Based on a talk at the Cube Launch Event “Hype or Stay” of:
Joris de Lamper (VR Business Expert @ Yondr)
Bert Hendrickx (Researcher Digital Consumer Behavior & Media @ GfK)
Virtual Reality and variants such as Artificial Intelligence are catchy and have been a serious hype in the past. It all started rather slowly with VR tech that was not yet ready to be adapted by the average consumer because of serious flaws in latency: A slight delay of images appearing, causing nausea which made consumers obviously turn away from VR. Palmer Luckey decided to solve the issue, operating from his parents’ garage, and developed the Oculus VR which successfully dealt with the issue of latency. The hype was already starting to commence at that moment but didn’t reach its peak until Facebook acquired the Oculus in 2014. They had a strong belief that VR would be the next big computing platform after desktops, laptops and smartphones. Along with them, investors and consumers started to share this belief.
However, as with all tech developments, expectations were too high for the devices to fulfill at the moment and the through of disillusionment followed shortly after. Hitting rock bottom means that afterwards you will only see light, but it also implicates that the time for VR to function as a gimmick is definitely over: There is a strong need for a mature and valid solution if VR wants to be here to stay. This is already happening, although it hasn’t reached the majority of consumers just yet. The prognosis is however positive, for instance, binge watching in VR will be possible for consumers in a few years.
Companies and brands are already preparing themselves by integrating VR tools in their marketing. For instance, showing a can of Pepsi in VR could have on influence on actual buying behavior and implicitly convince consumers to purchase Pepsi. The consequence of this is that market researchers need to be ready as well if they want to continue to fully grasp consumers and approach them with intuitive and innovative tools. The relationship between VR and market research is two way: Market research can impact VR development and VR will definitely have an influence on how market research is conducted and will be conducted in the future. For instance, the impact of market research on VR can be viewed in VR impact analysis. The expected effect on buying behavior in the example of the Pepsi can could be uncovered and quantified by market research. Market research is there to help virtual reality to go beyond the hype, to get out the black hole and provide direction to brands and companies.
In the other direction VR can and will impact the way market research is conducted as well. For instance, instead of building an entire shelf in reality to test the best possible lay out for a store, it is much more cost and effort efficient to do this in VR. Although in a slimmed down version, this example is already a reality: The majority of consumers do not own a VR device yet, so market researchers try to approach the idea of VR on a tablet, smartphone… Another way to use VR in market research is by using it to bring to life your presentation, the story you are going to tell.
You can now already attempt to try and find your dream job with VR (Willemen Group). Hence, the future appears bright for VR! But is this also what the attendees of the CUBE launch event thought? Check out the results from our Instagram story from the evening! Thank you Joris & Bert for this interesting talk at the “Hype or Stay” event! You can download their entire presentation here.