to providing test driving experiences for their in-store customers for many years. Many of their marketing campaigns offer ALIVE driving experiences. With the VR headsets, in-store customers are allowed to choose the model, make, color, and features of a car while checking out interiors features with 360-degree view.
Use your brand experience
There are more than 100 types of VR headsets in China mainly in the low-end market with very few of them in the high-end. To Chinese people, the performance of high-end headsets is not very practical to the needs of their daily lives and it is quite expensive so only a few can afford it. From the VR sales point of view, low-end headsets are the better choice. However, when it comes to business branding, things could be a lot different. Business firms may invest their capital in building out-of-home and location-based entertainment or brand engaging centers where customers may have high-quality VR experiences.
For instance, the LA-based ‘Spaces and Songcheng Performance Development Co’, are one of the biggest theme park operators in the world. They have recently organized a a joint venture to bring VR to their parks. Also, this firm plans to develop standalone parks in China where they can serve the VR out-of-home experience while promoting their brands and overall consumer awareness.