Here at CIRCUS, we know that in order to produce the best brand experiences it’s important to stay ahead of the game. So we’ve been doing some research. Here are our top 9 predictions for future trends in 2022 that brands need to know about.
- Interactive 3D web experiences: the days of ‘flat’ website experiences are numbered. We still mainly navigate websites by scrolling vertically or horizontally. It’s so much more engaging from a customer’s perspective to stop scrolling up, down and across and start exploring in 3D. 3D is so much closer to our real life experience. If you’re looking to make your website stand out from the crowd, go 3D.
- Virtual Worlds: if you’re a digital immigrant, not a digital native, you may not have realised the importance of virtual worlds as a means to garner attention for your brand. Younger generations – the digital natives- are growing up in gaming and virtual worlds. If you want to impact them, you need to know where they are hanging out, and these days you’re likely to find your younger audience in a digital space. French supermarket chain, Carrefour, got this memo and subsequently created a virtual branded map in the hugely popular game Fortnite. They were able to use this as a way of successfully advertising their Act for Food programme. Check out their branded map here.
- Web based Augmented reality (AR): AR blends into the real world, adding digital layers to a real life experience. What do you need? A mobile device or perhaps a pair of AR ready smart glasses. Why is web based AR going to be so big? Well, there’s approximately 850 million AR enabled smart phones out in the world already, and these numbers are only going to increase. It’s a fantastic tool to boost your engagement and it has a massive reach. This has so much potential for brand owners and marketers.
- Social VR: one of the criticisms of VR that gets thrown around occasionally is that it’s isolating and antisocial. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg is on the case to turn that idea around! Particularly since the beginning of the pandemic and the limited freedom to meet up, connect and explore, the desire for VR to get social has increased. More and more people have realised that by using VR they can attend virtual gigs together, events, do tourist activities and even workplace training in a way that feels satisfyingly near to real. VR is getting more social by the day, and if you have a brand that can get in amongst it, you might just end up blazing a trail for others that are slower off the mark.
- Hybrid Solutions: The pandemic forced us into taking our lives online, for work, for exercise, for culture, for friendship. And it brought about a lot of benefits. Having discovered the advantages of the virtual world, your company may be reluctant to give them up completely. But we all recognise the importance of in person human contact and interaction. Hybrid models have already emerged to give companies the best of both worlds- understanding what can be done online, and what benefits there are from this.
- New Budget Lines: We believe we’ll see communication, marketing, sales, recruitment and training departments allocating resources for creating, maintaining and delivering virtual resources as a priority. Watch this space.
- The Virtuous Circle: VR headset ownership is increasing rapidly, driving hardware innovation forward and prices down. That, coupled with strong growth of VR games and experiences for an expanding community of gamers, creates audiences large enough to attract the attention of advertisers. Which means more budget for content, which in turn attracts larger and more diverse audiences. After a slow start, VR is finally taking off and will become a familiar and common way to consume visual content.
- Virtually Real: Virtual experiences will get closer to real ones. Fibre-optic broadband and 5G mobile networks make it possible to deliver higher quality visual content to more users on more devices. Consumer-grade 360 cameras can already capture 8K resolution photos and video. For VR users, immersive environments increasingly come with stereoscopic depth perception, spatial audio sound and 6-degrees-of-freedom to move around.
9. Societal Dividend: Flexibility of location changes everything. Workers can be eligible for more jobs, students can access a greater variety of knowledge and families no longer need to huddle in expensive polluted cities. Virtual services will help to reduce carbon emissions and improve the environment by cutting the need for business travel and commuting, limiting the need for paper, and encouraging eco-friendly work spaces. Accessibility standards too are rightly becoming more prevalent, ensuring the maximum number of users can share in the technological advances. The UK Government recently introduced guidelines for the public sector, and we expect awareness to spread to all sectors.
There you have it. Our top 9 predictions for 2022 (and beyond). Understanding what humans want is crucial if you’re trying to deliver it. Post pandemic, people will want to combine working from home with days in the office, and opting for a hybrid solution will achieve this. If you work in recruitment, events or tourism, you can provide hybrid solutions for your customers, with some work taking place in the virtual world, and some taking place in the physical world. Using virtual tools to improve accessibility, improve people’s quality of life, and the environment will have a positive impact on everyone’s morale. Allocating resources for creating, maintaining and delivering virtual resources will give staff and customers the best virtual experience possible. As fibre-optic broadband and 5G become more widespread, they will have a positive impact on virtually real experiences. Less interruption, better quality, more fluidity of experience. Bringing in web based AR, jumping into virtual worlds to advertise, scrapping flat web pages for 3D: it’s getting truly exciting.
How can your company ride the wave of the virtual revolution? No need to add this to the bottom of your to do list, simply get in touch with us! We create award-winning virtual brand experiences that use the latest 360 photography, 360 video and VR techniques to build immersive virtual tours and virtual open days, as well as interactive tools which drive sales, recruitment, training and tourism. We capture powerful visuals of your real-world brand experience which excite your customers and impact your business.
Let us help you stay ahead of the curve – contact us today.