Creating content experiences for the virtual future

Man looking throughj a virtual reality headset

While there’s still discussion as to whether “the metaverse” is a just passing fad or the next big thing, there’s no doubt that immersive experiences are here to stay. Thanks to technological advancements and demand for new types of experiences, what was once fantasy is emerging as reality with big brands like Nike, Cartier, Snapchat and others already offering a range of immersive experiences in the digital frontier.

With the rise of 3D content, immersive experiences, and the growing role of the metaverse, brands across the world have jumped on board these trends to explore their role in a virtual future — one where consumers are willing to pay for premium experiences in addition to the IRL products brands have to offer.

A webinar hosted by Adobe — Creating Content Experiences for the Virtual Future — examined the need for brands to engage consumers through immersive experiences in the ‘phygital’ world — where digital is at least on par with the physical.

Quote card from Head of Creative Strategy and Player Engagement at Electronic Arts, Liam McClure: "Businesses should not be limited in their imagination. You need to be open to exploring this technology."

Here are three key insights for business leaders to embrace immersive experiences and the opportunities the metaverse brings.

3D is no longer just ‘special effects’

Once the exclusive realm of award-winning VFX films and video games, 3D is now an emerging element of brand marketing, thanks to the technological advancements of the last 30 years.

Sharrom Yezdegardi, business development lead for 3D & Immersive at Adobe, believes this paradigm shift has been driven primarily by customers’ demand for unique experiences.

“Three out of four people today are willing to pay for a premium experience rather than a premium product,” Yezdegardi said.

The immersive and interactive benefits of 3D are far too appealing for brands not to capitalise on when build brand loyalty through better understanding and engagement with their consumers.

While in the past, gaming has typically been the entry point for technologies like 3D, consumer demand and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed businesses across sectors to get creative. Inevitably, this has resulted in the fast-track adoption of virtual and augmented reality technologies that are better suited to meet the needs of today’s consumers.

3D technologies and the metaverse are not exclusive to few

A common misconception — as with most new technologies — is the prohibitive costs of entry to these new immersive environments. While many of the current metaverse leaders are big name brands with vast resources, creating immersive experiences is more accessible than ever.

Frantz Lasorne, co-founder of Visionaries 777, an interactive and mixed reality agency based out of Hong Kong, believes the metaverse is also for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with an appetite for experimentation. He cites the example of DAB Motors, a French custom automobile manufacturer offering an immersive and life-like experience to influence purchase decisions. Additionally, one of the most common uses of VR is in EdTech to deliver engaging employee training experiences, especially in situations with remote workers.

Mindset and organisational commitment

Liam McClure, head of creative strategy and player engagement at Electronic Arts, notes the importance of being in the right mindset and creating a safe space where people can pitch ideas.

“Businesses should not be limited in their imagination. You need to be open to exploring this technology,” McClure said.

In addition to the right mindset, it’s also critical for brands to get their teams and goals aligned. Cross-team integration, information sharing and innovation in adopting this technology are key drivers of long-term success when it comes to creating effective immersive experiences for both customers and employees.

Equally, Yezdegardi says the C-suite needs to be clear on the ‘why’ and ‘what’ they are trying to achieve through these technologies.

“We need to have stakeholder groups on the same table when you look to explore this technology,” he said.

The metaverse is all about bringing customer experience to the forefront. It requires bold thinking and an insight-driven approach to create something that will delight consumers and, in turn, enable brands to monetise this heightened engagement in the years to come.

Watch the on-demand webinar here.