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How Technology Is Personalising Your Brand Experience
Emily Theodore | 06 May

Our market has had a steady few years of ‘keeping it real’ across all sectors, including the coffee and food industry when brands inspired a Hipster culture of honest #foodporn experiences. But maybe we’re now looking for a little more pizazz than brutally raw wooden interiors. Like rainbow-dyed food.

So are brands really showcasing transparency, or is it more about adding novelty, differentiation and personality?

Well, you can say both – and developments in digital marketing and technology have made that combination powerfully accessible for businesses to take advantage of. Global chains can play it local, while smaller independent brands can easily establish an international presence. It’s all about using available platforms to personalise your image and interaction.

Here are some examples of how brands, large and small, are using current means to add personality to their digital exposure.

Chatbots: The Talking Interface

At first, the idea of Chatbots sparked web designers to roll their eyes and provoked many a user to ‘sext’ with the interface instead. Yet, the freshness of communicating with a Chatbot (rather than navigating through a menu yourself) has more credibility than you may think. For starters, it can make even a huge brand feel human and approachable, putting a face and voice to a product.

A well-designed website interface is priority, but rather than being geared impersonally at everyone, using a Chatbot means that your user experience can be catered to who or where your customer is, and even what they’re looking for. We expect many sorts and sizes of brands to incorporate this feature within the year – the real interest will be to what extent brands will play on this level of customised interaction.

Snapchat Users Rocket

The popular messaging platform has been rapidly growing since 2011, with now over 100 million daily active users. The biggest switch in Snapchat’s engagement really rocketed with its introduction of lenses – goofy animations which users can add to their snaps. On top of the multitude of filters available, this allows for some serious customisation.

‘Sponsored Lenses’ were recently added to this, allowing brands to pay for their own featured lens for users to engage with. It’s proven hugely successful – Gatorade reported that its sponsored lens for the Super Bowl this year generated over 100 million views, which is almost as many views as the actual game received on live TV.

Virtual Reality Shines Through

VR is a tougher cookie to crack – it can offer unrivalled experiences, but is otherwise difficult to advertise or share, much like the ‘silent disco’ phenomenon. Yet, it’s slowly made its way from creating novelty brand experiences to enhancing very significant aspects of our lives that we take much more personally.

Samsung Gear VR just released Bedtime VR Stories, a set of gear that allows parents to read bedtime stories to their children if schedule and distance works against them. The ad received mixed reactions – it’s a promising, heart-warming concept that many families can immediately relate to, but the sight of a mother and daughter separated, alone and in headgear also feels uncomfortable for us to envy. The real challenge to VR isn’t really how brands should use it, but how brands should market it.

Conclusion? If your brand requires a strong image to connect to customers, don’t neglect it. Wear it proud, and keep it personal.

By Emily Theodore