The metaverse is probably the most inefficient vehicle for traditional advertising. Could something so hyped, so seemingly ‘unreal,’ even matter to brands? The short answer: yes.
After years of development and the rise of multiple technologies, key features are converging to create the base of a potential metaverse. There are several metaverse concepts that are already becoming concrete, and some that will follow. So it’s in the nature of many companies to invest in this new technology. The metaverse promises options to enrich customer experience, create virtual-only products and market physical and digital products and services.
As the metaverse has limitless real estate, the easiest option for brands is to fill its three dimensions with their logos and products. Just as it happened a few years ago with Second Life. Second Life had a massive boom at the beginning of the millennium. A lot of companies raced to build virtual showrooms and boast about its potential. IBM created IBM Land; General Motors constructed Motorati Island. From BMW to the BBC, organisations seeked to shape their image in this new online world.
Learning from past activations, the implications of an immersive, persistent and decentralised digital world could be enormous. Just like the internet’s early days, the metaverse contains pockets of speculation, overvaluation and unwise investment. Not every company needs to rush and invest all their budget into this technology. But every company should make the most of key concepts that are relevant today.
How deep companies want to dive into the metaverse will depend on each case. So we have created a list of different actions that your team could take.
Stay away from the hype
Let’s separate reality from all the future promises. The first thing to do is to understand what the metaverse is today and take practical and affordable steps that align with your brand’s mission.
Stay up to date
The metaverse concepts are evolving quickly. Concepts that could be useful for your company might have not been developed yet, but they could be tomorrow. Assign at least one resource to understand key concepts and follow the metaverse as it evolves.
Develop a strategy
Identify gaps to close and long-term opportunities to build from the metaverse and its key concepts, then work on foundational measures. Once you’ve identified them, map out the steps that your team has to take and in what time scale to get to where you want to be.
Select a few past activations that you admire or opportunities available under metaverse’ trends today. Test it with your community and see how they react.
Lower-risk use cases include selling digital versions of physical goods, offering virtual tours of virtual products or facilities, and launching NFTs to enhance brand awareness and connections to customers. Digital real estate is likely a higher-risk option, since no individual digital worlds have yet proved that they will have lasting relevance, but it may be a reasonable choice for some companies to consider.
Watch the competition
Start talking about moments when peer companies do things in the metaverse. Discuss with your team what you find interesting about it and if there is something that could be done better. The space can be intimidating, so watch what your competitors are doing on the space and what technology can be applied to your industry. Make sure to bring it up at your next meeting!
Create trust amongst your community
Share metaverse insights with your consumers, shareholders, regulators and other stakeholders. Communicate early with them about metaverse initiatives, how they could benefit the company and how you would mitigate potential risks. Hear their thoughts and assess what technology sits best with everyone.
Rethink your core abilities
Those key features that give you a competitive advantage in the current landscape might not be as special in a shared, decentralised digital environment. Your dream may need new approaches to data and business relationships to accelerate your services and digital infrastructure.
Embrace the phygital world
Align your physical and digital propositions. Create a brand experience that is constant across an IRL and a digital environment. Just as your web presence needs to match your physical location experience — so must your metaverse experience.
Pick a target audience
Think about how much time your target customers are spending time in the metaverse and assess how quickly you need to embrace it. For example, brands focusing on Gen Alpha or Gen-Z probably don’t have the luxury of sitting out the metaverse for long.
Most importantly: Take action!
Doesn’t matter what route you decide to take, the most important thing is to keep the metaverse in your radar. Truth be told, part of the technology is already here and it’s not going away so you have to find your place in that space.
These actions will help your company even if a metaverse based on a web 3.0 architecture never becomes a complete reality.
Want more ideas? Contact the team to learn more