When I first heard the term “enchanted objects” I was taken back to my childhood watching Disney movies filled with “humanized” inanimate things. However, Lumiere and Cogsworth and Alice’s looking glass pale in comparison to today’s enchanted objects, which provide not friendship (yet), but invaluable data and consumer convenience.
Brands such as Nieman Marcus are using this technology with an enchanted mirror that allows consumers to compare outfits side-by-side with a 360 degree view. The goal is to “make the store come to life in a different way,” according to John Koryl, Neiman Marcus Stores and Online President.
With password protection and email capability, the memory mirror allows individuals to virtually shop with friends and family. This enchanted object is expected to “change the future of retail…because you are so much more likely to buy with the support of your friends. And now you can consult your fashion-savvy friends if they don’t have the time to shop with you.”
Other brands could also benefit from this innovative tool. For example, online retailer eShakti allows shoppers to customize clothing based on their measurements and preference for sleeve style and other details. Currently, the website and app only display the original piece and cartoon-like graphics for each style option (see below). However, these graphics do not match the color or pattern of the selected piece – and the model does not mirror the size of most customers. With implementation of an enchanted mirror connected to brands like eShakti, customers shop with greater confidence and certainty by allowing them to virtually “try on” clothing before those pieces are even made. In this sense, consumers have the ability to see the future.
When senses of machines and humans collide
Perhaps enchanted objects will become integral to the practice of sensory marketing, which focuses on reaching consumers through the five senses. This concept is based on research suggesting that our bodily sensations play a role in the decisions we make. Many brands and integrated marketing communications (IMC) specialists utilize sensory marketing in advertising and products to appeal to the sight, smell, sound, touch and taste senses of consumers in order to enhance brand or product experiences, which can lead to increased awareness and an improved relationship with the brand.
If the Internet of Things technology can provide data on the unconscious sensory reactions of consumers in specific situations, i.e., trying on clothes with the enchanted mirror, brands can create more meaningful experineces with consumers and can be an important element in the IMC mix.
Enchanted objects such as the memory mirror are opening the door to a whole new world. With “things” and brands that understand what consumers want, the magic is at the door – or the mirror. How do you think this will change consumer behavior?