The Metaverse will become an extension of the real world as innovation and adoption intensify. Even in its nascent stage, it is fertile ground for brands to build relationships with their customers and enable unique immersive brand experiences, especially with gamification.
The metaverse is a relatively nascent concept revolving around accessing 3D virtual worlds to facilitate social connections. This emerging sector has seen an overwhelming rise in popularity and growth in its user base, largely attributed to the enthusiastic and tech-savvy younger generation. The term coined in 1992 in a sci-fi novel — Snow Crash — now seems to be on the cusp of changing the world as we know it.
The metaverse has already engaged users in various domains successfully, including social media, education, finance, and healthcare. Even so, the biggest stimulant for its rapid growth has come from gaming and entertainment. Today’s digitally native youth population is marked by active engagement with the web and the need to stay connected at all times; not just for work, or communication but also as a means of social engagement and recreation.
From Travis Scott to Foo Fighters, the music industry is embracing virtual concerts as the next step in its evolution
Due to its vast scope and untapped potential, the metaverse is a lucrative business opportunity for most, but it is also uncharted territory. The most obvious question to answer in this context is: How does one break into the metaverse and stay relevant in a stage which is seeing new developments by the day?
Playing the Metaverse Game
The first step to answering that question is to understand the social groups currently dominating the metaverse. It’s imperative to be aware that the users in the metaverse are, for the most part, a like-minded community of tech enthusiasts and state-of-the-art gamers.
The Metaverse’s doors are open to anyone who is interested, thanks to the various platforms that have contributed to its creation
Platforms like Roblox, Decentraland and Sandbox are big contributors to the metaverse presently and revolve around the concepts of virtual reality and gamification of experiences. A decisive selling point is the ‘close-to-reality’ experience it offers its users, where — along with heightened sensory experiences — the virtual space often replicates the real world and its assets in a digital form. Moreover, there is a consistent player experience, meaning that the metaverse records progress and continues to persist even when users log off.
While the technology platforms required to host such interactions might be limited at present — such as accessibility to VR headsets — they are rapidly expanding and becoming more commonplace than ever before.
Try the Tested
Brands across industries are trying out a combination of short marketing promotions, e-commerce efforts, and broad plans to extend their presence into a hybrid reality.
One way to tap into the metaverse is by emulating the strategies used by big brands that have successfully capitalized off it. Among the many future-forward brands that have stormed the metaverse are industry giants like Nike, Samsung, Hyundai and Coca-Cola.
Get In on Popular Games
The Food Fight mode in Fortnite gave Wendy’s a platform to engage with its audience in the game’s world and integrate itself into its story
Another way for a brand to engage its target audience online is through building a presence on a popular, well-established game. Take fast food chain Wendy’s for example. Its redhead mascot has an Animal Crossing avatar, a dedicated Mii for Nintendo Wii and recently, a freezer-beating character in Fortnite. All these create a subtle, unintrusive brand presence while crafting a memorable experience for the players.
Another, more direct approach, is setting up a virtual store to promote a brand’s offerings. The store could also be modelled on a real-world location, as done by Samsung and Nike in their virtual store designs. Having a dedicated space in the metaverse comes with its own perks, including, direct consumer interaction, flexibility in product display and creating a social ecosystem revolving around the brand.
The Bottom Line
Brands are continually innovating and discovering new and more exciting ways to interact with users in the metaverse, and while the ideas discussed above are just a scratch on the surface, they will hopefully help shed some light on the matter and make your journey into the metaverse more pleasant and thought-provoking!
At Metamaxx, we help businesses and brands conceive new digital offerings harnessing the potential of the metaverse. We believe Web 3.0 technologies will transform how all brands and businesses approach digital engagement, identity and ownership in the upcoming digital-first world.
Get in touch with us at metamaxx.io to explore possibilities for new, engaging metaverse experiences for your brand.