When it comes to increasing revenue and building a loyal customer base, loyalty programs are proven more effective. However, as most loyalty programs either take the route of redeemed points, social media, or paid campaigns, this space has seen nothing new in the past decade.
That is why brands and businesses these days are searching for innovative ways to inspire customer loyalty. And Live Animations, a leading developer of innovative loyalty programs based on advanced AR technology have been helping large retailers and kids and family brands achieve smoothly achieve their goals.
The company’s remarkable work reflects in the rewards and reclaims. The company for its work has been recognized on Clutch with the highest 5-star ratings. Live Animations also entered the list of the Top Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Developers in the world.
In 2018, four AR books, created by Live Animations and Little Hippo publishing company, received the Parents Choice Award, USA’s top non-profit award. Last year, the company got in Business Sight’s 10 Most Remarkable Companies rating.
Behind the eminent success of Live Animations is the ambitious Founder and Owner, Andrey Tymoshenko, who with his vision and expertise has been leading Live Animations to create new milestones.
Keep reading the following interview to know about how Live Animations under Andrey’s leadership has been dominating the niche now is paving the path to establishing itself as the world’s leading developer of AR/VR-based loyalty programs.
What makes Live Animations a preferred choice over your competitors?
Our success is attributed to several factors. One of them is that the company bills itself not as a contractor, but as a partner. We dive headlong into each new project and are eager to share with our clients everything we have learned over seven years – this is how long we have been working in the AR/VR/MR market.
Throughout the project, we proactively communicate with the client’s marketing department and jointly develop solutions for a business problem. Having implemented about 70 AR projects, we have accumulated knowledge that allows us to accurately determine specific issues, critical from an economic and technical point of view, for every project, and generate an idea that bypasses all the pitfalls.
Another advantage is carrying out the full production cycle. Creating innovative loyalty programs for retail, we not only develop augmented reality but also provide full project support, including the idea development, its implementation, and promotion, as well as technical and marketing support.
Over time, such a business model has resulted in a partnership with some of our clients. For example, the Ugears company, at first, chose us to create a project aimed at driving new customers (WebAR) and increasing repeat sales (MobileAR), and after a few months, we collaboratively implemented a unique loyalty program for one of the international retailers.
Being in a leadership position, what is your opinion on the impact of the current pandemic on the AR/VR products industry? And what developments can be expected in the near future?
The pandemic has negatively affected almost all sectors of the economy. However, the IT industry in general, and the AR/VR/MR technology in particular, felt more of the multi-directional impact of the global lockdown. On the one hand, our customers’ revenues decreased, and in this regard, some companies, having chosen a wait-out strategy, cut their marketing budget.
On the other hand, manufacturers and marketers saw a vital need for an innovative approach in marketing, sales, and online promotion. Earlier many people saw the use of AR technology to promote various groups of products (clothes, shoes, accessories, home décor, furnishing, real estate, cars, etc.) just as a trend, and not as an essential business tool. However, in the new reality of closed stores and remote work, now the use of innovative sales methods has become a must not only for successful promotion but also for maintaining the market position. Naturally, this trend has further spurred the technological progress of our industry. Moreover, some manufacturers had to make changes to their products to make the AR implementation possible.
For example, recently we have finished a come-to-life puzzle project for an international company. Well, to make the AR app work smoothly the client had to slightly change the puzzle pieces so that the camera had something to catch. This is a small local case; however, it illustrates a general trend that tends to grow in the future – manufacturers will have to adapt their products to the functional requirements of AR technology.
What is your opinion on the necessity for AR/VR companies to align their offerings with the latest technological developments, especially when it comes to catering to the ever-evolving consumer needs and preferences?
In general, we always strive to use all available technologies. Moreover, in our portfolio, several solutions were the first-in-the-world to be implemented, at a time when everyone told us that this was simply impossible.
However, in specific cases, it all depends on our client’s target audience and the future product’s market. The thing is that new software capabilities usually require state-of-the-art mobile devices.
And if we are talking about products aimed at the US market, where, under certain conditions, it is possible to buy the latest smartphone at a more than a reasonable price, then we are definitely in for any technology.
If we are talking about a product aimed at less economically developed countries, then, of course, we can always implement the most innovative solutions, but will the devices of end consumers handle them? It is the client who has to answer this question.
As an established business leader, what would be your advice to the budding entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into the AR/VR industry?
Choosing the right market segment for AR/VR development is the best beginning for your future success. It is so important because today practically every sphere of our life – medicine, education, marketing, etc – is in high demand for AR and VR. So, choose a niche that inspires you.
It is crucial to make sure that economic feasibility is not the only vector that defines your business growth strategy. Because in the long run, a team of like-minded people inspired by the same idea will always win from people who work only for the sake of money.
Our experience and our competitors’ experience have made it clear that by no means it benefits your business if you are ready to do any work in this market. Many budding entrepreneurs are willing to work on any project and, as a result, they lose.
We have been through all that. Initially, we have defined our segment quite clearly – AR/VR product development for children and families. Nevertheless, it turned out to be too vague. Well, we had to come up with a more detailed concept of our place in the market and look for our niche.
Therefore, the most important thing to do is to concentrate on what you are most interested in, and what gives you the feeling that you are the best in it. It is the foundation of your future team. After all, the people with whom you are going to conquer the business world side by side should not just be professionals – they should love what they do.
For example, to create a great product for children, we need creative specialists, people who love to create something for children. If we are talking about real estate, then a completely different team is needed, people who are interested in architecture and design.
As it is impossible to create amazing products without understanding the problems and development trends of the area that you are bringing to life.
How do you envision sustaining your company’s competency in this ever-cutthroat business ecosystem? Where do you see your company in the next five years?
Creativity, expertise, and work complexity are our main competitive advantages. We carry out the full production cycle from developing an idea to marketing support for the finished product.
Sustainability is another principle that helps us to become a leader in this market. Do not be surprised, AR can be eco-friendly too. The constant accumulation of new knowledge and its most rational use are the main factors of any successful ecosystem. Therefore, we, as a business structure, built a continuous learning environment to generate new knowledge in our field and help our end users do the same. Most of our products contain educational and learning content. In this way, we contribute to people’s development. It sounds a bit pretentious, but it is the case.
Another plus point is our flexible organizational structure. The company employs only managers and leading technical specialists, we work with other specialists only within specific projects. This allows us to optimize the finances without losing the quality of the final product.
In five years, Live Animations will be known as a world-leading developer and supplier of some of the best AR/VR-based loyalty programs. It is our aim that every third loyalty program for large retailers and brands will be created by Live Animations, or with its direct involvement.
About the leader
Andrey Tymoshenko is the founder and owner of the company. He has been in business all his life and is an entrepreneur by nature. Having experience in starting his own business from scratch, he created an innovative company and made it possible for it to take one of the leading positions in the global AR market.
The success of Live Animations was largely determined by the fact that when shaping and developing the company’s strategic direction Andrey always looks beyond the horizon, further than others do.
Besides, he is responsible for creating all the tools to achieve the assigned tasks. Thus, it is the owner who defines the company’s core ideology and inspires his team to achieve performance goals. The owner is a mentor. He has to develop faster than his employees and evoke a natural desire to follow him. Another of Andrey’s responsibility is the company’s product shaping and development following the constantly changing market conditions and technologies.
Andrey has quite a lot of responsibilities, and it is simply impossible to deliver them without delegating the management of operating activities to the Chief Operating Officer. At a certain point in time, the owner needs to build a company and distance himself from operating activities. Otherwise, daily cycles will simply not provide an opportunity to build and see the strategy.
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