In a recent TED talk, Chris Milk has called virtual reality the “ultimate empathy machine.” This is an everpresent factor to consider in VR content. Immersive VR experiences give a strong and lasting impression unlike anything else, letting users emphasise directly with what they are seeing. But, when you can immerse a viewer into a world, you can make it as near as full as you wish. The sense of actually being immersed in the scene you are in, as though you actually are there, is the power of virtual reality, and a future content driver of emotional responses from consumers.
Creating a brand inspired world is a lot of effort, but can have considerable payoffs. VR has the power to alter behaviour. You could make an experience that puts someone directly into the shoes of another. Jaguar achieved this with their Wimbledon experience, putting tennis fans into the mind of Andy Murray as he prepared for a big match. It allowed audience members to live the fantasy for a time, and tied that fantasy to their brand.
It can also help sell the mission of the brand, giving a unique perspective to other facets of their business. To show the more human side of what they do, TOMS shoes let in-store customers experience the joy of giving away a pair of shoes across the world.. The human angle has great emotional power, and the tie to the brand linked
More interested in a direct interaction with your products for the audience? You could look to set up an entire showroom in a virtual space. Giving people the chance to get fully hands on with a reproduction of a product, or even get a taste of an experience you offer, can help set the idea into motion and create a new customer base. Ikea has put this in place to let people remodel their kitchens using their library of products, thanks to the development of an HTC Vive VR experience. It is available as a free-to-play game on the popular platform, Steam, opening up to a different audience than what may be expected, without isolating their core demographic due to the lack of entry fee.
All these examples strengthened brand loyalty, improved purchase experiences, and increased awareness of their standing in the marketplace. None of this would have been achieved without virtual reality's ability to put someone into a whole new world. This lends fantastically to events, where you can directly follow up with the audience to answer any questions they may have, and further pull them into your brand's experience.