The metaverse is poised to redefine the way brands use tech to interact with their customers by offering a plethora of opportunities. Days of using traditional methods of marketing are on their way out. Exploring branding in Web3e offers brands unprecedented opportunities to engage and connect with customers through innovative experiences.
How Can Brands Use Metaverse And For What?
Brand marketing and engagement is consumer led. We may be in the early eras of brand utilization of the metaverse for consumer engagement but there has been considerable success in this area. For brands to fully capitalize on the opportunities, now is the right time to adopt a test-and-learn mindset and to be open to even more experimentation. Some ways to do so are:
Metaverse advertising is the placement of promotional content in a virtual 3D environment. The purpose of this new form of advertising is to offer a fully immersive, customized experience that captivates the consumer on a personal level. This is quite different from conventional advertising as the metaverse offers a higher degree of personalization, interactivity, and customization.
In Metaverse Advertising
Done through platforms like Roblox, Fortnite, and Decentraland, it relies heavily on interactivity and personalization, leading to a more engaging experience for the consumer.
Another innovative approach is product placement in the metaverse—a collection of interconnected virtual realities where physical and digital objects coexist. A few brands have already done so:
Coca-Cola x Fortnite: Coca-Cola utilized the popular game Fortnite to introduce branded vending machines where players could purchase Coca-Cola for in-game benefits. The integration was seamless, adding to the gameplay experience while subtly promoting the brand.
Hasbro X Roblox: Users can purchase digital versions of popular Nerf guns, using them in a myriad of Roblox games designed around the Nerf brand. Just like a physical Nerf gun, these digital variants are customizable, offering different features and capabilities.
Virtual billboards are digital advertising boards placed within virtual worlds and metaverse platforms. Situated in high consumer traffic zones like public squares, popular event spaces, or leisure hangouts, these billboards can be viewed by thousands, or even millions, of users daily. Unlike traditional billboards, these billboards offer interactive features that encourage users to engage with the advertisement beyond just viewing it.
In today’s world where everything is getting more personalized, it’s only fair that people are given the freedom to customize their online personas. Brands can offer this freedom of expression and in turn, gain more brand recognition. Brands can even go one step further by hosting exclusive events for the avatar.
Gucci, who has been quick to incorporate everything metaverse into its marketing, partnered with Genies for this marketing gig. In this virtual world, users could see their avatar dancing in front of a wall of Gucci logos with the words “Feelin’ Gucci.” The company then utilized its metaverse popularity to sell digital versions of its luxury clothing items on “Roblox, driving revenue growth for the brand.
Utilizing the potential of Augmented Reality to bring a brand’s avatar to life in the real world is a powerful marketing strategy. Providing consumers with the opportunity to interact with their avatar in augmented reality fosters engagement, making customers feel as though they are a part of the brand’s journey. METAV.RS deploys such augmented experiences for its partners in different industries.
Some companies are creating educational content about their brands on the metaverse. They teach users about their products and services along with the brand story and history, increasing consumer knowledge and trust.
Mercedes-Benz created an educational experience in the game “Second Life”. It allowed users to learn more about the brand’s history and design process of the automobiles. This resulted in increased brand recognition and consumer engagement within the community.
Read More about Mercedes’ Web3 innovations: Mercedes-Benz: Crafting the Future with NFTs and Immersive Tech
Replicating Physical Stores
Online shopping is becoming quite popular but a large chunk of people still prefer offline shopping in retail stores. One of the reasons behind this may be that the sites are less visually stimulating; the users can only view the offerings in 2D after all. Metaverse presents the opportunity for brands to replicate the physical stores in virtual reality and give users a more immersive shopping experience.
Take, for instance, New York’s iconic Tiffany & Co. showroom. The brand could leverage this to create more brand hype on the metaverse and replicate the store, thus making the store more accessible for people and driving traffic.
Virtual Influencer Marketing
Virtual influencers are AI-driven, computer-generated characters that have social media accounts, engage with followers, and even carry out brand partnerships much like their human counterparts. When combined with Web3’s inherent qualities like transparency, security, and personalization, the possibilities for virtual influencer marketing become even more compelling.
The most promising market is China with the virtual influencer industry doubling its 2020 statistics to reach a staggering $960 million in 2021. The most famous is Ayayi, a realistic digital model who can easily pass by as a human. With over 817,000 fans on Weibo and 127,000 on Xiaohongshu, she has been tapped by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, and Ferragamo since her conception in 2021.
As per Aslada Gu, product & innovation director at Gusto Luxe, a big advantage of these virtual influencers is that their image is controllable. Negative PRs are a possibility with influencers, which here in virtual reality will be rarely seen. The application scenarios of virtual idols are also more extensive. Gu also observed that a “virtual spokesperson can be 24/7 present on multiple sites, providing the possibility to the brand’s followers to interact with them one-on-one.” They also have higher engagement rates than their human counterparts, making them a more effective marketing route.
Even traditional media influencers can be collaborated with on Web3 to increase brand loyalty. Gucci did so when it partnered with the popular Metaverse influencer “Noahj456” to host a virtual fashion show within the game “Roblox.” The event reached over 700,000 unique viewers, resulting in increased brand recognition and engagement.
Interactive Live Events
Metaverse communities are all about gathering, building, and exploring together. Brands can take advantage of these gatherings by hosting Massive Interactive Live Events, or MILEs; these can include Performances, tournaments, and other events. Many singers and celebrities have organized events on the metaverse. A notable event was in April 2020 when rapper Travis Scott drew in an audience of nearly 30 million viewers to his “Fortnite” MILE. Justin Bieber also held a meta-universe concert on the virtual music platform Wave in 2021 with a total of 10.7 million people attending. Even Disney is getting on board the Metaverse bus with talks of them building a Metaverse theme park. They got a patent approved in December 2021 for a “virtual-world simulator” that would 3D images and virtual effects onto physical spaces, according to the US Patent Office.
Along with pushing the boundaries of event organizer, the traditional way of purchasing tickets for events is also going to be challenged with the future possibility of the sale of tickets done virtually with proof of ownership of those tickets on the blockchain. The potential benefits include the prevention of scalping, price gouging, or any behavior that could be classified as fraud. It also might allow the event organizers to regulate the secondary market and benefit from resale fees. Brands can also combine MILEs with virtual influencers to tap into a new user base to increase brand awareness. The ambassadors’ or influencers’ followers can be enticed to learn more about the brand and what it offers which could potentially lead to the next steps of a prospective buyer’s journey i.e. Consideration and Decision.
Another trend in the metaverse is the Direct-to-Avatar (D2A) economy. This new form of commerce allows consumers to purchase goods and services directly from avatars within a digital universe. Whether it’s buying a virtual outfit from an influencer’s avatar or purchasing a unique in-game item from a friend, D2A offers a new level of immediacy and engagement.
Take, for instance, customized fashion lines in 3D with AR or VR. Imagine an avatar strolling through a virtual fashion district and being approached by another avatar representing a famous fashion brand. This avatar could offer customized clothing lines that fit the consumer’s digital persona’s aesthetic and needs perfectly. E-commerce in the metaverse is expected to grow at a CAGR of 39% between 2022 and 2027, increasing by 85,885 million dollars, making it a very appealing market for retailers.
Brands can elevate their e-commerce by creating immersive experiences directly on their websites using dedicated 3D environments. Companies like METAV.RS can deploy such interactive and unique environments, making them accessible from the e-commerce website on any device. Book a demo with us now: Contact Metav.rs