July 2, 2020

Are VR and AR the answer to marketing in a post-coronavirus world?

But let’s not beat around the bush: shopping in the post-coronavirus ‘new normal’ is going to feel very different. With social distancing set to be in place for the foreseeable future, industries from retail to property, hospitality and travel have been forced to rethink their marketing model.

This is especially the case for big-ticket purchases that are often associated with a lengthy customer journey. How can you sell a property or a sofa to a customer if it’s trickier for them to see it in-person?



Use VR and AR to bring your brand to life

Here’s where virtual reality and augmented reality technologies can really prove their value. By using VR (Virtual Reality) or AR (Augmented Reality) in your marketing strategy, you can give customers an up-close-and-personal sense of your products or services in a way that’s safe and convenient for them.

As lockdown came into effect across the world, brands had to quickly rethink how to showcase their products to customers. Take the example of sports brand Asics. Three new shoes had been in the works for over a year, and were set to be unveiled at a glitzy, big-budget media launch in Japan, timed to coincide with the Tokyo Marathon. However, as countries around Asia went into lockdown,  closely followed by Europe, then nations across the world, Asic’s marketing team had to think on their feet to get the new shoes in front of customers.

Enter VR. Content was quickly developed that showcased the shoes in a high-tech lab, with users prompted to complete a series of games to highlight each shoe’s unique features. VR headsets were sent to journalists across the world, many of whom were now stuck at home and eager for creative content from brands. Through a combination of gamification and cutting-edge VR technology, delivered in a flash, Asics was able to reinvent the product launch


The digital layer

With almost all consumers being in lockdown for months, the ability to put smartphones and tablets down has become non-existent. Looking through these digital windows, everyone has been gazing at the world that was and the world as it’s becoming - this is the ‘digital layer’.

The consumer’s view of the world is now completely augmented with this digital layer in a way that most thought would take another five years to have such an effect. It’s happened in three months.

This new layer offers brands a great opportunity to be a part of the consumer’s life like never before, delivering digital content to them and attracting eyeballs, wherever they are in their purchase journey.


Embrace the new normal

This post-coronavirus world is an opportunity for retailers to totally rethink how we interact with customers, putting their convenience (and of course, safety) at the heart of their shopping experience.

The coming months could see the emergence of stores dedicated to contactless shopping. Shoppers could browse the store – either physically or through VR - tag the items they want, then collect their order at the door on the way out, using virtual payment methods. Not only does this option potentially save time for shop floor staff, it reduces human-to-human contact during the purchase journey, thereby protecting the safety of your customers and colleagues.


Think outside the headset

VR is an ideal tool for innovative marketers looking to engage with their customers in this new normal, but your creative thinking doesn’t have to stop there. Could this post-coronavirus world actually provide an opportunity for your brand to radically rethink your marketing strategy, using fresh thinking to connect with your customers in totally different ways?

Customer journeys will likely look pretty different in this world of the ‘new normal’. How can you engage them beyond the traditional purchase journey, instead creating content that gets them excited and inspired, well before they feel ready to make a purchase?

Whether it’s setting up a VR showroom for your property developments, gamifying your product launches or sending customers low-cost print materials teamed with an AR app so that they can engage with products in their own home for a whole new interior design layout featuring your furniture, get creative with your marketing to bring your brand right in front of your customers’ eyes.


Did you know that we’ve worked with a number of brands on AR and VR technology? Get in touch with us on 0191 375 9150 to find out how we can bring creative marketing strategies to your business.


April 30, 2020

How to creatively market your property during lockdown

Social distancing means that your potential tenants or buyers can’t view your properties in the traditional way, but there’s still plenty that can be done to keep them interested and engaged with what you have to offer.

It’s true that life will probably never be quite the same again once this pandemic has passed, and the way that we live and work is likely to change forever. Flexibility will be the new watchword, as households and businesses look more closely at their daily habits and behaviours. The lengthy commute may become a thing of the past, as many workers are questioning why they spend so much of their lives travelling too and from work when they’ve found it perfectly possible to work from home.

This provides a golden opportunity for property specialists, both in the commercial and residential fields.

By creating spaces that meet this greater demand for flexibility and by demonstrating to your prospective tenants or buyers how your properties can meet their needs, you can engage with them in an entirely different way.

Showcase your flexibility

The market may be suffering at the moment, but the bounce back will happen. Businesses, individuals and families are always going to require property; many businesses may be downsizing as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, but there will still be a need for physical space.

What’s more, MDs and CEOs could use the crisis as an opportunity to look critically at their business operations. Rent and property costs are often some of the largest outgoings for a company, and as leases come to an end, innovative property companies have the opportunity to get front and centre, demonstrating how their commercial property solutions can provide businesses with the flexibility they need.

The picture is a similar one for residential property firms. With multiple generations now sharing a roof under lockdown, families will be reassessing if their home gives them the space they need. Whether being cooped up in quarantine has made exhausted parents realise that they yearn for a bigger garden or a study to escape to, or adult children realise they need to fly the nest and set up their own home, it wouldn’t be surprising if many of us start ‘window shopping’ for new properties, browsing listings online to feed their dreams of post-lockdown space.

Stay connected

To encourage tenants and buyers in their window shopping, it’s more important than ever that you make sure your properties are being seen by prospective tenants at the right stage in their customer journey.

Keeping your property listings up to date, with well-optimised copy, high-quality photos and clear descriptions, is obviously critical. But there’s plenty more than can be done well before your audience gets to the browsing stage.

If you have a GDPR-compliant database, now is the time to make the most of it with original, authentic and engaging email content. Put yourself in the shoes of your tenants and buyers – what are they likely to be interested in right now?

Whether it’s inspiration for new home décor schemes to help while away the lockdown hours, or signposting vital government support to businesses, make sure you tailor your content to your audience. It goes without saying that all content should be sensitively written; we’re living through a pandemic, after all, so it’s important to check that all external communications are appropriate to current circumstances.

If you can provide your audiences with the content they need right now, this will not only position yourself as a company keen to help, but will also mean that you’re front of mind when your audience move on to the exploration and browsing stage of their property journey.

Think outside four walls

What about those tenants who are close to signing on the dotted line, but the coronavirus lockdown either ground things to a halt, or they’ve decided to press pause until economic conditions improve?

Or, how about those who have resolved to move on in their property journey once we’re through the worst, and want the experience of viewing a property from the comfort of their own home?

VR has come on in incredible leaps and bounds in recent years. An increasing number of property companies are offering virtual viewing to clients, allowing prospective buyers or tenants to explore properties 24/7. From headset ‘walkthrough’ experiences to 360 online tours, there’s plenty you can do to showcase your property.

Even for those properties still in the planning or construction phase – and even if work has paused for now – there is still value in offering a virtual experience. Investigate how you can use 3D imaging technology to reach your buyers and tenants remotely, to help keep them engaged and excited by the prospect of their future home or workplace.

Interested in using digital marketing and immersive experiences to connect with your audiences? We can help. We work with property companies across the residential and commercial markets, and are focused on engaging your future tenants and buyers. Call us on 191 375 9150 to find out more. 


Cool Blue is a full-service agency that pays special attention to the interiors sector. We make waves in the home and lifestyle world, whether by helping brands find new relevancy or supercharging their sales, our strategic expertise makes brands like yours achieve their goals.

Toffee Factory
Lower Steenberg’s Yard
Newcastle upon Tyne
T. 0191 375 9150