It begins like this: staffers file into an auditorium and take their seats in front of a giant, soon-to-be occupied stage and podium. An empty projection looms overhead. In the periphery: a barrage of posters showcasing new product concepts and campaigns—all stories set to be told at specific times throughout the selling season.
Then, the kick-off begins in earnest with a thirty-minute deluge—information overload. With a speaker and slide accompaniment, the meeting is less of a workshop and more of a rapid-fire lecture. The goal for the product merchandisers, trade marketers, and salespeople in attendance: absorb and digest everything they can, relay it to their teams, and queue up a series of hand-offs.
Attendees have questions: Okay, what are we trying to sell? What messages are we attempting to convey about the product? How does this all fit into the year-long, non-stop stream of content and products adidas puts into the marketplace? But really, this isn’t the place for questions, there are notes to take.
Apparent and Unapparent Problems
Needless to say, that process—a common and traditional one employed by many organizations—was inefficient. Bringing key stakeholders together almost always sounds like a good idea in theory, but the reality for adidas couldn’t have been more different.
Despite a concerted effort to work more collaboratively, adidas’s advanced analytics team found that their current method was leading to siloed decisions and complications regarding cost overrun, inefficient workflow, and process. Crucial information didn’t make it to stakeholders and consequentially, it resulted in a full-stop issue: inadequate products being delivered to wholesale partners.
A Virtual Solution
With their old process, adidas found that the inspiration and intended purpose of their product wasn’t always making its way into retail experiences. The old process was looking beyond repair; it was time to try something else entirely.
Their vision: a single space for collaboration; a place where someone in marketing communications could grab assets from a virtual library for a specific product for the year; simultaneously, merchandising could do the same for products curated by design/product development teams for the story. Then, together, all teams could see the culmination of their efforts in a lifelike setting and catch flaws before it’s too late.
The potential payoff for adidas? Less second- and third-hand information, fewer hand-offs, fewer chances for errors, everything all in one place, in real time.
The Test Run
Working with VIVE VR systems and The Wild’s software, adidas’s teams collaborated on the creation of a retail space in virtual reality —an immersive testing ground for stakeholders with assets and information at everyone’s fingertips.
Selected for high-fidelity visuals and ease of adoption, VIVE empowered adidas to create the most realistic and immersive experience possible with accurately portrayed design and finishing construction elements in an environment that could be explored on foot. This enabled teams to see how their story would translate to the real world and function across a range of scenarios—a crucial phase that often came much later in the original process and required costly physical mock-ups.
With the ability to conduct work in a shared space and assess, change, and reassess in 3D, storytelling and product offerings came together far more quickly for adidas in a more cost-effective review process.
Adidas looked at a broken process and said we can do better. They knew what was at stake: if they miss the mark on product storytelling, they miss the mark on customer experience and satisfaction.
Now, there’s no more wasting resources on a suboptimal experience. With VIVE and The Wild’s assistance, adidas now has the ability to strengthen their informational loop, get their projects right with minimized back-and-forth, and uncover potential flaws well before it reaches their customer.
Read the original article over at The Wild: https://thewild.com/blog/virtualization-decisions-vr-ar-revolutionize-work