Brave New World: Marketing in the Metaverse

Excited, optimistic or skeptical on how the metaverse will impact branding and marketing? Read on for seven key ways to get started.
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Metaverse has been a buzzword for some time now. Initially seen as a form of dystopian fiction or an advanced form of 3D gaming, it is now regarded by many as the next big thing. But beyond the hype, what is the metaverse? 

The three defining markers of the metaverse:

 

  • Immersive virtual environments rendered in real time that can be explored and interacted with by multiple users. 
  • Users have their own unique virtual identity, which is their gateway for engaging in conversations, trade, content creation, asset generation and beyond. 
  • Embedded within the metaverse is a virtual economy driven by cryptocurrency as its medium of exchange, along with digital goods and assets, including Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) for trade. 

The metaverse has 400 million active users and counting, with millennials and Gen Z comprising a large percentage of the audience. Gartner projections reveal that by 2026, 25% of the population will spend nearly one hour per day in the metaverse, while Bloomberg analysts predict that the metaverse market will be worth nearly $800 billion by 2024.  

Given this potential customer base, it is essential for companies to have a marketing strategy tailored specifically to the metaverse.  

Ready for your brand to enter the metaverse? Explore our top seven strategies now:
1Increase brand awareness through collaboration

It’s time for organizations to identify ways they can increase visibility in the virtual world through innovative brand partnerships and collaborations. 

In late 2022, Binance US, a popular crypto exchange, announced that they plan to build their own space in the metaverse platform, Portals—recreating a city space that allows users to explore buildings and interactive rooms. This collaboration is a unique and interactive way to reach a new audience and increase brand awareness, enabling Binance to deliver the latest news, charts and events, virtually.

2Extend brand experience to the virtual world

The metaverse is a route to unique brand experiences that go beyond the physical world, as well as opening to the possibility of allowing the customers to try products before buying and supporting the sale of NFTs and real-life products in a new arena.  

For instance, in May 2021, Gucci unveiled the ‘The Gucci Garden’ on the well-known gaming platform Roblox. Modeled on its physical counterpart in Florence, the ‘garden’ showcased multiple themed rooms where users could explore and purchase digital products.

3Recreate traditional advertising formats

The use of billboards and banners in the metaverse can be a good avenue to subtly showcase ads, helping to increase brand recall value. 

When the U.S. brewer Miller Lite was routed out of traditional TV advertising due to a rival brand’s exclusive tie-up with the NFL, Miller Lite countered it by building a virtual bar in Decentraland, one of the foremost metaverse platforms, with its new ad premiering on the TV screens in the virtual bar.

4Experiment with core metaverse capabilities

Instead of replicating physical world marketing strategies, brands can consider a virtual-first strategy offering consumers unique metaverse experiences. These experiences can take the form of shopping in virtual outlets, trying out products digitally, transacting for virtual real estate ownership, taking vehicle test drives or hanging out with virtual avatars of loved ones.   

For example, in 2022 Nissan held a virtual unveiling of the Nissan Sakura electric mini vehicle—a digital version of its brand experience gallery in Tokyo—where fans could take the Sakura for a test drive in the metaverse.

5Tap into virtual avatars of real-world celebrities

Celebrities and influencers are extending their personal brand into the virtual world; buying land, organizing performances and concerts, selling goods and even building their own metaverse.  

American celebrity Paris Hilton created a virtual island called ‘Paris World’ inside Roblox, replicating the experience of her Beverly Hills estate—including the entire closet, which users can rent and buy for their virtual avatars. Several other performers are also riding the metaverse wave by leveraging their personal brands to engage with fans with Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and others performing live metaverse concerts. The way has been paved for more unique live music experiences.

6Bring value to your users with NFTs and collectibles

NFTs are unique data units, backed by blockchain technology, that represent digital ownership of virtual artworks, collectibles, and real estate. Digital collectibles, such as NFTs, can function as a bridge between the real and virtual worlds because they exist virtually and have value associated either with real-world currency or cryptocurrency. 

In 2021, Nike launched into the metaverse with NIKELAND. Hosted on Roblox, the space allows users to enjoy mini-games, parks and courts. NIKELAND offers the purchase of NFTs so players can buy digitized Nike gear and customize their avatars. With this move, Nike firmly established their digital presence, while reaching new users with varied offerings and growing revenue.

7Create live interactions with events

The metaverse adds a new dimension to community and launch events. It can help reach larger audiences without geographical boundaries, allowing the guests to interact with each other from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, the virtual reality (VR) technologies used in the metaverse can give users a sense of togetherness.

In 2022, Hyundai held a live event in the metaverse, launching its collection Venue N-Line on Roblox. This allowed potential customers to enjoy an interactive experience while also building hype before the collection hit the showrooms. 

Positioned to thrive 

Although the metaverse offers immense possibilities, it is an emerging and often unregulated technology. Therefore it must be utilized mindfully to mitigate privacy and safety concerns. It’s important to note that in its current form, the metaverse has a negative environmental impact due to large energy requirements. Creating a marketing strategy for the metaverse is an investment and brands entering the space should proceed both with curiosity and caution. 

One thing is certain: brands that approach the metaverse with a strategic and responsible mindset will be best positioned to thrive in this exciting new world. frog specializes in advising forward-looking organizations as they harness the power of new tech and unleash immersive, sensory experiences for their customers. Get in touch with us today to learn more and find out how the metaverse can push your brand into new territory.

Author
Farhan Shaikh
Head of frog Brand & Content
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Head of frog Brand & Content

Passionate about all things digital, Farhan collaborates with clients across industries to design, develop and implement innovative strategies. He leads the Brand & Content team for frog India, with capabilities including brand strategy, digital marketing, graphic design, motion and immersive experiences, editorial content and social listening (voice of customer).

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