The very simple concept behind What3Words is a system of 3 words assigned to every 3 square metres of the globe. The front door of 10 Downing Street for example is slurs.this.shark – make of that what you will.
The proprietary geocode system is designed to eliminate any margin of error that may exist with traditional addresses and location methods. Launched in July 2013, by Chris Sheldrick, Jack Waley-Cohen, Mohan Ganesalingam, and Michael Dent, the idea was conceived to solve the problems encountered while delivering band equipment to poorly identified locations.
In January 2018, Mercedes-Benz bought approximately 10% of the company and announced support for What3words in planned navigation systems. The A-Class, launched in May 2018, became the first vehicle in the world with What3words on board. BMW swiftly followed suit.
As a relatively new and disruptive concept marketers can use what3words to communicate with new audience shares. Pulling from a database of 40,000 words there are over 57 trillion unique variations -this has created a unique pool of ideas for marketers.
Divergent thinking has seen what3words deployed in extraordinary ways -North Coast 500 have utilised what3words to help tourists navigate the enormous rural space to identify theexact spots used in the filming of such blockbusters as Harry Potter, Skyfall and Braveheart.
On behalf of their global client Sodexo, REAL put the concept to work in an awareness project designed to provoke intrigue in the student population. Picking up on the what3words for the companies Riverside Student Quarter property in Canterbury – showed.loudly.life – a range of eye catching promotional materials were distributed across the city enticing and encouraging students to seek out the marketing suite thanks to the engaging use of the what3words system.
AirBnB have recently adopted the system to help customers find tricky and off grid addresses. With the ability to identify an exact location -a door or even a gap in the hedge – it can make a business much more approachable than a simple street address. It is worth noting that such is the magnitude of the project – Mongolia has adopted what3words in place of their entire postcode system. Having secured £12 million of investment from investment division of the furniture giant IKEA the concept is here to stay.