If you remember the phenomenon that was Web 1.0. you'll have memories of the naysayers saying people will never accept it. Living in a digital world, sharing digital content, instead of meeting face to face? Surely not!
Traditional brands that were late to the game had to go through massive digital transformation processes to live up to modern customers' expectations of value and service – and they still are.
So, with the metaverse gaining momentum (Google currently lists more than two billion articles on it), how do you harness it for the good of your brand?
Accept that you need physical and digital cohesion
Customers are already webrooming in stores to find better prices (we can't pretend that they're not!) and scanning QR codes to access Easter Egg-type experiences. There's also a growing interest in augmented reality to create added value as part of a purchase.
These types of unique experiences using on-the-go devices are becoming more and more common. So, get ahead of it: imagine accessing secret concerts in the metaverse at a festival or meeting the fashion designer's avatar before buying a piece of couture. The opportunities are endless.
To do: There's huge potential for brand affinity and engagement in metaverse experiences – think of adding a unique experience layer to your shopper journey that uses on-the-go technology.
Stan everyday creators
The internet has made it possible for people to share their creations, but within certain parameters of the given platforms. In the metaverse anyone can create anything; they can quite literally build their own worlds.
To do: Show customers – as creators – how they can harness the power of the metaverse by giving them opportunities to express themselves and be creative with your brand. An example is the Starbucks Red Cup campaign, where the brand enables creativity year after year with massive success.
Use it to communicate core brand messages
Each generation can be considered a rebellion to the one before it, giving us "back in my day" mentality. Gen Z values are based on fighting to save the planet. The next Generation of Alpha are Escapists; they're not only pure digital natives but are full-on digital content creators by the age of six and younger.
Games like Roblox have introduced kids to metaverse practices very early on, and trying to find a way to escape from the real world into a world of their own will be a massive desire for them as they grow up.
To do: Tap into this growing love of escapism to communicate core brand messages to the next generation.
And the main thing to do? Enjoy the change. Think of it as a chance to think innovatively and develop disruptive experiences to gain more penetration.
Tina Thompson is digital strategy director at N2O