What does the metaverse mean for brands?
With its roots in gaming, the metaverse is a virtual space characterised by playfulness and community value creation. While the concept of bringing experiences to consumers through virtual reality isn't new, the promise of what a converged world where physical and digital realities meet is particularly exciting.
The metaverse will change the world, businesses and how we engage with others, explained Elizma Nolte, regional marketing manager for Meta Africa. The metaverse is about more than virtual reality, but rather a variety of digital spaces where we can connect with people, businesses and creators who are not in the same physical spaces. Avatars are how we represent and express who we are in the metaverse.
Communities, storytelling and even commerce are evolving in the metaverse, which, ultimately will be built by everyone. Although the metaverse is currently being experienced primarily through 2D applications, soon bridges will be built from these apps into more immersive virtual 3D experiences, said Nolte.
Melody Maker, partner for digital at M&C Saatchi Abel pointed out that because the metaverse is completely free of any boundaries or barriers, the opportunities for brands are almost unlimited. However, brands need to first understand how these communities work. And once they're involved in the metaverse they will need to be prepared to relinquish a degree of control. It's important to remember, however, that the metaverse is still in its infancy.
Digital specialist at The MediaShop, Murali Baidu said given that the metaverse offers an immersive augmented reality it will provide brands with a more engaging platform than traditional media platforms and will grow a new generation of consumers who want to be part of authentic communities. He agreed with Maker that brands need to understand their audiences. However, brands should not get hung up on quick fixes because the metaverse requires a long term approach. All in all, from a business perspective, the metaverse will affect buying behaviours in ways that we have not yet even considered. Therefore, don't forget to experiment and have fun with it!