Digital Balance

Digital Balance

Digital Balance 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

It’s becoming increasingly important to balance our digital interactions and offline play. The link between slower childhood development and the use of screens should be a giant red flag for all of us. This isn’t just about the behavior and development of children. Numerous studies have shown the correlation between sensory, especially tactile experiences, and vivid memory. For most brands, vivid memory is an important part of gaining brand awareness and increasing customer retention.

Physical spaces remain THE ideal means of getting people away from their digital worlds to engage with people, physical things, interests, hobbies, and yes, brands. But, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing when it comes to digital. We CAN create immersive environments that bring those worlds together in an awe inspiring and unique experience for the consumer. In some cases, digital can even be the catalyst.

“Today’s children are seamlessly merging what’s real and what’s virtual,” – Lego Group CEO, Niels B. Christiansen

Giving the Gamer Space

The video game market has been big business for decades and it’s expected to generate over 90 billion U.S. dollars world wide by 2020 (via WEPC). What’s really worth noting about that number is that online gaming and digital DLC (downloadable content) products now make up over 54% of that revenue sum. So how do brands connect offline with the over 2.5 billion gamers with online habits?

One of the biggest online games around, boasting nearly 250 million players worldwide, is Fortnite (via Statista). With many components of Fortnite being inexpensive or free to play, the game derives much of its revenue from selling skins, which consists of digital clothing and accessories that allow players to customize their online character in a seemingly infinite combination of ways.

It’s no surprise that smart brands are finding ways to get involved and set up shop in this digital marketplace in order to drive offline interaction. In May of this year Nike’s Jordan Brand collaborated with Fortnite to release two new downloadable characters sporting limited edition designs of the iconic Air Jordan 1s as well as two outfits showcasing Jordan Brand gear. The partnership undoubtedly creates real world awareness and desire for the products.

Online Moments In-Store

Retail and restaurant designers have been incorporating social worthy/Instagrammable spots within the space for a few years now. Why not promote free advertising, right?

These moments you have to get off your couch for and experience in-person can be amplified with the right digital touches. CoverGirl’s Times Square Flagship takes this to a whole other level. The two-story beauty destination, CoverGirl’s first ever brick-and-mortar was created to bring their massive fans together, in from social media, to explore and experiment in-person. Still, digital has a presence from Google AI greeter, Olivia to virtual makeup stations with augmented reality mirrors that allow guests to easily try on different product shades. All of this makes for unique offline experiences that beg to be shared with online friends. The beauty industry seems to be leading the charge. See also Glossier Flagship

“The flagship represents this incredible moment in beauty — where rich experiences matter most and where true self-expression and experimentation are the only beauty standards,” – Coty Consumer Beauty Chief Marketing Officer Ukonwa Ojo

But what about apparel, you say? Last year Zara launched a two-week shoppable augmented reality app, which allowed customers to use their phone to view AR images of models wearing certain clothing items featured in-store and online. The user could then click and buy a look right from the app.

Instagram will load in the frontend.

With great digital power comes great responsibility. How do we provide balance and rescue individuals from the clutches of their screens when necessary? It’s important that retail, restaurant, strategy, and design leaders are thinking about the dynamic between digital and physical for the health of their business and their consumers.

Media Sources: Zara  |  Epic Games
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