Is it time for your brand to enter the metaverse?
The metaverse is now getting a lot of attention as technologists, marketers, and pundits examine and debate what is possible in this area and how businesses can take advantage of it. Therefore, brands may wonder if they should create metaverse experiences now or wait to see if the metaverse lives up to the hype.
We believe the decision is easier to make with an imaginative perspective on the metaverse, how it may evolve, and how your key people, business, technology, and infrastructure can benefit.
Develop a working definition of what the metaverse means for your business
The idea of the metaverse is not new, but the times are still looking for a universally accepted definition. There are common themes like 3D visualizations and immersive video game-like experiences.
Some even say it is 3D internet because dimensionality is one of its essential elements. But in a more practical sense, the metaverse is actually the next stage in the evolution of the internet that unfolds over time rather than at the push of a button and will continue to unfold.
We are heading towards a future of technology-based “superpowers” that allow us to go inside the internet rather than experience it only through a flat screen. Instead of visiting web pages and apps for everything, we will frequent virtual spaces and layer information into our day-to-day realities. Instead of consuming, creating and sharing content, our virtual experiences will be the content that others interact with. Think about what this means for your brand.
Will these immersive experiences replace websites? Not likely. However, the metaverse’s lure on the flat internet seems irresistible. The level of immersion will be a central topic for user experience designers, design agencies and consulting firms in the years to come.
Why the Metaverse Should Matter to Your Business
Gartner expects 25% of people spend an hour or more each in the metaverse by 2026. And at least half of American adults and teens are rely on the metaverse to improve their experiences shopping for beauty, travel, clothing, furniture, real estate, and workout routines. Not to mention the opportunities that VR, AR and MR bring to asset management, coachinganalysis and automation.
There is a clear potential upside for brands starting to create immersive experiences in the metaverse. Brands that dare to dive in can help define the emerging metaverse. Absent brands risk treading water in a metaverse defined for them instead of surfing the waves.
Let’s go back to the definition of the metaverse as the next stage of the internet. Should your brand have a website? The question seems almost ridiculous today, but in the 90s it was not a requirement. Brands that started first have gained more experience on what works – other brands have waited to develop an internet strategy. And so the concept of digital transformation was born to help businesses that haven’t embraced the World Wide Web.
Determine what is possible for your brand in the metaverse
Thinking about the metaverse in three categories can be helpful. First, there are the immersive experiences that most of us associate with it – the game and the community. Second, there is blockchain technology, which encompasses non-fungible tokens (NFTs), smart contracts, cryptocurrency wallets, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Third, there is digital twin technology which uses 3D representations of structures as large as cities for artifacts as small as a pin. But processes can also be digitally paired.
It’s also helpful to think about the purpose of each metaverse experience. Is it to immerse consumers in brand moments to engage them in new ways? Or is the plan to leverage digital twin technology for accurate, location-agnostic employee training or more responsive and efficient field service? What other use cases exist for employee, customer, and asset journeys?
Once brands know which use case they want to start with, they can develop the right metaverse to scale from consumer-facing experiences to industrial applications and everything in between. Brands must be ready to experiment with metaverse technologies. It’s faster, cheaper, and less risky, given that the metaverse is in its infancy and technology is changing rapidly.
Identify the first steps needed to get your brand into the metaverse
What does a brand need to start getting quick wins in the metaverse?
Metaverse project managers need support and clear inter-organizational communication. For example, it is wise to know if other metaverse projects are planned or underway within the company. If so, coordination will streamline tasks, avoid duplication and generate efficiencies. Projects may also require a consulting partner to help implement or leverage immersive technology, identify projects with quick results, and develop a roadmap and metrics for success. With these steps in place, brands can embark on their journey to metaverse maturity.
Think of the metaverse as the internet, but best to take some of the mystique out of this unprecedented change. However, it also forces brands to look for immersive experiences to produce. So they are no slouch as the Metaverse transitions from a shiny new trend to an inevitable part of humanity’s evolution.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Thisisengineering; pexels; Thanks!