The Metaverse: What Is It All About?
Our virtual and physical worlds have converged in a new, merged physical and digital reality as we approach the Metaverse era. The recent move by Facebook to change its name to Meta reflects the potential of virtual reality. Mark Zuckerberg stated, “It is time for us to create a new business identity to encapsulate all that we do, to represent who we are and what we aim to accomplish.”
“The Metaverse will require innumerable new technologies, protocols, firms, ideas, and discoveries to work,” says strategist Matthew Ball, formerly of Amazon Studios. And it won’t appear out of nowhere; there won’t be a clear “Before Metaverse” and “After Metaverse” distinction. Instead, it will develop gradually over time as various goods, services, and capabilities connect and meld.”
The Metaverse comes at a time when virtual worlds may be utilized for almost everything, including concerts and mingling with friends and family. All companies must consider how they will need to accommodate this transition into their marketing strategies. “You have to go there, you can’t build up your own,” Neal Stephenson, who originated the phrase Metaverse, told Vanity Fair. As a result, as part of their future digital transformation, companies will need to actively connect with the metaverse.
Even if they can’t define the phrase, the younger generations, those born between the 1990s and the early 2010s, and those born after the early 2010s, are already comfortable with the idea of the metaverse. This is partly due to the number of time kids spend on platforms like Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite, where they can meet up with peers in sophisticated virtual worlds. They are accustomed to these internet activities. Younger generations spend a lot of time here choosing avatars and playing games with their pals, and the epidemic has intensified these habits — from lockdowns to a more communal reliance on technology to keep connected. These new behaviors will undoubtedly have a huge influence on companies.
For brands, the metaverse offers never-before-seen marketing potential. And, similar to how companies have embraced social media over the last decade, the metaverse is the next big thing that brands must engage with before falling behind.
Here are some tips for companies looking to build a brand for themselves in the Metaverse:
Avoid Interruptive communications
The level of participation witnessed at these virtual events hints at the new world’s potential scope and power — one that promises huge prospects for companies if they can figure out a way into the metaverse. Marketers will undoubtedly need to find out how to best utilize the metaverse, which is not an environment conducive to interruptive broadcast marketing. Rather, messages should blend in with the platform and entire experience. Aim to highlight rather than distract, and make sure that any brand insertion blends in seamlessly with the surrounding surroundings. Take, for example, Deliveroo, a food delivery business that placed virtual riders into the game Animal Crossing to deliver snacks. Discount vouchers also accompanied this change for in-store delights.
Look for Openings.
Examine if the Metaverse provides an opportunity for your firm to attempt new things and achieve long-term goals such as sustainability, which is ideally suited to many Metaverse uses. Almost every CMO has already made a public commitment to sustainability-related ESGs or will do so shortly, and they will soon be measured.
Make a Plan for Your Arrival.
Request that your agency team starts establishing a position on how and when your brand should appear in the metaverse. Holding corporations and independent agencies are both good observers of mass media behavior and upcoming trends, so this is an excellent time to inquire about what they’re observing throughout their client portfolio. Find out what testing they might put in place to help you get your brand comfortable in the Metaverse.
Choose your Targets Carefully.
Consider the time that your target audiences/customers spend in the metaverse and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly. Firms catering to younger demographics, for example, are unlikely to have the luxury of sitting out the metaverse for long. Take special note of your target demographics and what behaviors are currently trending among your present and future customers, indicating how quickly you should move into the Metaverse.
Younger generations, especially the ones that will eventually make up the majority of the workforce, with buying power to match — are looking for shared social spaces and virtual experiences, regardless of where they are. They also aim to assist companies in co-creating these worlds, which will increase involvement and loyalty. Also, the car industry is putting money into it. Hyundai, for example, provides virtual test drives in Roblox, which is aimed firmly at Gen Z. Video game companies have always featured cars in their games. This trend will undoubtedly continue in the metaverse, which offers a plethora of applications for the automotive industry, ranging from a collaborative, social space for vehicle design to a simulation environment for test drives and virtual showrooms.
Watch out for Competitors.
Start a dialogue about times when rival firms do things in the metaverse, such as a display at a leadership meeting to get the executive team talking. So much of the sector may be scary, especially regarding seemingly incomprehensible ideas like NFTs or blockchain. Make it a priority that you find a champion for these issues that can present relatable, concrete examples to each meeting.
Even the most prestigious businesses are vying for a piece of the pie. A prominent example is Louis Vuitton’s new virtual universe to attract zoomers or generation z. In recent months, the French luxury goods firm released a video game that follows the journey of the brand’s creator, encompassing dream destinations and digital realms inspired by cities such as London, Beijing, Paris, Tokyo, and New York. It’s also worth mentioning that the game features NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which is another indicator of the rising value of virtual worlds and virtual commodities.
If you’re already in it, be aware that all new areas include risk and reward; moderate your expectations accordingly, recognizing that it may be very unpredictable and lacking in norms.
Consumers will find your products and services more gratifying and meaningful if you align your brand with an experience related to your goal. These online encounters may be brief, but they have sown the seed of awareness, so keep on track to prevent missing out on significant new business prospects.
The good news is that the current epidemic has made us all more adaptable than we’ve ever been. There will be trials that fail, to say the obvious. Years ago, Second Life provided the promise of the metaverse, but the risk to the companies who engaged was neither large nor long-term. So, if this is the right moment, think about how you’ll get there.
It’s Time to Learn More about NFTs.
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are digital assets that you cannot exchange for other digital assets of the same sort. Simply said, an NFT is one-of-a-kind, special, and limited. All of these characteristics make it extremely appealing to customers. Furthermore, you do not need a product to sell to start an NFT. It can represent a ‘tokenized’ photo, video, or audio material that has been used to produce a digital certificate of ownership. Blockchain technology is then used to keep and distribute a record of who owns the NFT. NFTs may be seen as the generation and exchange of value, particularly in the setting of communities with well-defined goals. Keeping with the exclusivity concept, we might use Gucci as an example. The Italian fashion house teamed up with Christie’s to auction off what is effectively a piece of digital art for millions of pounds. This elevates fashion collectibles to a whole new level, but not all NFTs have to be so pricey or be works of art. The goal is to make clients feel like they possess something special, no matter how expensive it is. Just make sure you’re getting fair compensation for your services and that the token propels your brand forward in the direction you want it to go.
People in brand marketing and leadership positions, in particular, should begin to consider how to release their creativity and storytelling. If the metaverse’s creative palette increases, we should be delighted to design experiences that are both outstanding and stickier than ever before at any step in the customer journey, from acquisition through engagement, transaction, and customer care.
The metaverse asks that businesses rethink their marketing strategies, but the epidemic has already done so. Now is the time to respond. Embracing a mindset of continual evolution while following the processes stated above will bring you to the good possibilities that can provide your consumers with more and more value.
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