What is the Metaverse?
The idea of the metaverse may sound new and overwhelming- but it has been around for many years. The term metaverse was first coined in a novel back in 1992 where the characters enter an urban landscape created via code and have life-like experiences. The term was later shot into the mainstream in 2021 and large numbers of the original traits are still reflected in today’s terminology. The metaverse is a fully immersive virtual space, where users can access augmented and virtual reality and interact with all styles of environments from the first-person perspective. It’s not one monolithic interconnected space online, instead, the term refers more to the concept across these individual worlds and the acknowledgment of experiencing a virtual reality outside of the physical world.
Is it right for you?
The opportunities presented by interactive, digital worlds seem limitless and with the boom of the social commerce market, the commercial application of the metaverse only continues to increase. As a result, various brands have already begun trying their hand including household names such as Walmart, Nike, Gucci, PWC, Verizon, and others, all entering the metaverse in their own way. Subsequently, business leaders from around the world are left scratching their heads, “What exactly should I do in the metaverse?” and “What is my metaverse strategy?".
From virtual stores to theme parks and galleries, business-to-consumer enterprises have already started springing up across the Metaverse and driving more people into the meta-economy. However, the immersive environment isn’t just an opportunity for consumer-facing companies. There are plenty of business-to-business applications, from employee training to VR product demos, hosting conferences in the metaverse, and more there is much to be capitalized on. With the opportunities being limitless, there is no one-size-fits-all or an overarching business plan we can all follow. Your space in the metaverse should be as unique as your brand.
Where do you begin?
Pick your targets
The target audience differs from one company to the next. Think about who your target audience is, what is there age group, interests, etc., and picture how they might use the metaverse. The ways in which your product or services are advertised and sold is dependent upon understanding the consumer group you’re catering to.
Find the right metaverse
While it’s great to have a metaverse-optimize product, to push your success forward you must be sure you are conducting proper market research to ensure you are actually reaching your audience. The digital worlds invite different focuses like gaming, real estate, or NFTs. So it’s key to take an in-depth look at the various metaverse platforms and the age demographics they host and their users’ preferred experiences. Popular platforms such as Roblox or Fortnight currently has an estimated 47 million daily active users spending some 6 to 10 hours per week on the platform. These users tend to be 18-24 years old with a gaming focus. This platform has worked well for some businesses. However, others have thrived in virtual spaces such as Decentraland which hosts a more mature audience. Decentraland focuses less on gaming and more on creating digital infostructures and engaging in life-like activities such as buying virtual land, organizing events, and creating objects.
Think about your angle
There are several aspects to keep in mind, namely if your brand is innovative, culturally relevant, and aligned with the needs of these communities. It’s equally important to focus on entertainment, authenticity, and creativity as core selling points. Many companies have jumped in and begun to develop collectible versions of your products in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). If that isn’t applicable for your business, think of other ways your company could fit in - can you use this as a way to increase your sustainability ESG efforts? Take a look at your competition that has already jumped into the metaverse- watch what they do and consider it a test.
All successful companies made a shift as the digital transformation reshaped our world. This is no different. The earlier you start, the better your business will be positioned to succeed in new virtual places such as the metaverse, which are currently attracting millions of people across a variety of industries and areas of interest. The metaverse is an amazing business platform that you might not want to pass up.