The Internet as we all know it, is changing. Get ready to witness the New Internet, the web that goes beyond physical space and single-faceted interactions: the Metaverse.
With virtual concerts, shopping experiences, immersive gaming experiments and NFTs, all of us have been introduced to Metaverse in some way or the other, even if in passing.
Metaverse, which technically means ‘beyond universe’ or ‘parallel universe’ comprises multiple virtual worlds which you can access with a single click – shop, hangout with friends, socialize, work and talk in the virtual world just like you do physically in the real world.
It might sound something right out of a Sci-fi movie or more like a dream for socially awkward millennials who can access the entire world and experience all activities from the comfort of their home. Like it or not, Metaverse is a reality and here to stay. Period.
While still in its nascence, Metaverse is fast becoming a bandwagon for brands to jump on and become a first mover. With the likes of H&M and Samsung opening up virtual stores in the Metaverse recently, meaning of marketing will be redefined, if not, already.
One of the most interesting implementations of Metaverse is how brands have embedded their arenas, recreated their services or built branded characters inside games. This enhances the experience by being immersive and meaningful rather than being disruptive and irritating.
Of course, there are brands who cannot embed their presence in a game seamlessly. But brands have decided to go more creative and pathbreaking. Procter & Gamble created “realistic” skin tones for avatars in Animal Crossing featuring acne, stretch marks, freckles and encouraged the inclusive concept of ‘My Skin, My Way’ with their women’s razor brand Venus.
Luxury brands have found another way to tap their consumers—through collectibles and NFTs. The NFTs are digital assets secured by blockchain and Gucci selling its digital assets at a higher price than its physical products shows that this universe is here to stay and grow.
Travis Scott broke records by performing for 12.3 million gamers in a virtual concert, introducing the world to the new fast-growing concept of Massive Interactive Live Events (MILEs).
All said, brands with deeper pockets are jumping on to the bandwagon to make the most of the initial traction, draw PR and eyeballs. The entire concept of brand marketing in Metaverse is based on the fact that it offers deeper interactions, immersive experiences and more opportunities for brands to create a recall value during the virtual journey of a user.
It also creates an opportunity for brands to further accelerate their virtual customer touchpoints beyond just e-commerce websites and mobile apps and go global in a more realistic and technologically advanced manner.
While these initial offerings at the nascent stage and stories of how brands are leveraging Metaverse are very exciting, we are yet to see how it pans out in the long term. Whether it will become a fad, a gimmicky new-tech or will it be the real future of the internet—the jury is out on that one.
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)