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How should brands prepare for the metaverse?

Picture a virtual world where people shop, work and interact with others without having to leave their homes. It sounds a lot like the world that most of us are living in today, and that world is called the metaverse. As the metaverse for business continues to evolve, the technology behind it is revolutionizing everything from e-commerce and real estate to social media and more.

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Retail, gaming, real estate, and NFTs are some pioneering industries in the metaverse today. Interestingly, businesses in each area are collaborating and intermingling to create and benefit from this evolving, immersive phygital landscape. 

There are many platforms that businesses can use today to make their mark in the metaverse. Before choosing a platform, brands must conduct thorough research on the top metaverses to understand the products and services that could be of use in them and the different audiences they attract. After understanding those aspects, businesses can understand how to find their places in the virtual world.  

 

Popular Platforms in Today’s Metaverse

Brands are seizing their opportunities to collaborate with popular platforms in the metaverse. Platforms like Roblox and Decentraland have garnered millions of daily active users and are providing several innovative opportunities for brands in the virtual world. 

Roblox

Roblox is an online platform that hosts entertainment events like concerts and a variety of interactive games for users to engage in. Fortnite is the brand’s most successful collaboration. The game has garnered a large and dedicated following, providing ideal collaborative opportunities for brands like Adidas, Nike, Gucci, Valentino, and Balenciaga. These brands and more have partnered with the popular gaming platform, opening virtual stores where users can purchase NFTs of clothing, sportswear, and sneakers. 

Zepeto 

The ZEPETO app is a South Korean mobile chat app where users create and interact as 3D avatars in different worlds. Some of these worlds are chat-based while others are game-based, and users can decide on whether these worlds are public or for friends only. The South Korean Google has made Zepeto the new online Eldorado for young fashion fans. The application has developed a whole market of luxury virtual fashion. On the platform, independent designers offer their clothes at more or less high prices. Gucci, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Louboutin … many famous brands have also made their nest on the application to spread their influence among a young audience.

Decentraland

Decentraland is another popular virtual world in the metaverse that provides many collaborative opportunities for brands in all types of industries. Unlike Roblox, it focuses less on gaming and more on the creation of digital infrastructures. There, users can do things like purchase virtual land (some plots of which have already sold for millions of dollars), create virtual objects, organize events, and go shopping. All activities are powered by Ethereum blockchain technology. Many high-profile brands, including Atari, Sotheby’s, and Samsung, have already made their mark in this phygital world. 

Fortnite & Meta horizons 

These two are soon going to be open to creators and appear in the web ecosystem as key players. When they do they’ll potentially be the biggest metaverse platforms.

 

Building a roadmap of metaverse experiences 

When choosing a platform to collaborate with, it’s crucial to consider the age range of your target audience, the community’s needs and culture, and your brand’s overall level of innovation. Brands should conduct thorough research of the top metaverses to gain an understanding of the services and products that are most needed there and the types of audiences they attract. You don’t need to choose one platform, instead build a roadmap of multiple platform experiences and increase engagement on a different scale. Once you understand these factors, it will be easy to envision how your business can fit into the virtual world. 

Utilize Metaverse Marketing Strategies

Whether in a virtual world or real life, brand engagement aims to convert users into consumers. Brands in the metaverse are realizing the value of intangible assets like logos and memorabilia to utilize marketing strategies in the metaverse. 

One of the most straightforward virtual opportunities is through e-commerce, with many fully realized virtual stores already up and running. Some brands are taking more innovative approaches, such as auctioning valuable memorabilia in NFT form and offering digital outfits and accessories in virtual boutiques of popular interactive games.  

Additional marketing strategies focus on creating phygital experiences that blend online and offline activities. For example, users meet friends at a virtual restaurant to order food and receive perks like new avatar looks or special powers in a game quest. Meanwhile, the food everyone orders gets delivered to their homes in real life. 

 

Build Your Online Presence

While most businesses have already garnered an online presence through social media accounts, websites, or e-commerce platforms, it’s crucial for every brand to reevaluate its presence and branding strategies before exploring business opportunities in the metaverse. Brands must learn the basics of the online market and secure a strong online presence before entering the virtual world. 

Maintaining a high-quality website, growing your social media following, and developing a strong online presence is essential for success in the metaverse. If you try to push your brand in the virtual world before it’s ready, you stand the chance of missing good business opportunities or, even worse, frustrating your customers. 

Decide if you want to utilize VR/AR 

If you want to upscale your brand in the metaverse, developing virtual and augmented reality tools will eventually be a must. A recent survey shows that 75% of today’s business leaders plan on utilizing AR/VR tools by 2023. Beyond that, global spending on these technologies is expected to increase a whopping sixfold by 2025. The sooner you can develop AR/VR applications and introduce your customers to these aspects of the metaverse, the better position you’ll be in when they really take off. 

Many brands, including Zara, Chanel, and Gucci, have already begun experimenting with AR/VR features in their online stores. Brands like Loreal, Lancôme, and Calvin Klein are also launching online virtual reality stores to make their marks in the metaverse.

 

Stay Adaptable

No matter where or how you conduct business, one critical rule is to stay adaptable. As you shift your brand to the metaverse, don’t rush into all the virtual aspects. At this point, most consumers aren’t ready to adapt to all-virtual, all the time. Meet their expectations by providing a balance of the new and old ways to allow you and your customers to adapt to the metaverse together slowly. 

 

Step into the Metaverse – Step into the Future Now

Thanks to a surge in online gaming and a rising preference for online shopping, the global metaverse market is currently valued at over $100 billion and is expected to reach over $1,527.55 billion by 2029.

While some aspects of the metaverse are still in their infancy, the sooner you get your brand’s foot in the door, the better position it will be in to become a success in the metaverse. While it could take another decade or so for some aspects of the metaverse to become mainstream, others already exist and are attracting millions of consumers across various industries. 

From large companies to small businesses, every brand can build a presence in the virtual world and reap the benefits it has to offer. Become a pioneer in the metaverse by following the tips above.

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