How Brands Can Strategize for the Metaverse
It is not surprising that the term “metaverse” has gained popularity on the internet over the past few years because the pandemic marked the beginning of a new era in which the physical and virtual worlds mingle.
But what is it exactly?
Is it Mark Zuckerberg’s greatest idea? Is it a techie’s futuristic dream?
Or is it a legitimate opportunity for brands to profit from?
The answer is Yes, to be very precise.
By 2024, the metaverse is expected to generate $800 billion in revenue, and tech behemoths are already pouring millions of dollars into making this vision a reality. Both large corporations and start-ups are embracing the metaverse, working with its metaverse companies to develop branded activations and more.
You probably want to learn more or are considering joining the metaverse if you’re reading this article. You should have a thorough understanding of what the metaverse is and what it signifies for the future before seizing these ground-breaking opportunities.
What is metaverse, exactly?
Imagine a virtual world where billions of people may communicate with one another, learn, shop, and live their lives comfortably on their couches in the physical world.
The computer screens we use to access the world wide web have evolved into portals into a physical, three-dimensional virtual world that is bigger and better than real life in this world.
Our identities and money are carried by our avatars, which are digital representations of ourselves, as they freely switch between experiences.
The hype aside, this is the so-called metaverse, and it doesn’t exist at the moment.
What should business leaders think of a rapidly developing, hyped-up concept that has the potential to dramatically alter how people live?
This emerging technological revolution is broken down into where it is at the moment and where it is going in SB Infowaves’ comprehensive guide to the metaverse. The metaverse’s history, its importance, its history, how it can be accessed, and how brands can join the metaverse are just a few of the topics covered.
There are references to in-depth analyses of these and other pertinent subjects throughout the guide, as well as definitions of key terms in the metaverse like interoperability, digital twins, spatial computing, and Web 3.0.
A brief history of the Metaverse
Many in the computer industry refer to the “metaverse” as a single, immersive, shared, persistent, 3D virtual world where individuals can experience life in ways they couldn’t in the actual world.
While some of the technologies that enable access to this virtual world, such as augmented reality (AR) glasses and virtual reality (VR) headsets, are evolving quickly, other crucial elements of the metaverse, like interoperability standards or enough bandwidth, are probably years away from becoming a reality or may never become one.
The idea is not new; author Neal Stephenson coined the term “metaverse” in his science fiction book Snow Crash in 1992. The metaverse was defined in the novel as a virtual realm that coexists with the real world with the ability to visit virtual spaces at will.
Why is the metaverse important?
The term “Metaverse” gained popularity when Facebook announced plans to invest at least $10 billion in the idea that year and changed its corporate name to Meta in October 2021.
Along with Meta, other significant tech behemoths like Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Qualcomm are spending billions on the idea.
The metaverse economy may reach $5 trillion by 2030, according to bullish predictions made by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
E-commerce is anticipated to be the main engine, with gaming, education, entertainment, and marketing in the metaverse all likely to become more significant.
The term is currently used by businesses to denote a variety of improved online environments. These include growing virtual workspaces like Microsoft’s Mesh or Meta’s Horizon Workrooms, virtual changing rooms and operating rooms, and online video games like Fortnite. As companies vie for supremacy, the current version of the metaverse is taking the shape of a multiverse rather than a single universal virtual place. It consists of several unique metaverses with limited interoperability.
Some criticism has resulted from uncritical enthusiasm for the metaverse and serious uncertainty about how it will unfold. Industry watchers have questioned whether the public will be happy to spend hours each day in a headset navigating virtual space or whether the metaverse will ultimately differ greatly from the digital experiences we have today.
Other futurists, however, assert that even while the metaverse is still in its infancy and faces significant technical challenges, it will eventually come to pass. And it will come with a boom.
How is the metaverse accessed?
Virtual reality and augmented reality are two technologies that are thought to be crucial to the creation and development of the metaverse:
- Virtual Reality: A simulated 3D environment called virtual reality allows users to engage with a virtual environment in a way that simulates reality as it is experienced by our senses. Today, most people access this simulated world by wearing a VR headset, which completely fills their field of vision. It is possible to interact with the virtual environment in a way that is more lifelike by using haptics, which includes vests, gloves, and even full-body tracking suits.
- Augmented Reality: Augmented reality is less immersive than VR. It applies digital overlays to the real world using some kind of lens. Users can still interact with their immediate environment. The AR game Pokémon Go is one of its earliest applications. Heads-up displays for car windshields and Google Glass are examples of consumer augmented reality products.
In order to access many of the metaverse-like experiences offered by game platforms like Roblox, Decentraland, and Minecraft, a quick internet connection, a browser, or a mobile device is now necessary.
How to join the metaverse?
