How Brands Can Embrace the Metaverse and the Developing Virtual World
You may have heard the recent buzz about the metaverse. This term seems to have popped into our collective vernacular overnight, and you might be wondering what it means for your brand. As the virtual world continues to change at a rapid clip, brands need to stay ahead of the curve to continue connecting with their target audience in a meaningful way. Companies like Meta Platforms Inc. (Facebook), Microsoft, Epic Games, Louis Vuitton and Hyundai are already jumping in. So, how can your brand embrace the metaverse and the developing virtual world?
What is the metaverse?
It might be helpful to know a bit more about the metaverse before figuring out your brand’s next steps. The metaverse refers to a 3D environment and is described by an Associated Press explainer as “a world of endless, interconnected virtual communities where people can meet, work and play, using virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps or other devices.” Users will be able to meet up with other people, attend virtual events, shop and more virtually all within the metaverse. Recently, Facebook changed its name to Meta. This might be confusing for those unfamiliar with the term metaverse. The metaverse is not owned by Facebook. Instead, this is Facebook signaling that it is all in on the coming changes to how we use and interact with online technologies.
How can brands embrace the developing virtual world?
Many marketers may still recall the road to embracing mobile. Some brands lagged and then found themselves in a pickle as mobile began to rival desktop for use. The same will be true of the metaverse. Even though this is playing the long game as the metaverse is just starting, brands should start thinking now about how they can integrate their brand into a future 3D virtual world. The key here will likely be to market in a way that feels native to the environment. Imagine being immersed in a virtual setting and then having an advertisement interrupt your experience. That would be jarring and would likely create a negative impression of the offending brand. For marketing to work in the metaverse, brands will need to consider experiential approaches that tap into the capabilities the metaverse offers.
Early adopters of the metaverse will likely be Gen Z. They have already grown up with technology at the forefront of their daily lives and will be a large portion of the workforce with dollars to spend. This generation will look for brands to provide interactive experiences where they can participate in the design and creation of their space. Brands should consider how they might appeal to this generation and how they can provide interactive features to attract and engage these early metaverse users.
Meet in the metaverse
The metaverse is already here, and it will only continue to grow and become more sophisticated. Brands will want to look to native solutions and innovative and interactive experiences to connect with their target market. Even though the metaverse is still an emerging technology, it’s important for brands to start thinking about how they can embrace the developing virtual world so that they aren’t left behind.