Thought Piece | Thought Piece
The impact of web3 on the customer experience
by Liam Springate-Jones
For many years, brands relied on basic forms of marketing to advertise their products, using the likes of newspapers, radio stations and mail advertisements to deliver their messages. But everything changed when the internet came around and e-commerce started to dominate. The metaverse has taken the digital experience one step further, allowing consumers to interact with brands in a virtual environment. It’s a shared space that’s always evolving and it provides a platform for creative advertising and marketing.
Inside this embodied internet, consumers take on a “second life” in the form of personalised avatars. Instead of using screens as a window into digital content, they use 3D headsets to visit worlds. The metaverse presents limitless opportunities for brands to grow and stand out among competitors. But how do brands ensure they’re leveraging the metaverse to its full potential?
The metaverse is largely driven by a social experience where people can interact with others using an avatar. If brands want to make a significant impact in the metaverse and drive growth, they need to create a sense of community and invite customers into the very heart of the brand. Several brands have successfully moved into the metaverse and created a community-driven, social experience for audiences. For example:
Warner. Bros launched a Roblox event to celebrate a new musical film, which featured a virtual tour of the film’s fictional location. This is an example of how brands can create further exposure for their products while connecting with people and creating a sense of community.
In 2021, Vans – the footwear and apparel brand – launched Vans World, an interactive skateboarding world that allows visitors to explore different skateparks with other players. Vans is the first brand to build a community around fashion and skateboarding, offering customisable shoes and authentic experience for visitors.
Consistency is the key to successful metaverse marketing and branding, as it generates trust and loyalty. The metaverse is a playground of experimentation and creativity, so to pave the way for real growth and awareness, brands need to focus on authentically positioning their core identities in a virtual environment.
But how? Take Adidas as an example. In recent years, the brand has made efforts to move beyond just being a shoe and clothing brand, and towards a leading force in athletics and popular culture. Adidas has managed to leverage both the NFT marketplace and the metaverse by launching ‘Into the Metaverse’, which is a collection of digital wearables that can be used in online platforms. In this way, Adidas has been able to further grow and promote its brand purpose and ethos of individuality, which has always been a core part of their identity.
The metaverse is an ever-evolving environment, so businesses must decide what their brand identity looks like and how it behaves before finding the tactics to engage and nurture audiences. By focusing on creating a virtual environment that reflects the core ethos and personality of the brand, a business can increase the chances of connecting further with audiences.
The immersive nature of a branded metaverse can help businesses in any sector create an avenue for marketing and selling more products. It’s about building a space that customers can dive into and enjoy a brand-driven experience.
Whether it’s a virtual marketplace, holiday-themed experience, holding an event or creating a gamified world, branded metaverses are a way to reinforce a unique brand voice and leave a long-lasting impression.
Samsung, for example, organised a week-long virtual event for the launch of the Galaxy S22, as well as a virtual concert on Roblox to engage and interact with customers. Virtual event marketing is another way to promote brand awareness and create a personalised experience with customers.
Gamification is the strategic attempt to enhance a brand’s presence and create longer-lasting connections with customers. With metaverse technology, brands can gamify their marketing and communicate key messages in a way that’s engaging and interactive. Gamification in the metaverse can drive brand loyalty and convert passive consumers into advocates of the brand.
With the metaverse, brands can use gaming to position themselves as innovative and forward-thinking. Automotive retailer Hyundai created a mobile adventure game on Roblox, which introduces a new concept of “Meta Motability”-the idea that advanced travel uses robotics in both the virtual and physical worlds. Roblox had around 50 million daily active users at the end of 2021, so the platform offers an extensive reach for brands. With the right strategies in place, brands can leverage metaverse marketing to drive growth and reach new audiences.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the metaverse and how to elevate your brand, sign up for our free workshop to help you get accustomed to the virtual worlds. Our Experience Design team will be on hand to show you what the metaverse can offer your brand.