The luxury car industry doesn’t benefit from the same product lifecycle as the fashion industry, for example. Because consumers won’t necessarily buy a new car for the next 5 years, car companies have to think of innovative ways to make consumers dream about their brand. Here enters Mercedes and its recent app: Mercedes VR for Cardboard.
— Hot Games Android (@hotgamesandroid) January 15, 2015
Cardboard is Google’s virtual reality tool (VR), enabling consumers to experiment VR at home, while allowing developers to create new apps and improve the system. It’s a great leverage for marketing teams as it’s a tool thanks to which consumers can immerse in a brand’s environment (say, the historic home of a brand), or look at a product in 3D.
Not many brands have seized this opportunity yet, and Mercedes sets a new standard for both car brands and premium or luxury brands. The Mercedes VR app gives users a taste of a specific model of cars, making them feel like they’re in it. Mercedes strengthens its image of an innovative brand, willing to extend its relationship with consumers beyond stores, purchase, and even beyond CRM and community management. Users get a taste of the car while being on their smartphone – and this is cooler for them than augmented reality on a billboard.
I believe VR will soon be used by more brands, as we see already augmented reality billboards in the streets. Brands can leverage VR technology to tell their story to consumers, which is – as we have seen before – one of luxury brands’ key advantages.