A significant technological development looming on the horizon is the shift from Web2 to Web3. As the shift takes place, web-based experiences will be mostly more immersive, three-dimensional and virtual. There is a belief that the full embodiment of Web3 will be the metaverse. Many companies are wondering how exactly their brands can benefit from the metaverse or what they can do there. As there are still many questions, many experts agree that now it is the time to start leveraging the metaverse. Others perceive this suggestion with caution. For example, Micheal Metcalf, Content Strategist and Freelance Writer, recommends investing dollars meant for brand-building in “something more trackable”. He argues that it is difficult to prove a direct return on investment (ROI) on metaverse branding because the platforms have not properly developed yet.
From today’s perspective, “metaverses are simplified virtual items or virtual services accessible with or without VR headsets,” explains Vlad Panchenko, CEO and Founder of DMarket, a marketplace and technology for building metaverses. To put it simply, the metaverse includes any digital experience that is persistent, immersive, three-dimensional (3D) and virtual. It gives the opportunity to play, work, connect or buy. The metaverse of the future will include extensive networking, blockchain with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), extended reality (XR), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and perhaps some other new technologies.
“Many brands intuitively or on purpose are moving towards the metaverse which is creating a global economy on track to exceed the current one many times over,” argues Panchenko. This new virtual environment has the potential to give a fresh perspective on how to stay relevant to existing customers and attract new ones simultaneously. In Panchenko’s view, the metaverse will develop into “the omniverse with multiple cross-chain possibilities”. Consequently, the virtual economy will become as significant as the physical one.
The metaverse has plenty of business applications. For example, tech company Nvidia believes that investment in metaverse simulations in manufacturing or logistics will reduce waste and accelerate the development of better business solutions. Social media-based companies are willing to capitalize on the opportunity to do business in “a 3D, immersive metaverse”. Influencers will also be exploring new business opportunities. Selling virtual goods, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as well as commercializing physical goods purchased virtually will grow in importance.
Building a metaverse around your brand means creating “a user-driven engagement design that includes fully immersed digital experiences,” explains Christian Velitchkov, Co-founder of Twiz.io, a digital marketing agency. The design should also encourage long-term users to become your brand ambassadors. It should also be engaging so that users are willing to interact with your brand. The design should be optimized for long-term and drive user engagement.
One of the easiest ways to get started in the metaverse for brands is to take advantage of gaming, which provides “fully realized immersive experiences”. Another option is to create your own video games within the metaverse, where players can collect digital collectibles, which could be later redeemed as money. Such immersive experiences are especially attractive to Gen Z. This reflects the fact that many companies have entered the metaverse space for brand recognition and user engagement. Their decision could also generate some buzz about their business, which could pay off in the future.