Facebook changed its name to “Meta” – A huge step taken towards rebranding that focuses on Virtual Reality (VR). What does this mean for the Internet future? With the tech giant, Meta now placing heavy bets on “Metaverse”, is this where our World Wide Web will head to? We have advanced – significantly. From being a “read-only” web in web1 to a “read-write” web in web2, and finally “read-write-execute” web in web3, web evolution has influenced the way we live today. Somehow, almost any is treading adjacent to the “Metaverse”; Own a non-fungible token or even just some crypto? You’re part of the metaversal experience. Virtual and augmented reality are, at a minimum, metaverse adjacent. Attended a work meeting or a party using a digital avatar? You’re already on your way into the neighborhood of metaversality.
“Metaverse” – Hard to describe what it exactly is. Many see it as a concept akin to it not being a product, not a game, and definitely not created by only one company (does this also mean everyone gets a bite of the ‘Meta-pie’?”). Metaverse, a 3D World Wide Web where business, information, and communication tools are immersive and interoperable.
Marketing in the Metaverse – where do brands stand? Do all brands really get a slice of the ‘Meta-pie’? No doubt, Metaverse is experiencing a burgeoning status, some brands or categories find themselves landing more naturally into the realm of Metaverse. On the other hand, certain brands such as those in the FMCG category are going to experience challenges and trouble to fit themselves into the realm of Metaverse because “their brands are not built for true lifestyle engagement”, as shared by Michael Patent, founder of Culture Group.
How can brands determine when and how to enter the Metaverse? While evolution into the future of our Web may be slower for some, all brands need to take a leap of faith, similar to that of going ‘digital’ that we have been experiencing over the years, and that is to embrace experimentation more readily. Metaverse though burgeoning, its existence has only just begun to gain dominance, No one really knows how it is really like. Experts suggest that rather than rushing in, brands can take a more considered approach to allow experimentation and experience developments that steer away from “one-offs”, and contribute to a longer term vision. Something along the lines of how immersive technologies today can enhance engagement.
Not all hope is gone as we navigate the ever-changing realm of our Internet future. Everyone can have different perspectives and ideas on how and when brands should embark on the route to Metaverse, but as David Porter, VP of global media at Unilever for APAC and Africa mentioned, what most of us can agree on is that, should Metaverse be the bet of the future of our Web, it will play a significant role in the future of business, such that brands have no choice but to be involved and adapt in some way in order to continue to seek growth. How then should brands begin “testing the waters” in Metaverse? These are some areas for consideration:
Understand your target
Find out what how much your target audiences/customers are spending time in the Metaverse. What are the current trends or behaviours from your consumers, are they too navigating towards the Metaverse?
Plan your entrance
How can your brand show up in the metaverse comfortably and when would it make sense for your brand to do so? Getting your agency team to formulate a point of view might be the sensible thing to do. With agencies keenly watching mass media behaviors and emerging trends, it’s a great opportunity to ask them what are some observations and insights they are seeing across their client portfolio. Talk to us to find out more about how we can help you and your brand navigate “Metaverse”!
Retaining Creativity and Storytelling
Most importantly, brands should think about how to let their creativity expand in the “Metaverse” where everything seems “so-possible”. How can we make this transition from the real world into the virtual one, as seamless as possible, all while continuing to meet our consumers at the different touchpoints of the consumer journey?
As Michael Patent, the founder of Culture Group said, “The customer of tomorrow is in the virtual realm. If we look back at web1, web2, the internet was experimental at one point. The internet is a place where some brands were successful, then it became a place where you had to be, and now it’s the primary form of communication for most brands. We’re going through that same process.”.
In one way or another, your brand matters – in the Metaverse.