There are various ways to access the metaverse using current technology. Consider purchasing XR wearables like Valve Index VR, Oculus Quest 2 and Google Cardboard or Glass if you want to experience the metaverse on your own. These wearable technologies provide a variety of opportunities, including virtual workspaces and gaming and entertainment.
Your brand can participate in the metaverse in the following ways:
- Engage on digital platforms such as Fortnite, Roblox, Meta Quest 2, and Decentraland
- Get in touch with customers through metaverse elements such as virtual events and NFTs
- Develop engaging content that users can unlock through mini-games and NFTs
- Through avatars on metaverse platforms, share thought leadership content
- Build immersive experiences for your audience
- Connect your metaverse activations to real-world efforts (e.g., prizes, physical merch)
Don’t hesitate to research and explore existing environments to aid in the development of metaverse concepts for your brand since many companies are already hosting brand activations in the metaverse.
Brand activations in the metaverse
Check out these examples of brands who have joined the metaverse:
It isn’t only Gucci’s clothing that is fashion-forward. Over the past two years, the high-end fashion house has done a number of activations in the metaverse. Early in 2021, the company unveiled the Gucci Virtual 25, a digital sneaker that can be worn with Roblox and VRChat as well as AR.
Following the debut of the sneakers, Roblox’s Gucci Garden let users to shop for high-end designer items like the Gucci Dionysus Bag with Bee. More than $4,100 Robux, the in-game currency of Roblox, were paid for this bag when it was resold, outpacing the price of the actual physical bag. The virtual garden served as a complement to the Gucci Garden Archetypes, a real-world installation in Florence, Italy.
After the pandemic hit in 2020, Blavity shifted its focus away from the media company’s yearly in-person professional conference, AfroTech, and became an early adopter of the metaverse. The firm decided against completely canceling the event because it saw it as a chance to address Zoom fatigue and low engagement.
AfroTech World is a fully customized virtual space that Blavity and eXp World Holdings created. Everything from the physical conference—prizes, workshops, pitch competitions, guest speakers, concerts, and expo halls—was featured at AfroTech World.
With its limited-edition flavor, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte, which was inspired by the digital realm and gaming, Coke combined the metaverse and the real world. The iconic Coca-Cola logo is depicted in designs on the drink can in the form of pixels.
In the US, Zero Sugar Byte was only sold online, but it also had retail debuts in some other countries. Players can play minigames at Pixel Point, another space on Fortnite, to enjoy the beverage in the metaverse. Fans can also access an AR game by scanning a Sugar Byte package.
How Can the Metaverse Redefine How We Market to Customers?
In a way that has never been conceivable before, the metaverse enables brands to design immersive and engaging experiences for their customers. Brands can design their own virtual worlds or spaces in the metaverse for customers to visit and explore. This enables businesses to manage the consumer experience and design a setting that reflects their brand.
These virtual worlds can be used to:
Promote and profit from digital products
Brands can market digital products that consumers can use in their own virtual worlds in the metaverse. For instance, a clothing company might sell virtual clothing that a customer can wear in their virtual world, or a gaming company might sell virtual game items that a customer can use in their virtual reality. The reach of the brand can be increased by a consumer’s virtual purchase encouraging them to pick up any items outside the metaverse in the physical world.
Better product development
Brands can use the metaverse to test out new products before making them available to the general public. In the metaverse, brands can build a prototype of a new product and let users test it out before it is made available to the public. Before a product is released, this can help brands obtain customer input and make necessary revisions. In the long run, this can save the brand both time and money. As a result, the final product that is delivered to the customer is better suited to meet their demands than it would have been if the brand had relied on conventional product development techniques.
Create brand experiences
Brands can design interactive experiences in the metaverse that let customers interact with them in new ways. For instance, a clothing company might create a digital runway show where viewers can try on clothing and buy it in the metaverse. Before making a vacation reservation, a customer can explore a location and learn about the local culture by taking a virtual tour created by a travel company. This gives businesses a chance to connect with customers they might not have otherwise and to bring customers from all over the world together in a virtual setting.
Build customer loyalty
With the metaverse, brands have the opportunity to increase consumer loyalty by creating an area that customers can frequently return to. In the metaverse, businesses can give customers access to special events, early access to new products, or exclusive deals. By doing this, businesses can build a base of loyal customers who are more inclined to make future purchases.
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The metaverse can be thought of as an emulsion of technology, culture, and the arts. Although it is still in its infancy, brands have the chance to create some remarkable opportunities. Don’t be afraid to be creative and try new things. After all, imagination is where the metaverse originated. Make the pioneers of sci-fi proud.
In case you’re looking for an AR/VR app development company in Kolkata, we at SB Infowaves can assist.