From VR games to the birth of a community: the Supernatural case
Virtual reality will not replace human experiences as we know them. Meaning that we will not spend our days in a virtual dimension, and we will not lose contact with the physical world. We should clear the field from this dystopian interpretation. Instead, VR technology can widen our possibilities and range of activities – primarily social and recreational ones. Then, it is no coincidence that big brands reinforce connections with their target through gamification in VR and community building.
Brand games in VR: what are they?
VR technology is immersive. By wearing the headset, you fall into a new dimension, different from the context surrounding you. In this virtual space, you become part of an unknown world: a world providing unusual inputs, a world that you can explore. Branded games exploit this potential to create engaging narratives where users have a role and a mission. When the experience starts, the player should perform all the necessary actions to achieve a goal. From puzzle to shoot 'em up, traditional gamification dynamics raise the rate of target involvement. The point is that the game story overlaps with the corporate messages and values. In short, through her own choices, the user lives his virtual experience with the brand/product and gets closer to it.
How do you reach your target audience with a game in VR?
Branded games are VR experiences entertaining the user and, at the same time, having a relevant impact on company awareness. Of course, it is necessary to design these experiences according to brand identity and target. However, they can be repeated an infinite number of times, in any physical and virtual location. From stores to corporate events, from public spaces to trade fairs: VR games can run everywhere and talk to a large audience. Not just physical locations, you can upload the experience to VR stores and make it accessible to anyone with a visor. VR stores work just like mobile stores: they allow users to download available online experiences. This possibility further expands the brand's visibility and people engagement.
From awareness to engagement, VR and communities
As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, one of the strengths of gamification in VR is the high engagement rate. In turn, this aspect implies brand growth in terms of reputation and engagement. In short, it enhances its strengths through a form of communication that is as effective as ever. However, this is not the only advantage: communities can bear around VR activities, and all these networks boost brand awareness.
Supernatural: an example of community on VR experiences
Supernatural offers an example of a community born around VR. This game provides fitness programs with professional trainers. While you do crunch or yoga positions, you can choose between exclusive locations and the most inspirational soundtrack. Supernatural has managed to attract the attention of thousands of users. The positive outcome did not stop with the constant increase of subscriptions. In less than a year, dozens of communities have been created on social networks, apps, and online forums. Here, users post photos and videos, exchange tips, and share their achievements. People who gravitate around Supernaturals reinforce brand awareness from post to post.
Communities in the metaverse and sociality in VR
How will communities change in the future? In which direction should companies go to strengthen the bond with their target? The evolutionary steps of VR seem already written. In the coming years, part of the competition between local and international brands will move to the virtual worlds. Therefore, VR games could transform themselves into a true metaverse, and communities will take shape there in the next future. That time does not seem to be far away. Then, VR branded experiences will become opportunities for socialization, as it already happens with video games. Of course, it does not mean we will be alienated from the physical world and human interactions.
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