Breaking With Tradition: How adidas Improved Their Workflow With VR

It begins in a place like this, but not like this. Above, a virtual simulation of the auditorium, generated by The Wild in VIVE VR.

It starts off in an auditorium, much like the above. Teams trickle into forward-facing seats, homed in on a soon-to-be-occupied podium and stage with a projection looming overhead. On the periphery: a barrage of posters showcasing new product concepts and campaigns—all stories set to be told at specific times in the selling season. Attendees are expected to be familiar with each and every one of them, even beforehand.

Then, the selling season begins in earnest…with a thirty-minute deluge of information. With a speaker and slide accompaniment, the meeting resembles more of a traditional lecture than a collaborative meeting. The goal for the product merchandisers, trade marketers, and salespeople in attendance? Absorb and digest everything you can so it can be relayed to teams, queueing up a series of hand-offs.

There are 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 be taken.

Apparent and Unapparent Problems

Needless to say, the process outlined above—a common and traditional one employed by many, many teams—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, their advanced analytics team found that their process was leading to siloed decisions and complications regarding cost overrun, inefficient workflow, and process. Crucial information from these sessions was lost and consequentially, it resulted in a full-stop issue: inadequate products being delivered to wholesale partners.
A Possible Solution

With their old process, adidas found that the inspiration and reason behind why a product was created 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, say, in marketing communications could grab assets from a virtual library for a specific product for the year; simultaneously, someone else in merchandising could do the same for products curated by the design/product development teams for the story attempting to be built. Then, together, they could see the culmination of their efforts in a lifelike setting and catch flaws before it’s too late.

Less second- and third-hand information. Fewer hand-offs. Fewer chances for errors. Everything all in one place, available in real time. Not a bad vision.
 

The Test Run
Breaking With Tradition: How adidas Improved Their Workflow With VR

The simulated retail space/playground for adidas’s design, merchandising, and communication teams.
Working with The Wild’s innovative virtual collaboration software on VIVE VR systems, adidas created an immersive workshop—a testing ground of sorts for stakeholders with complete information just a few room-scaled steps away.

Essential to this experience was a simulated retail space. This allowed for design, merchandising, and communication 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.

With the ability to conduct work in one collaborative space and the ability to assess, change, and then reassess in 3Dwith no cost incurred beyond time spent—storytelling and product offerings came together far more quickly; the problem of information being lost in spatial translation now significantly reduced.

Lessons Learned

Adidas wasn’t afraid to look at a broken process and say we can do better. You can’t be if you know what’s at stake: if you miss the mark on product storytelling, you’ll miss the mark on customer experience and satisfaction. It will be a waste of resources for you and a disappointing experience for your customers.

With VIVE VR and The Wild’s assistance, adidas now has a chance to fortify their informational loop, get projects right with minimized back-and-forth, and most importantly, uncover potential flaws well before it reaches the customer.  
 

Read the original article over at The Wild: https://thewild.com/blog/virtualization-decisions-vr-ar-revolutionize-work

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