XR Advertising Case Study in Focus: Varjo and MUJI

Rebekah Carter

MUJI immerses customers in a new brand experience

Varjo Featured Brand
XR Advertising Case Study in Focus: Varjo and MUJI

Achieving exceptional results in your marketing and advertising efforts doesn’t just mean sending the right message to your audience.

Today’s brands are working in an increasingly cluttered landscape, where consumers are becoming less and less responsive to traditional advertising methods. The only way to really generate a long-lasting response, is to provide a memorable experience.

Companies capable of conveying a specific brand identity and feeling can create an emotional connection with their target audience. It’s this connection that leads to long-term sales, revenue, and brand advocacy. XR solutions represent a powerful way to create the perfect immersive experience for customers in a complex digital world.

When MUJI, an interior accessories and furniture company decided it was time to upgrade its sales and marketing efforts, they turned to Varjo for help.

Bringing Customers Back to Nature

Positioned within a shopping centre in the middle of urban Helsinki, MUJI doesn’t always have an easy time providing customers with the serene “minimalist” experience it wants them to get when browsing in the local store.

Though the company has made various design changes, like using oil diffusers throughout the store and covering the walls and floor in wood panelling, it decided it was time to do something new in November 2021. Increasing its efforts to communicate a sense of “serenity” to customers, MUJI launched a virtual reality experience based on nature.

Implemented as an in-store installation within the company’s flagship store, the VR experience, created with Varjo, allows customers to step into a virtual reality world while shopping. Using a Varjo Aero headset, users can sit on one of the pine wood beds offered by MUJI, and view a world taken straight from Finnish nature.

The VR software, created in collaboration with a Finnish company named 20/20, provides a beautiful 360-degree view of an idyllic vista within the Nuuksio National Park. The location, only a short distance away from Helsinki city, may even look familiar to some locals.

As you watch, people emerge from the surrounding trees and step into the lake, marvelling at nature right alongside you, in a unique community experience.

Immersing Customers in the Moment

The VR experience created by Varjo, 20/20 and MUJI intends to remind customers what the company stands for, and draw attention to its focus on nature and serenity.

To deliver an experience that felt completely realistic and true-to-life, MUJI felt it was important to seek out the assistance of a leading headset provider with some of the highest-quality visuals available.

Varjo Aero’s impressive wild color gamut, combined with its powerful miniature LED displays made it the perfect choice for the project.

The stunning visual capabilities of Varjo Aero allowed MUJI to convey every detail of its VR environment with perfect clarity. Everything from the warm tones of a crackling campfire to the deep greens of the surrounding foliage were designed to look so real users could almost reach out and interact with them.

The VR experience felt like a powerful step forward for MUJI’s marketing team. The company’s name comes from the words “Mujirushi Ryohin”, which means “No-brand quality gods”. This name supports MUJI’s focus on building affordable, sustainable, and high-quality items through simplicity.

An innovative VR experience gives customers a new and improved understanding of the simple nature of the products available within MUJI’s portfolio.

The decision to allow users to sit on one of the simple pine beds sold by the company was deliberate too. According to the marketing team, the VR experience gives people a new appreciation of the simple but effective nature of the furniture offered by the brand.

At the same time, the VR experience also helps to promote the invaluable sense of calm that MUJI wants its customers to experience whenever they think of, or visualise their brand. For MUJI, the key to success is being the calm serenity their customer looks for in the middle of a hectic life.

Unlocking Opportunities with Immersion

According to the Managing Director of MUJI Finland, Miho Takagi, virtual reality technology allowed the brand to get even closer to their customers than ever before.

The innovative VR experience allowed the company to pluck their customers out of a busy environment, and demonstrate the power of quality and simplicity.

Takegi arrived in Finland in 2020, and since then, has been working on conveying the benefits of affordability, simplicity, and serenity to local customers.

According to Miho, she has seen a lot of companies using virtual reality to market and support ecommerce products. However, it’s also a powerful tool for improving the quality of in-person experiences.

MUJI wanted to use an XR marketing strategy to discover new ways of getting closer to customers, and giving those customers a journey into the heart of the philosophical world the brand is trying to build. Today, Miho and her team have a new appreciation for the potential of XR solutions in retail, marketing, and sales environments.

With Varjo’s help, and the innovative technology on offer via the Aero headset, MUJI has been able to capture the hearts and minds of its target audience. The company’s VR efforts have helped to accelerate conversations about the brand, and generate a sense of hype around the company’s commitment to sustainability, and simple comforts.

Changing the Face of Marketing and Sales

The Varjo Aero installation within the Finnish MUJI store was an exclusive early-access solution before the Aero was officially released. Now the headset is openly available, the MUJI case study acts as a good insight into its capabilities.

According to the Chief Brand Officer for Varjo, Jussi Mäkinen, as Varjo Aero continues to expand as a commercially available solution, the team is thrilled to see how companies might consider using the new technology. Varjo believes Aero is a powerful tool for taking customers on unique journeys to build loyalty and new opportunities for growth.

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