Insights

ICYMI: The Metaverse is an Engaged Community of Adult Shoppers

by Richard - March 15, 2022

Most marketers think of an avatar version of teenagers hanging out in a virtual mall food court when they hear the word “METAVERSE.”

The reality is the Metaverse is playground for adults where they can effectively learn, build, play, communicate, and collaborate with anyone on earth. Better yet, it is a place where they can reinvent themselves by replacing real world experiences with an online alternative. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 U.S. consumers want to join the Metaverse in order to become a different person than their real self according to Statista. And, what is more fascinating is that over 74 percent of adults said they were going to join or were considering joining the Metaverse. Figures like these clearly validate why it is imperative to keep a pulse on this rapidly growing marketing channel that has been manifesting over time through social media, augmented reality, NFTs (non-fungible token), and more.

So, what exactly are people doing in the Metaverse and how have brands capitalized on this new digital frontier? The short answer to these burning questions is that there is a lot more to do than just gaming despite it. being the most popular activity in the Metaverse.

Here are just some ways brands have created experiences for the Metaverse, complete with real-life examples to help inspire you.

EVENTS EQUATE TO PARTICIPATION AT SCALE

Event based marketing has been a huge driver of audience engagement within the Metaverse. Fueled by the Global pandemic, it provides a sustainable forum that brings together a diverse group of people across a wide geographic footprint to connect and engage with one another. These events range from learning & development workshops to pop culture concerts — even allowing for stunts that surround live TV programming.

Justin Bieber’s first Metaverse concert shook the entertainment industry by engaging nearly 10.7 Million participants according to LockMeta. However, Miller Lite took marketing stunts to the next level during the Super Bowl by circumventing Budweisers exclusive rights to advertising in the game by opening the Meta Lite Bar in Decentraland. The experience was gamified to allow patrons a chance to win $500 in real cash to stock their house for the big game.

Although the brand has yet to publicly post results, it’s fair to say that this Metaverse experience had a significantly lower price tag than the $6.5 MILLION brands spent per 30 second Super Bowl spots.

USERS LOVE TO EARN WEARABLE ‘THREADS’ OR BUY THEM

Many people earn swag and apparel by playing games like GolfCraft in Decentraland or MeepCity in Roblox. Yet, there is a new trend to drive your “personal avatar clout” that every fashion, apparel and jewelry designer should be aware of. According to a recent story in the NY POST, people are shelling out “money” to ensure they are just as stylish in the metaverse as they are IRL. Designers like Gucci, Balenciaga and Fendi are just a few of the fashion houses launching digital collections gaming avatars to sport in the virtual world.

Why? Most consumers still view their avatars as an extension of who they are in the real world and want to feel connected in a virtual world where it’s easy to get lost behind a username. For brands, this creates an immediate opportunity to reimagine your business model to include line extensions into the Metaverse. Begin deploying some simple tests to determine shopper engagement before going all in!

VISITING AN NFT GALLERY DRIVES VIRTUAL ART SALES

Banksy put street art on the map and now the Metaverse has given it a global throne. NFT Art is an underlying cultural current of the virtual world, as evident that it can be found almost anywhere in Decentraland. These virtual galleries range from the Crypto Valley Art Gallery to the SuperRare Museum; all allowing people to see pop culture art from anywhere in the world.

In fact, even the renowned Sotheby’s launched its own user-friendly, digitally-native NFT trading platform called Sotheby’s Metaverse. It has been reported that their first NFT sale in April, with the artist Pak, drove a total of $17 million in sales, an astounding figure for a space that is often labeled as ‘hype.”

When considering launching virtual goods or NFTs, it’s critical to be clear on its purpose. Is it a marketing tool to increase the desirability of physical goods? Or, is it an additional revenue line? It’s imperative you establish your purpose for being present in the Metaverse upfront to establish credibility and authenticity with the community.

Beyond the commercialization of the Metaverse, what is more inspiring is the compassion of the tight knit community of art enthusiasts who raised $6.7 MILLION in one week alone to provide relief in Ukraine. This sheds a real “human insight” that the Metaverse simply is not a bunch of teenage gamers escaping reality. Instead, it is a global nation of real people who are looking to make a difference behind each unique avatar.

As a retailer or brand, it’s important for you to spend time exploring the Metaverse to truly understand its full potential in your overall communication strategy. The Metaverse is more than events, it is more than wearables and it is more than NFT arts; it is a community of influencers that when engaged in an authentically human way can become the ultimate evangelists for your brand. Now, that is a powerful reason why you should embrace the Metaverse to future proof your business.

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