Manuka Honey Heartland - a Virtual Reality experience with Comvita
As of this month, customers have the opportunity to experience the pristine source of this Kiwi success story for themselves via a virtual reality (VR) experience in Comvita’s retail stores (Auckland International Airport, Viaduct and at Experience Comvita in Paengaroa).
The VR experience transports viewers to the beautiful and remote Kaimanawa Ranges, where Comvita sources some of its highly sought-after Manuka honey, a benefit of Comvita’s relationship with the East Taupo Lands Trust. Through this experience, customers will be completely immersed in Comvita’s ‘source story’ – a key point of difference for the brand.
Once the viewer slips on the Samsung Gear VR headset, they’ll find themselves soaring from a helicopter’s-eye-view, following the Mohaka river, into the heart of the Kaimanawas. They’ll then land at one of Comvita’s stunning hive sites — among the most remote you’ll ever find — and watch as Comvita’s intrepid beekeepers harvest their unique product.
Comvita CEO, Scott Coulter, is very pleased with the results of this foray into VR.
“New Zealand exporters benefit hugely from the global perception of New Zealand as a place of unsurpassed beauty and remote wilderness,” says Coulter. “This technology allows us to share with our customers a close-up of our pristine Manuka source in the Kaimanawas, a place too remote to visit otherwise.
“A key difference for our business is the purity of our product, the land it comes from and the lengths we go to ensure this is the case. So it makes sense for us to transport our customers to the source with VR. That way, they can see for themselves our commitment to producing a premium product, with a little help from nature. Because really are New Zealand in a jar.”
This opportunity to immersively convey Comvita’s intrinsic “New Zealandness” to consumers both locally and abroad is seen as a valuable opportunity to strengthen the business’ position and perception in the global health products market. Comvita has stated its commitment to grow its business to a $400m company by 2020, and Coulter sees innovation as a huge part of this.
“By embedding innovation into the way the business operates, including how we market products, we can realise the goals we’ve set for our business. In this case, we’ve become early adopters of new age technology in an industry where it’s perhaps a bit unexpected. However, when you actually look at what this technology can do, which is take people somewhere and give them an experience, and what we want to do, which is tell the story of our product, you can see that this is the ideal medium for that purpose.”
You can get a taste of what this is like on Comvita's YouTube Channel * but to get the full immersive experience you will need to visit one of the three retail stores, Paengaroa, Auckland Viaduct and Auckland AIrport.
*Please note that this is best viewed in the Chrome browser (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chrome) as Internet Explorer doesn't currently support the 360 degree Virtual Reality viewing experience.