Augmented reality 3.0 Thesis Blog

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augmented reality & branding

Branding is defined by our sub-conscious minds. It is the way we think when we’re not thinking at all. Branding is a set of imaginary principles that lives inside our thoughts. Although these principles vary from person to person, there exists a common ideal among all people. Branding is about discovering and developing that ideal. It subliminally governs our impression of things (companies, organizations or even individuals), and often does so with limited or absolutely no engagement with the product/service at all. When properly managed, branding can have the powerful effect of influencing consumer decision and behavior.

Two Basic Components of Branding: Strategy and Creativity

The Strategy component is generally based on research and is often deployed by marketers and corporate strategists. It is logical and analytical while basing its strengths on hard statistics and linear thinking.

The Creativity component is highly experiential and most often gets deployed by artists or designers. Through expressive mediums, designers use visual and intuitive experiences to illuminate particular principles of thinking.

A successful brand must achieve a blend and balance of these key components. This mixture of innovation and strategy allow educated plans to be executed with maximum consumer appeal and effectiveness.

The quickest and most effective way to deliver an impacting brand message is through experiential mediums, including visual aesthetics and word of mouth (offline and digital). By evoking people’s emotions through engaging visuals, it allows consumers to open up and apprehend the brand’s values in less time, and with minimal resistance. This justifies the importance of image and the dire need to invest in creative brand materials to initiate digital and real-world “conversations” at various market entry points.

If SWIS could sum up the brand experience in a story, it would go like this:

Imagine you and your team were to go on a journey…better yet, a “race”. The race symbolizes a competitive market, and the market sector determines if you want to travel on water, on land, or by air.

To travel, you must get into your imaginary vehicle, which is ultimately your “Brand”. Your vehicle is designed to carry you to your destination in a unique way so you stand out from other vehicles.

Before you purchase your brand, you should already have a place to house it, plus the financial backing and mentality to keep it. In this sense, the house for your brand is your company, organization or even yourself and your tools of trade such as the Internet in the case of personal branding.

Your company will take the form of a garage, or harbor to house your vehicle. Your vehicle will also be directly related to the kind of company you already own as a property. Likewise, you can simultaneously own several properties (companies) or vehicles (brands) and they can be privately held or publicly traded.

Your brand is a reflection of who you are and how you are perceived by the public and conveyed in your competitors’ eyes. Different people have different preferences; some might want a hybrid, a greener and more sustainable choice, while others enjoy luxury, performance or style.

Regardless of how your vehicle is recognized or perceived, it is only a hollow shell if you are not in it. You are the only one who knows your final destination, and the vehicle is simply a tool that can help get you there. This explains why some brands can be managed by the CEO, while in other cases, the vehicle may be slightly bigger and harder to maneuver (eg. a limo or cruise ship) so the CEO can appoint a team of brand managers. They act as the drivers and suggest ways to maintain your vehicles and discover strategic shortcuts to reach your destination.

The brand managers are your On Star Navigation and GPS. They keep you in check about your vehicle’s status and help you out in emergencies. They are also there to guide you when you find yourself stuck in traffic (market clutter). Successful brand managers will provide a better competitive edge for you to survive the race.

Overtime, as you travel more, you might also feel the need to trade in a vehicle or acquire a team to constantly maintain or improve it. Since the competitive world is harsh, many competitors will act negatively towards your vehicle and attempt to get you off the road. However, with growth, you might also gain speed and require an upgrade, and eventually even leverage off your existing properties. You may want to invest in “brand extensions”, such as owning several jet skis or kayaks that are housed inside your cruise ship.

Winning the race is not an easy task to achieve. Needless to say, it is even more difficult to squeeze a new racer to the top without constant innovation or financial sponsorship. There are always times when you may find after sometime spent in your vehicle, that it wasn’t the ideal one for you. For example, you might’ve bought an SUV, only to realize that it feels too cumbersome and consumes too much gas. It is very common and there is no need to get discouraged as you can simply learn from your mistakes and adapt to your new opinions. Options might include selling your old vehicle and picking a new one. There is always chance for everyone to start over, and carry on with your journey.

The race is often times just a show, like a sport, where companies do it because it represents who they are and creates various forms of media and publications. Therefore it is always possible to not be winning the race but still have a large fan base who are loyal to you and care about your every move.

At the end of the day, you determine the course of this journey, and the brand entirely depends on your investment, commitment and maintenance. The Brand agency is very much like a vehicle dealership or customization shop, and they are only there to help you pick the most suitable vehicle for your journey. Of course, you can go back to them for various maintenance services, and even ask them to improve or to upgrade your vehicle to accommodate future needs.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Branded World:

Brand development is about how to exploit timed strategies in order to optimize awareness, based on impactful presentation and experiential impressions.

Tools in technology such as the Internet are only a reflection of a brand’s growth. Such an immediate and simple feed of information is vital in showing the influence of marketing moves, and provide businesses with the room to go back and think about their position in the market to better plan their next move. A website and its traffic is a reflection of how effective the brand is in terms of generating curiosity among population, for people to visit and find out more about the brand.

We are in an era that is integrated with technology. Thus, it makes sense to intuitively tap into new generation method and strategies, which are more in tune with current, urban city events/movements as well as moving forward with web based information.

Also due to the global shift in the fundamental ways we communicate. Major companies are all attempting to fit the web 2.0 cultures to their business. Changing their brand image by creating a persona on the web, which is friendlier and more approachable, for people to follow up on the company activities. This shift ultimately marks a new beginning for in our social dynamics. Since web technologies revolutionized the oldest and most trusted ways of spreading news and information, which is by word of mouth, As 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, it means that the role of “mavens” as suggested in “The Tipping Point” will evolve to a new form through applications in digital social media.  Instead of finding news, news will come to you. Thus, looking back at the current platform for augmented reality, the technologies have yet to include the social media and real-time networking capabilities.

In today’s world, the online and real time events must run parallel with each other in order to optimize real-time awareness and “follow ups” on the business. Looking in parallel with the emerging trends in technologies. The world is moving towards digital live feed/conversation on a p2p level.  Google wave is one of such development, which will revolutionize communication between a person and his/her social network. The concept of Identity 2.0 on the other hand, helps legitimize an individual’s identity between organization and individuals, and would enable personalized assistance, transaction, and many applicable services.

What this all means is that, in the near future. The relationship between corporations and individuals should evolve around the user, possibly adding to the idea of a personalized friend’s list, where the user is given the choice of “who” to connect with in selective locations and time zones. Information is then fed through and edited live, while simultaneously organized by location, which causes a reverse of the current model in service consumption. The brand or service should follow and bombard the user with information and assistance, only at the user’s own will to be susceptible to the bombardment. By doing so it would maximize the brand/service mavens potential to promote services and assist others. Therefore, other than being able to view a listing of location based information overlaying reality vision such as wikitude and yelp reviews. The user can chose to appear online to an organization whenever they are in need. For instance, if a person is looking for real estate, they can choose to connect with a trusted real estate company or agent in a location that interest their buying and would be able to get real time recommendation and listings based on their whereabouts and criteria; they would also be guided to exact locations using augmented reality. Similarly, the user can get taxi cab, delivery, and participate in meetings more easily simply because the person/organization at the other end of the connection is sharing your whereabouts and current status. On the other hand, people may also seek medical help in times of emergency and connect with doctors real time to assess the best possible action to take. In a sense it is about creating an instance of common mind, or shared vision between a person and another person on the network, or between a person and an organization on a network. This development should also translate the online experience to real life, and improve the overall service experience in many ways.

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