Interest in the metaverse peaked when Mark Zuckerberg, October 2021, announced that Facebook would be changing its name to Meta and investing a whopping $10 billion in the new virtual space, building Horizon Worlds. Many brands followed suit by investing large sums to create and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs), purchase virtual real estate, and build their own metaverse marketing teams.
Seeing large brands invest large sums of money in an attempt to get a jump on the metaverse begs the question: “Should I dive into the Metaverse and start marketing there?”
What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse, originally a term from the 1992 Sci-fi novel “Snow Crash”, is a shared, 3D virtual space where users have their own customizable avatar with individual autonomy. It merges virtual, augmented, and physical reality, creating a big blurry line between real life and the virtual world.
How this would work is still in the unclear as the building blocks of the metaverse are still being assembled, but the idea is already so widely popular, that financial powerhouse Goldman Sachs published a report, exploring the possibilities for future investment in the Metaverse.
Metaverses are 24/7. They exist in real time and don’t pause or turn off when you leave them. Once you enter via a web browser-based platform (like Decentraland, Mirandus, or Sandbox), your avatar is able to play games, explore, socialize with other users, go to work, buy and sell digital property via platform-specific cryptocurrency, and trade collectibles, among many other things.
What many suggest is the tie-in between Metaverses and cryptocurrency, which work seamlessly as The Metaverse and crypto alike would be decentralized, digital and not reliant on any central authority, such as a government or bank.
What Might the Metaverse Mean for My Business?
Though there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to the metaverse, the potential impact it might have on how we do marketing in the future is incomprehensible.
In December 2021, Obsess conducted a survey called ‘The Metaverse Mindset: Consumer Shopping Insights.’ They found that “nearly 75% of gen Z shoppers have purchased a digital item within a video game and that 60% of these young shoppers think that brands should sell their products on metaverse platforms.”
The metaverse allows you to create memorable, immersive experiences for users. From virtual webinars and events, to concerts, launch parties, and more, the Metaverse is a space for consumers to engage with a brand like never before – and experience a feeling they’ll never forget.
A few examples from the fashion industry:
- Tommy Hilfiger recently showed his 2022 spring collections at Metaverse Fashion Week, hosted by Decentraland, where attendees could view the collection, shop NFTs for their avatars, and purchase physical items to have shipped to them in real life. For fashion buffs who have only ever dreamed of attending a fashion show, this is huge. They are able to see (and shop) the collections at the same time as the fashion elite.
- Gucci, another fashion powerhouse, partnered with the video game, Roblox, to create an immersive virtual garden exhibit that complemented their Archetypes, a physical, multimedia experience in Florence, Italy, that celebrated the brand’s 100th birthday and explored a decade’s worth of inspiring ad campaigns and design history. The virtual Gucci Garden allowed visitors to immerse themselves in the space, making them feel like they were a part of the campaigns and creative vision. Gucci sold limited edition virtual clothing and accessories for a limited time, creating a frenzy and increasing the price of some items due to scarcity and exclusivity. (At one point, a virtual Gucci bag resold for 350,000 Robux, which is equal to $4,115. The physical bag’s retail was $3,400.)
- Footwear and apparel brand, Vans, built a virtual skatepark in Roblox where users could try new skate tricks to earn points. Points could be redeemed at the virtual Vans store for gear so users could customize their avatar. Exclusive virtual accessories and clothes are available for purchase, as are physical products so that your avatar (and your avatar’s skateboard) can match the real-life version of yourself.
The metaverse is an exciting place to build brand recognition, spread your messaging, and reach a new audience to take your brand engagement to a whole new level.
What’s Next for Marketing and the Metaverse?
The metaverse is accessible, it’s exciting, and it has the potential to catapult brands into a marketing space we’ve never seen before. But it’s important to know that traditional advertising is unlikely to be successful in the metaverse. To be successful, brands will need to think not only outside the box, but outside the physical world as well to make the metaverse work for them. In the metaverse, the sky’s the limit, so, even though it’s still a few years away, we’ll be keeping a pixelated finger on the pulse of it.
How do we get started?
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss how to best get your brand represented in the metaverse.