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YMS 17 (Youth Marketing Strategy Summit) is coming up on October 2-3 and Blue Label Labs is excited to announce its partnership with the event. The summit is organized by Voxburner, the youth marketing strategy experts. In anticipation of the event, we analyze VR and its potential among young consumers.

Virtual Reality technology or VR has enjoyed a quick rise and is one of the most intriguing technologies in the tech world today. Over 9.2 million VR headsets were shipped globally in 2016, and that number is expected to grow exponentially in upcoming years. While research reveals that VR is viewed positively throughout all generations, interest in the technology is predominantly with Millennials (ages 18-34).

Younger people are drawn towards VR because it has a lot of positive implications for gaming and entertainment, fields that the younger generation is interested in. In survey testing, over 71% of Generation Z (ages 10-17) and 58% of Millennials (ages 18-34) described VR as “awesome”. Millennials are an important target market because they are a rising market force, and are open to consuming VR products. When polled, over 20% of Millenials referred to VR as the “future” of technology. Another important target audience is Generation Z and their parents. Generation Z is important because they are early adopters and heavy users of technology. They are prime targets for VR marketers. In addition, Generation Z’s parents are generally favorable towards technology and virtual reality. They are open to their children using the technology and are open to using it themselves

Another aspect of VR marketing is its exposure with Social Influencers. As the above infographic shows, 95% of influencers are aware of VR and 35% have experienced VR. This is important because research has shown that Millennials are heavily influenced by Social Influencers (Bloggers, Vloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, etc.), with over 49% of Generation Z and 42% of Millennials following influencers on various social media platforms. Social Influencers have shown to be extremely influential marketers, in fact, survey results show that they are more influential marketers than Hollywood celebrities. If Social Influencers begin to support VR technology there is a lot of potential for growth.

While VR has many positives there are a number of factors that could prevent the technology from expanding. The most pressing issue is pricing, most VR headsets are quite expensive and unaffordable for most consumers. This issue can be seen with the dominance of Google Cardboard’s sales in the VR market. Google Cardboard is on the bottom-end of the VR spectrum and one of the cheapest options. It has less functionality than most headsets but is heavily purchased because of its affordability.

Despite VR’s current drawbacks, it is still a resource that should be heavily marketed towards the younger generation. If an affordable and capable VR headset were to be released, research shows that many young people would be interested in it. It is an untapped resource that has potential to become a major player in the tech market.

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