Warning: This article may be a little depressing for small business owners in the UK. It focuses on a new and technologically savvy way that corporations are marketing their products, one that is not currently within the means of most businesses. However, it is important to know what the competition is doing, and there is a definite cool factor involved as well.
Augmented reality is one of the new ways that large businesses are using technology to build their brands. It can be defined as using technology to augment the user’s view of the world, for example adding sound, video or images to a realistic video. It broadly defines any marketing experience in which a person can virtually experience a product without actually handling it.
Holition is one of the top global companies working with this new marketing medium. The company recently announced a partnership with the UK Tatler magazine. In the upcoming September issue of Tatler, readers will be able to virtually try on jewellery from some of the top global brands with the help of their computer. All it takes is a webcam and a pair of scissors to see how you would look wearing the ring of your dreams. For many people in the UK, this may be the only time they see themselves in high end jewellery.
The brands involved are the top names in jewellery: De Beers, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel, Tiffany and more. These are not costume jewellery pieces being tried on, but rather multi-million dollar masterpieces that far exceed the accessories budget of the average UK shopper. In fact, many of the people who experience the augmented reality marketing scheme will never be able to buy from a top jewellery brand. This experience is all about building a luxury brand and getting more exposure for a luxury logo design in the UK, rather than selling products.
As a benefit, using augmented reality in marketing helps the companies to be perceived as leaders in their brands. After all, they are being linked to a nifty new technology that most users have never experienced. That is a huge advantage in a luxury market where your name and brand are your most valuable possession. It will also be a boost for Tatler magazine; it may literally be the oldest magazine in the world, but it is on top of the times.
If this marketing event is successful, it could be the beginning of a new era in marketing. Women could begin to try on a variety of items—jeans, hairstyles and more—before ever entering a high street store. This could make a loyal customer of someone who would otherwise never have taken the initiative.
This technology is not available to smaller UK retailers and manufacturers. However, there are a few things that the smaller business owners among us can take away. First, it is important to use technology in your marketing in whatever ways you can. Second, building your brand and promoting logo recognition is just as important as actually selling a product.