The metaverse. You’ve read about it online. Maybe you’ve seen it on television. You’ve talked to your friends, family, and co-workers about its potential. Your digitally savvy kids may have even introduced you to it.
The metaverse is still in its early stage of development, but many brands are already using it to boost sales, awareness, and engagement. And with the popularity of the metaverse quickly on the rise, there’s no better time than 2022 to take action.
For those who are new to the growth and power of the metaverse, check out this passage from a recently published New York Times article:
“As a buzzword, the metaverse refers to a variety of virtual experiences, environments and assets that gained momentum during the online-everything shift of the pandemic. Together, these new technologies hint at what the internet will become next.”
While the metaverse is in its infancy, many companies have already jumped on board with hopes of increasing sales, engaging their audience, and improving brand awareness. Below, I outline some of the best ways for brands to benefit from the metaverse — along with examples — with sales and revenue in mind.
To Create Products for a Branded Virtual World
This sounds like a lot of work — and it is. However, the brands that make this move early on are the brands that will establish themselves as key players in the metaverse. In other words, they’ll have a first-mover advantage.
Gucci — a long-time leader in the fashion industry — jumped in on the action in 2021 by making its products available for purchase on Roblox.
The company, in collaboration with Roblox, rolled out its “Gucci Garden Experience” during a two-week period. By holding the event in the Roblox metaverse, the company was hoping to attract the attention of the Gen-Z demographic.
And that’s exactly what happened. One exclusive digital Gucci bag sold for 350,000 Robux, or approximately $4,115.
It was only a two-week experiment. Nonetheless, Gucci proved that diving headfirst into the metaverse could have a positive impact on its bottom line. Expect more of the same from this luxury retailer in 2022 and beyond.
To Provide an Interactive Experience
Old school sales, marketing, and advertising campaigns are exactly that: old school!
In today’s world, consumers — especially those in the Gen-Z demographic — are seeking an interactive, engaging brand experience. And there’s no better place to provide that than the metaverse.
In November 2021, NASCAR took a big step into the metaverse through the Roblox platform. To start, NASCAR added a digital car into the platform’s popular Jailbreak game. It’s also selling apparel, which allows players to design their own uniforms.
The official press release announcing the collaboration between NASCAR and Roblox quoted Nick Rend, Managing Director of Gaming & Esports, NASCAR:
“We’ve really begun to focus on expanding NASCAR’s presence in the metaverse and engaging with the virtual community in unique and creative ways. Roblox has one of the most passionate communities out there, so when we began collaborating with Jailbreak and its development team, Badimo, it only made sense to add an element of customization to the race car to get players involved and excited for this upcoming drop.”
NASCAR isn’t the only brand providing an interactive metaverse experience. However, they’re one of the first to make a full-time, multi-year commitment.
To Look Into the Future
Companies evolve. The products and services you can access today weren’t available to everyone before you. And the products and services of tomorrow aren’t yet available to the public.
But that’s not stopping brands from giving consumers a sneak peek into what the future holds. There’s no better example of this than Hyundai Motor.
In October 2021, Hyundai launched its metaverse space, Hyundai Mobility Adventure. Also based on the Roblox platform, the company calls it “the first virtual experience content on Roblox developed by a global automotive brand to showcase future mobility lifestyles in the metaverse.”
In addition to some of the company’s most popular vehicles of today, the experience also features “future mobility solutions” to provide a glimpse of what’s to come.
Within Hyundai Mobility Adventure, five virtual theme parks allow participants to “experience Hyundai Motor products and future mobility solutions, play games, and role-play to accomplish various tasks.”
For instance, Future Mobile City is a super modern metropolis. Players can experience future solutions such as hydrogen fuel-cell technology.
There’s no shortage of how brands can use the metaverse to boost sales and engage their audience. Additionally, they can provide a more personalized experience than ever before.
With the metaverse picking up steam among brands and participants alike, expect plenty of developments as 2022 wears on. One day — probably not too long from now — we’ll look back and realize that the above examples laid the groundwork for many successful campaigns that followed.