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Gradient POV: Think in 3D

Humans are 3D creatures living in a 3D world. The entirety of human existence has been experienced in three dimensions. Everything around us, from the homes we live in, the food we eat, and each physical moment we have, are all lived in 3D environments.

Viktor&Rolf "Good Fortune" experience. 3D render by Gradient Team.
Viktor&Rolf "Good Fortune" experience. 3D render by Gradient Team.

However, there is a large part of our current life that is not being experienced to its fullest potential – the digital realm. Most of our digital, virtual, and web-based interactions, until now, have been experienced in two dimensions.

We believe 3D is the new frontier where brands will be redefined. The quality of their digital experiences, their ability to convey emotions in the metaverse, and the invention of new digital products are challenged by the switch from 2D interactions to a 3D universe. Yet many brands have previously tackled the translation of their brand identity in 3D environments, whether it be in boutiques, in event activations, or in retail corner shops. All of those brand assets have been carefully crafted, and yet many will go underutilized in the digital space.

Gradient is an agency with experiential as its core, meaning concepting and producing brand experiences that generate emotions and long-term connections. For 15 years, we’ve intertwined the work of artists and architects to create unforgettable physical experiences that connect brands and consumers in the real world. Whenever working with a new brand, we of course start from the brand’s visual DNA, but its physical presence is also a key component of our creative process. That ability to translate a brand in a 3D environment uniquely positions experiential agencies such as Gradient to bring physicality to brands seeking to innovate within new digital frontiers. Just like brands, we’ve always thought of the experience in 3D.

We believe the time is right for brands to explore and build these 3D capabilities, establishing today their long-term digital reality. This journey requires designing digital products, investing in a translation of their 3D assets, and rethinking experiences in 3D. It also means planning for various platform options to create assets that are as interoperable as possible so they can jump on platform-specific opportunities with their interoperable assets in hand.

This is a key step that we’ve unfortunately seen many brands skip as they excitedly jump straight into executing digital experiences in the metaverse of the moment. Some of the best brands have tried it, and many have fallen flat probably because they didn’t start from all of the great work they’ve done over the years in 3D, even if it wasn’t in digital 3D. Yet just because other brands fell short, that doesn’t mean brands should avoid these efforts altogether. Brands will be pulled into digital experiences at a local level even if they haven’t planned for them at a macro level. Some marketing teams will want to try digital experiences to meet audiences where they are spending time. The successful ones will jump into these executions armed with brand-adapted 3D environments, repurposed from store designs, in-store counters, and physical event experiences. Most brands have SO many 3D assets already. They need to leverage those CAD designs, floorplans, renderings, and more to create cross-platform 3D assets that their teams can build upon while remaining on brand.

The smartest brands we work with are already building out their 3D brand guidelines and asset libraries, all maintained for platform updates and cross-platform usability.

Gradient invested heavily in Livestream as we believe video is the first entry point to experience 3D digital experiences before they are fully embraced as stand-alone experiences. Live productions in 3D environments allow our clients to reach billions of consumers through their phones. Yet taking the ROI planning a step further, while we can ensure their investment in 3D assets deliver immediate results, we can also plan for the future and plan for smart re-use and adaptation.

This journey is starting. Web3 and Metaverse startups will rise and crash. Excessive press releases will match deceptive experiences. Brands thinking about the emotions they want to convey in these worlds will have the upper hand as they realize what we’ve all been dreaming of: digital interactions as real as the real world: in 3D.

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