Thought Piece | Innovation

Why the metaverse is more than simply hype

Author: Stuart Hobbs, Liam Springate-Jones
Date: 01/11/22

Why the metaverse is more than simply hype

The metaverse has become increasingly widespread in the world of technology and the market is growing every year. Many brands have taken steps to create hyper-digital worlds that allow users to work, shop and play. Microsoft, for example, invested $70 billion into the metaverse when it acquired Activision Blizzard. Coca-Cola has also made investments to build its presence in the virtual marketplace and the brand recently celebrated its first anniversary in the metaverse by releasing a limited-edition digital collectable. 

The metaverse offers a completely immersive experience that allows users to create and customise a digital avatar, where they’ll be free to explore a variety of worlds. It’s a spatial digital platform that provides a replication of the real world, along with societal aspects like currency, trade and property ownership.The metaverse builds on years of research and development into artificial intelligence and digital interactivity.  

It’s an expansive network of 3D simulated worlds that allows brands to build vibrant communities and reach new customers and audiences. However, despite its power, there are still debates over whether the metaverse is all hype. So below, we’re looking at why the metaverse isn’t simply marketing hype, but the future of digital technology.  

The new virtual economy   

The rise of the metaverse has paved the way for a new economy and the growth of societies within a virtual world, enabled by NFTs – which are blockchain-enabled tokens that represent a digital asset. This could be a piece of artwork or an in-game item.The value of NFTs lies in their potential to create a genuinely human society within the metaverse, where people will have access to services, assets, social contacts and even properties.  

Decentraland is an early iteration of a digital community that allows people to explore, interact and visit unique scenes and structures in the metaverse. It also serves as a virtual marketplace where people can purchase and sell digital goods through blockchain. Ultimately, Decentraland shows the potential of the metaverse for bringing people together in a virtual environment that has its own economy and land ownership.  

With the metaverse, brands can create their own virtual worlds and communities, to attract new customers and build engaging experiences for their target audience. A branded virtual economy is an opportunity to provide customers with a truly immersive and expansive experience. 

Marketing Opportunities

One of the key reasons why the metaverse is more than hype is that it has real potential to transform a brand’s online marketing. There are several brands using NFTs, cryptocurrency and the metaverse to enhance their marketing campaigns.  

  • Fast-food restaurant Wendy’s used Meta’s Horizon Worlds to create its Sunrise City Metaverse experience that features a breakfast-themed obstacle course. The virtual world is part of the brand’s growing “Wendyverse.” There is generally a growing demand for metaverse restaurants, with a US study showing that 38% of restaurant customers were interested in implementing  purchases in the metaverse. 

  • Forever 21 collaborated with Virtual Brand Group, a metaverse creation company, to build a virtual environment called the Forever 21 Shop City, which was launched on Roblox. The virtual retail experience allows visitors to run their own fashion stores in the metaverse, as well as manage and customise different merchandise

Clearly, the metaverse offers more than traditional marketing. It allows brands to enable their customers to engage in a branded experience and even have some influence over the virtual environment. With the metaverse, businesses can create a world that represents their brand and reach new customers in the process. 

The next stage of the internet 

While it remains to be seen how the metaverse will evolve in the future, it has been widely considered the next phase of the internet. This new territory expands on the internet rather than competing with it. In the metaverse, users can directly experience a digital world and “live” in a virtual environment. Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta has plans to spend billions on its metaverse projects, so growth of the space is unlikely to slow down. The metaverse isfar more than just hype, it’s an “embodied internet” that has the potential to reshape our everyday lives. 

At Splendid UNLIMITED, we offer introductory workshops to businesses that are looking to elevate their brand with creative and digital experiences. You’ll get the chance to explore the virtual worlds and learn how the metaverse can boost your brand and help your clients. So, if you want to find out more about the metaverse, contact Stuart Hobbs, our New Business Director to secure your place at one of our workshops.