Remember how the Internet started off as something experimental for brands and slowly turned out to become a necessity for their communication? Metaverse is in a similar iteration stage, taking it up a notch by seamlessly merging the physical and the virtual world. In this universe, consumers will be able to touch and experience everything the brand has to offer without the limitations of the real world. Definitely something for fashion brands to look forward to, especially when the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of tech by brands and consumers alike.
From virtual fashion shows to virtual commerce, the fashion industry has been constantly experimenting. The metaverse is only going to amp up their efforts as it opens up opportunities to include a wide global audience, increase their revenue streams, and improve their efforts to make fashion sustainable. In the UK last year, there has been around a 50% increase in the number of mobile gamers, which means abundant marketing possibilities for marketers in the metaverse. “Into The Metaverse” – a report published by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence also validates this as it identified MetaBusiness as a key trend in their survey conducted among 3,000 consumers (UK, USA, China) and 15 experts. This trend highlighted the insight that metaverse will expand from being just a gaming universe to include marketing opportunities like immersive shopping experiences, holograms, and avatars.
Direct-To-Avatar (D2A) Retail:
Avatars hold a massive opportunity for marketers. Anything that can be sold to a real human can be sold to a virtual avatar. The best part about the metaverse is, it will help brands to create designs which are not possible in the real world, thereby overcoming the conventional barriers and offering a chance to consumers to live their fantasies.
For example, in May 2021, Gucci collaborated with Roblox to create digital design wear for avatars. Customers could dress their avatars and also buy physical outfits. Other luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga have also made digital outfits for avatars on certain gaming platforms.
D2A could also be a perfect retail strategy where brands can launch a limited collection for avatars, gauge the customer response, and launch the clothing that was positively accepted by their target audience.
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens):
People have started realising the value of art even if they don’t exist in real life. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are digital assets that can be bought on the blockchain where the buyer will have unique ownership to them. This exclusive nature of NFTs has given rise to online trading among people.
Gucci selling a digital handbag at a price more than its physical version is the potential power of the metaverse economy, says Emma Chiu, the global director at Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.
Ideas From Different Brands To Leverage The Metaverse For Marketing:
- Vans collaborated with Roblox to develop an immersive experience for their sneaker loving audience. Nick Street, VP of global integrated marketing at Vans said, “We have already had more than 500,000 visitors. We are super stoked. The results are blowing expectations out of the water so far.”
- Fortnite promoted Star Wars, conducted live virtual concerts, and continues to use their platform for cross-promotion of entertainment brands.
- Deliveroo, a food delivery service brand, made use of virtual riders to deliver to virtual players in the game Animal Crossing, and combined it with promo codes which people could use in the real-world.
- Ikea Taiwan created an in-game catalog and linked the virtual Ikea-themed islands to their platform. KFC Philippines took a similar approach, but also rewarded visitors with offers they could use in the real world.
Natalia Vasilyeva, the vice-president of marketing at in-game advertising platform Anzu, says: “Gaming as an ecosystem seems to be every marketer’s dream. Whatever is not possible in other channels can be tested in gaming. Every marketer can find something for themselves in the gaming world. From billboards to video, customized and interactive ads, brands have vast opportunities in the way they can communicate with gamers – and gamers are ready for it.”
- Research proves that consumers are ready for tech-based experiences and the metaverse presents immense opportunities for marketers.
- D2A retail strategy provides benefits like – an additional revenue stream, improved scope for creativity, testing platform before the actual launch, etc.
- Thanks to the exclusivity provided by NFTs, they are gaining popularity among consumers, an indicator that marketers should focus on virtual goods.
- While lesser consumers know the term metaverse, their equal reliance on brand’s digital presence can be considered as a good enough reason for brands to start experimenting in the metaverse and evolve.
It’s true that only 38% of the global consumers are aware of the ‘metaverse’. But it is also true that 81% of the global consumers give equal value to a brand’s digital and in-store presence. While the concept of metaverse and its opportunities are still evolving, brands who start experimenting will have the first-mover advantage. We at Neo Marche would like to help you take your first step into the metaverse by creating digital assets for your business.