3 Steps Brands Need To Take To Win The Metaverse
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The introduction of the metaverse is not the unveiling of a magical gateway. It’s not a connectivity game changer like blockchain technology; it is not even a new protocol, because it brings together innovations that we already see day after day.
So should brand managers pay attention to the metaverse? Absoutely.
Primarily, the metaverse represents a change from a sensory and engagement standpoint. The opportunity lies in the ability to enrich and augment the online experience with digital capabilities such as navigation, imagery, directional sound or tactile simulation. With the potential of a highly enhanced customer engagement channel in hand, here are three steps brands can take to optimize the metaverse.
1. Harness technology
Products that were traditionally considered too personal to buy online have gained traction through the use of AR and VR. Creating virtual storefronts on Snapchat, for example, has allowed customers to virtually enter a store, browse products, and even try on shoes. Leveraging current technologies while keeping a close eye on the latest innovations allows brands to harness the power of current platforms, such as augmented reality and virtual reality, while launching an enriched customer experience within of the metaverse. Ray-Ban is an example of a brand taking this step, building on current AR capabilities that allow consumers to virtually try on glasses or create smart glasses designed for interaction in the Metaverse.
Innovation is particularly critical in today’s digital landscape, where consumers judge any online experience against the major players in the space. No matter the size of a business, the digital experience must meet or exceed the expectations of customers accustomed to Amazon’s speed and service. The same is true in all sectors. A startup streaming service, for example, won’t survive without the speed, user-friendliness, and offerings that a generation of Netflix viewers have come to expect. Big platforms set high standards for everyone, at all levels.
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2. Meet consumers where they are
While the Metaverse will provide enhanced experiences through environmental connectivity, the major platforms operating there will continue to generate their own individual engagement channels. In the same way that Facebook already offers interactive shopping on Instagram – with in-app digital storefronts, product labels and payment options – Amazon could design a virtual shopping mall environment where consumers could walk, browse, choose and order products to be delivered to their doorstep. Five Guys could create a virtual restaurant where customers can view the menu, talk to a customer service avatar, and order food through DoorDash or UberEats. The possibilities are limitless.
All this to say that the consumers of the Metaverse will be more dispersed than ever and will always expect immediate satisfaction. The days of using engagement channels to drive traffic to an ecommerce website are long gone. Regardless of the channel, today’s online customer wants to learn more about a product, buy it, and have it delivered within 24 hours. Brands need to adapt to focus on these opportunities.
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3. Create an infinite number of assets
Advertising is the monetization of attention. With consumer touchpoints crossing every imaginable channel and across all available devices, this attention is more fragmented than ever; Brands not only need to know each platform inside and out, but they also need to produce what appears to be an endless number of assets to successfully power each one. Add to that customer expectations for top-notch experiences, regardless of format or network, and impactful digital engagement becomes exponentially more difficult. But it’s also essential if a brand is to remain relevant; adapting too slowly could mean the demise of any business, no matter how successful it has been – just ask Blockbuster or Toys R Us.
From the user’s perspective, look in any average household. At any time, family members can watch different devices, engage in multiple environments, enjoy content tailored to their tastes and behaviors. Brands that want to stay in mind for even five minutes have to work harder than ever to be in the right place, deliver the right content, and inspire the right engagement. Every aspect is equally critical. The reward ? Those who invest the effort will reap the rewards of a more enriching and engaging customer experience and the brand loyalty it can foster.
To stay in the game and successfully engage in the metaverse, brands will need to invest their time and budget in strategizing and producing an endless amount of content to fuel engagement. They also need to keep this effort funded, which is why CEOs need a full understanding of what’s possible in the new field. Executives need to know that when digital innovation travels at 100 mph, they’ll want to be in that car, not stand on the side of the road that gets knocked over.
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