While there are plenty of theories about the ‘Metaverse’ and how it will change the way we socialise, consume content and work / play on the internet, the one definition about the Metaverse, that made complete sense was by tech entrepreneur and Podcaster, Shaan Puri who says:
If you think that’s profound, here’s what he adds: This is not an overnight change. Or an invention by some Steve Jobs type… It’s a gradual change that’s been happening for 20 years…
Come to think of it, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit are all some forms of MetaVerses, where we not only spend time connecting with friends, following celebrities & business leaders, but also places that help us decide what to eat or drink (remember the Dalgona Coffee trend); what to wear and where to order it from; and where to invest our money (DogeCoin or NFTs).
Let’s not forget, even Facebook has hopped on to the Metaverse bandwagon by changing its name to Meta! So, what does that mean for us marketers? How will it change the way we do our business? And more importantly, how do things change for our clients and their customers?
As digital practitioners, we’re always on the lookout for new consumer touchpoints and immersive experiences, where the user can experience the brand and its attributes in a deeper, more fulfilling way, enabling a more meaningful relationship.
The ‘MetaVerse’ with its 3D spaces offers the perfect environment for users to collaborate, socialize, learn, play, shop and more.
One of the greatest advantages the ‘MetaVerse’ offers is that it blurs the boundaries between the real and digital world. Think Pokèmon Go – which offers fans the opportunity to catch virtual ‘Pokèmon’ characters in their vicinity.
The recent Covid-19 pandemic has shown us newer ways of reaching out to customers, especially at a time when most Malls and retail outlets were shut due to lockdown. In today’s age, where time and travel can be major constraints, brands can create virtual 3D experiences which replicate the in-store experience, helping the customer shop from the comfort & safety of her home!
Luxury fashion brand, Net-A-Porter has partnered with Nintendo’s lockdown hit game Animal Crossing: New Horizons to create a fantasy experience for fans, where they can experience the brand’s collection in an exciting format!
Given the amount of time that users spend online each day, it’s no surprise that users value the ownership of digital assets far more than ever. One of the most popular forms of ownership is via Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which allow users to own digital assets such as digital art works, music, virtual properties, collectibles, etc.
Recent trends show users are willing to pay sizable sums of money to own these virtual possessions. Here’s where brands can create limited edition, Non-Fungible Tokens of their branded artifacts and offer them to fans as gratification via exciting contests, or as rewards for their participation on the platform.
Pringles, released a limited edition, one-of-its-kind flavour – CryptoCrisp as an NFT, which became a craze among it’s fans.
We’ve seen in-game advertising grow exponentially over the years, with popular brands being a part of digital games as well as spaces such as Second Life, Sims, etc.
‘MetaVerses’ offer a much better platform for brands to create virtual branded environments as well as allow personalization of characters to represent the user, in an exciting and seamless manner.
Brands can explore creating virtual spaces which offer an immersive experience, while providing fans the opportunity to personalize their avatars, which reflect the brand’s characters.
With the blurring of boundaries between the physical and virtual spaces, MetaVerses offer a whole new paradigm in terms of how brands can reach their customers. What this means is that the brand’s website, mobile app and social media pages will start seamlessly merging with their physical stores.
As marketers, this provides a larger canvas that isn’t restricted to the user’s desktop or mobile device but extends to their physical space, thanks to Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and the integration of technologies including 3D printing, geotagging and geolocations, beacons, etc.
Brands can explore virtual exhibitions, virtual events & gigs, create virtual storefronts and do a lot more!