By Shaunik Sachdev
Towards the end of 2019, my wife (then fiance) & I were setting up our house, coordinating from two different cities. It’s anyway difficult to coordinate a house remotely and to add to that Pinterest aided in raising the expectations of design. Did you know you can now have different wall colours in the same room, kitchens need to be instagrammable & you it’s integral to design the most sacred area of the house – the restroom. Amongst all the difficulties, Asian Paints came to me as a surprise, saving grace. The ‘Colour with Asian Paints’ colour visualizer & wall painting app allows you to visualise your house by uploading any picture from your gallery & play with colours, wallpapers. It even calculates the burn in your pocket, right there & then.
While this isn’t the most innovative brands have gotten, it surely is a simple yet super effective addition to the way brands are using digital mediums.
With COVID accelerating brands to go digital, it has created so much clutter online that most formats of digital have now become standard. Gone are the days where we used to invite our friends to like our new Facebook page, or get excited when we converted a sale through our instagram post.
It’s no surprise that forward-thinking firms have started to experiment with virtual technology in their brand marketing – and also, making black mirror look like a simple documentary that paints a dismal portrait of our future, or present. Traditional marketing methods are being transformed by a wave of immersive AR/VR technology and brands have latched onto it beautifully.a
MAC partnered with YouTube for their ‘AR Beauty Try-On’ which allowed users to virtually try on makeup. You can literally try on a lipstick shade on your face, compare it to Malvika Sitlani, without having to catch a kali peeli to go to Phoenix Market City.
Lululemon’s acquisition of in-home fitness platform, MIRROR, which ensures you have a virtual person trainer in your bedroom, was another huge step towards digital transformation and how brands are staying ahead of the curve, and also not being concerned on how one needs to ride the COVID storm.
Indian firms aren’t far behind and have realised the importance of this transformation and realise that innovation isn’t just a competitive advantage but a necessity.
Lifestyle, one of the leading destinations for the latest trends, started using conversational AI which has been a turning point in terms of building customer engagement. Their Integration of Amplify.ai’s AI-based solution for social media has led Lifestyle’s social moderation to be significantly automated on Facebook and Instagram. This has helped them to enable and help build a stronger and close-knit community with consistent engagement, real-time comment analysis has also enabled them to build a positive ecosystem across platforms.
Tata’s Tanishq has installed AR kiosks (in airports) which let customers try out jewellery without actually putting it on or even adjusting the jewellery on oneself. While on the subject of airports, MakeMyTrip uses 360 VR allowing one to capture memories in 360 and VR to relive them as if they are in the same moment back again. It aims to completely transform the way you record, consume and share content.
Home grown brand Lenskart offers 3D face modeling, a virtual trial offering, which allows users to try on frames virtually. It maps the user’s face, and then allows one to see different frames for all angles of their head with the frame. Imagine if Tinder implemented this technology, the rejection rate would be sky-high.
As the world continues to evolve, and surprise us, Technology & digital is bound to do the same. Customer experience & convenience has become the name of the game. As marketers, we need to play multiple roles, wear multiple hats and ask ourselves if we are only marketing professionals or have we moved to becoming marketing technology specialists.
-The author is associate vice president, RepIndia. Views expressed are personal.