The global rollout of 5G will usher in a new age of connectivity. With speeds a hundred times faster than 4G technology and significantly reduced latency, 5G will be the single biggest opportunity—and challenge—for brands in 2020. The 5G conversation up to this point has been largely led by telecom companies like AT&T, Nokia, and Huawei. Marketers have talked about the power of IoT and connected devices, the benefits for autonomous vehicles, and the new potential of AR and VR.
While many of us can’t agree on what exactly the future of 5G will bring, we can all agree on it bringing tremendous change. This is where brand comes in. As 5G speeds and connectivity erase the bounds of the digital world, it’s more important than ever to have a strong brand that can help determine what actions a business should, and shouldn’t, take as we explore the opportunities this new technology unlocks.
Read more: Five Ways 5G Will Change Digital Advertising
Below are the top 5G trends that brands will face in 2020:
1. Seamless, but Only for Some
The implementation of 5G will not be universal, and urban centers like New York City will see the benefits before more rural areas. This will likely intensify the gap in coverage quality as 5G rolls out in stages. Brand managers and companies need to ensure that, where required, the same experience works for those still on 4G or even 3G connectivity, too.
2. Consumers Can Literally Step Into Your Brand World
Think about sound and vision, voice-enabled tech and multi-screen behavior, and how it all comes together in a seamless experience. With 5G, brands can engage with a set of senses in a completely new way. Differentiation in this environment becomes that much more multi-faceted as well. 5G will create an enormous number of opportunities for brands to create truly immersive experiences for their consumers, and AR and VR are just the beginning.
Worldwide spending on AR and VR applications for retail showcasing is expected to reach approximately $59B by 2020. 5G’s low latency could push this spending further by opening the door to VR dressing rooms as well as mobile AR experiences in stores and at home. With 5G, it will be possible for consumers to try on a variety of clothing items from the comfort of their living room, which means these brands will need to translate the brand experience of in-store to in-home.
3. Connected Experiences Require Connected Brands
The world of IoT is set to explode once 5G is fully rolled out across the world, bringing to life a frictionless journey of connectivity. But this is not just about consumers connecting to devices. It’s also about brands connecting with other brands. For truly seamless interactions, it is important to think about the consumer first. Their brand ecosystem should guide your brand’s relationships.
Brands need to understand what the consumer journey looks like. What do they need and want? And how are other brands playing a role? For instance, when they order pizza, will Alexa choose Dominos or the local pizza joint? Developing relationships with the brands that best serve the consumer’s journey will create the best, most memorable experiences.
5G is sure to influence both society and culture throughout the year. From Retail to Automotive, to the Tourism industries, one thing is certain: 5G will bring greater connectivity, truly immersive experiences and seamless interactions that are immediate and personal.
Having a clear understanding of who you are as a brand may be the difference between a brand succeeding in this new landscape or drifting towards irrelevance. A strong brand serves as a platform for action. It tells us not only how a business should look and feel and sound, but also what it should say and do and dream.
So, what’s next? Whatever the future of 5G holds, the possibilities are for brands to imagine and deliver on. This is our next great frontier.
Read more: Mobile Advertising Needs More Than Just 5G