Why the metaverse matters for brands and how to act on it
At Meta Festival 2021, we came together with experts from the digital marketing, e-commerce and tech scenes, as well as futurists, designers and psychologists, to discuss the emerging metaverse trend and what it means for marketers, consumers and wider society.
The new normal is here to stay
The pandemic rapidly accelerated the shift towards remote and hybrid work, pushed new technologies, and simultaneously shaped novel ways of how we connect to each other in the digital space.
This new normal is here to stay and is influencing not only how we work and live, but also how we consume. There has been a notable shift in business mindsets, with the potential of virtual realities being used far beyond the gaming and entertainment sphere. VR (no, not necessarily a VR headset) is increasingly being seen as the next technology revolution to create, discover, identify, socialise, collaborate and democratise. This shift can be compared to how mobile technology revolutionised our culture, from the very first iPhone release to now; the metaverse is the next iteration of the internet and will revolutionise how humans interact and live their lives.
The future outlook predicts there will be shared virtual worlds (all together as one metaverse), where we will have a new economy, environment, currency and behaviours. Where game mechanics, massive interactive live events (MILEs), blockchain-enabled digital goods and virtual commerce will all blend together.
First-movers are entering the game
Pioneering brands like Gucci, Balenciaga,
Disney, BMW and Snap are using first-mover momentum and stepping into the metaverse, maximising its potential by creating virtual fashion, assets, content, communities and experiences. It will be exciting so see which brands will join them and what experiences they will create. One thing is for sure: the time to start is now!
How to act on it
The first step is to analyse the potential of the metaverse in regards to how it can serve your business needs and the needs of your target audience best. How to master the metaverse as a brand is strongly connected to the problems you want to solve:
You need to reconnect with your target audience
In that case, creating high quality, engaging and sophisticated virtual spaces is the right choice, because it enables you to connect with your target audience in a way that hasn’t been possible before. Possible options include creating your own virtual experience world or using a presence on platforms like Decentraland.
You need to optimise or transform the way you learn and interact with colleagues
Then why not create your own company-only virtual environment, which is not open to the public but to your employees only?
You need to accelerate your B2B growth
In this case, creating a virtual showroom is a great solution, and will enable you to showcase your products regardless of time and place. This grants all your relevant markets and target audiences access to your product or service range.
You need to accelerate your B2C growth
Then the right path to take is creating a virtual store, which is an upgrade of the virtual showroom, since it is showcasing the assortment but with the added option to instantly buy. The novel term which has been coined in this context is ‘Direct-to-avatar’ instead of ‘Direct-to-consumer’. Drivers for interest and growth for B2C include limited availability items, or offering collectable goods that are secured as NFTs.
Do you want to enter the metaverse? Or would you just like to exchange thoughts with us about the topic? Feel free to reach out to us – we’re passionate about the metaverse and happy to find like-minded partners to explore with!