For some, the metaverse is a tech gadget among geeks, for others it is the most important digital evolution. For only ten months, the metaverse has been hovering omnipresently above the heads of the marketing and tech worlds. Yet despite the growing enthusiasm, many marketers struggle to truly understand the dimensions of this new world. This is not surprising, since there is not yet a uniform definition. Rather it is a vision that is beginning to take shape…
Basically, the Metaverse represents a seamless convergence of our physical and digital lives, a virtual community where users and brands can work, play, relax, trade and connect.
With four major developments that can be identified, you’ll discover what’s possible in the metaverse far beyond gaming and entertainment.
Our daily life and habits are moving towards a more and more digital world. This leads to an expansion of the self, but also takes subjects like sports and wellness to a new digital level. The tendency to digitally and virtually deepen real-life relationships through emotional elements is also part of the metaverse. In a role-playing world like “IMVU” and “Second Life,” thousands of people meet every day to dress up, party, or date virtually.
Brands should take advantage of the opportunity the Metaverse offers them as a creative mechanism: passive consumers become creative actors who act as active brand ambassadors by creating common experiences across the metaverse. This creative force lays the foundation for a new creative economy filled with inspiration, individuality and imagination. Thus, in the game “Roblox”, more than 9.5 million creators create new experiences on all kinds of topics and regions for more than 54 million daily active users.
Whether it’s virtual events, travel, real estate, or the boundaries between the real world and the virtual world, the metaverse is redefining traditional gathering places like home, an event, or vacation. It provides new opportunities for shared experiences for brands and users. Ariana Grande’s “Fortnite” concert, which brought Fortnite players together in a new reality as an in-game show in August 2021, is a prime example.
Interest in virtual real estate continues to grow and shows that users want to own their property within the metaverse. This creates a new market for buying and managing virtual real estate and land. Prices are also bursting within the metaverse, with some land selling for more than $4 million.
Inspired by video games, many brands are already using the metaverse to entertain, communicate, market and even design products. Vans with Nike and Vans with Nike are the leaders of immersive experiences.
The Metaverse will more or less revolutionize commerce in the long term. Shopping experiences will be more intuitive, immersive and engaging thanks to digital stores and AR and VR technologies. Luxury brands in the fashion industry, such as Burberry and Gucci, are experimenting with digital replicas of their stores.
The Metaverse also reveals some exciting developments in work: While remote work has long been common in real life, the Metaverse pushes the boundaries even further. The result is a new way of working, as people will meet from home and collaborate in virtual offices through their virtual avatars. The first tools to do this already exist with Microsoft Mesh and Facebook Horizon Workroom.
Real-life attitudes and beliefs are not only spreading to the digital world, but are gaining importance there at large. It starts with an already hyper-realistic digital identity: users want to represent their identity in a virtual space, with all their physical characteristics, character traits and attitudes in the most detailed way possible. They want to interact with like-minded people.
New communities appear, called DAO (abbreviation for Decentralized Autonomous Organization), which means decentralized autonomous organization, which are based on common values and carry out projects together. It is important for brands to take advantage of this trend. Because in addition to entertainment and commercialization, the metaverse also provides a new space for political, ecological or social activism. For example, Greenpeace drew attention to the consequences of climate change in “GTA V,” one of the biggest metaverses in the gaming world. Los Santos, arguably one of the most famous cities, has been modified to appear real. What can be the effects of climate change.
The potential of the metaverse for engagement, community building, self-advocacy and commerce is enormous. Brands that manage to take advantage of these opportunities by developing and expanding each of these areas will surely be favored by young and digitally savvy people.