Reading business and technology headlines over the last 12 months, you get the sense that a paradigm shift is taking place across the internet. The hype surrounding Web3, The Metaverse, and NFTs is seemingly building every day and, understandably, many organizations are wondering if they need to participate in this movement, and where they might even start.
But for all of the buzz surrounding the Metaverse, many are still struggling to understand what these technologies are and how they are being used. The truth is that this space is still being defined, and both today’s Big Tech goliaths and new players are working to build their own applications; Meta (formerly Facebook) and Microsoft each have visions for the Metaverse, while a fully decentralized world owned by its users exists in Decentraland.
For now, we can simply refer to the Metaverse as any of the numerous immersive, 3D, connected digital experiences. These worlds are powered by blockchain technology where the exchanges of digital goods and properties are facilitated with cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Together, the Metaverse, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies comprise the fundamental aspects of Web3, a decentralized and token-based internet.
A small group of businesses, mostly in gaming and entertainment, are already firmly established in today’s iteration of the Metaverse. Massive gaming titles such as Fortnite and platforms such as Roblox have popularized playing in real-time virtual settings. For most businesses outside of the gaming industry, the Metaverse is not so clear, and there are limited ways to leverage the Metaverse or Web3 technologies for short-term, positive-ROI revenue generation. Still, there are real and immediate reasons why many consumer and B2B companies should be eager to take their first steps in exploring these new technologies.
Why should you experiment with the Metaverse or NFTs today?
- Gain an early-mover advantage. While their ultimate applications are still being identified, these technologies will soon be ubiquitous. Brands that place strategic bets today will have a head start in pivoting their businesses to take full advantage of new revenue streams.
- Reach younger demographics in an exciting new medium. As Gen Z will likely be the first generation to adopt Web3 technologies at scale over the coming years, brands looking to target and attract younger audiences will need to move much faster in developing their initial tests. Nearly 75% of Gen Z shoppers have already purchased a digital product within a video game, demonstrating their enthusiasm towards engaging with new consumer formats.
- Develop innovative and forward-thinking brand reputation. Brands that have already experimented with NFTs and the Metaverse have experienced boosted PR coverage and awareness as many consumers are excited to learn about how different brands are exploring these new mediums.
- Strengthen relationships with existing customers. Brands that are able to provide new experiences to their customers in the Metaverse or with NFTs have an opportunity to build brand loyalty and gain insights into how you can better service your customers in a Web3 world.
- Propel your career. Marketers need to constantly keep up with a rapidly changing landscape. Championing the Metaverse and Web3 within your own organization can be a great way to push your business forward while developing your reputation as a bold and leading-edge thinker.
Before planning your first tests, it’s important to consider your target audience, how they spend their time online, and what types of experiences might resonate with them. Here are several practical applications brands can consider as initial tests.
Loyalty Programs: For purchases or brand engagement, issue tokens that can activate special perks or be redeemed for additional products or services.
Metaverse Experiences: Create engaging immersive experiences within a Metaverse where visitors can interact with 3D versions of your products, engage in unique activities, or play games. Tokens can be issued as incentives for engagement.
Customer/Brand Engagement: Issue or auction commemorative NFTs. These can be brand-related artwork or digital “ticket stubs”. Many brands are using this strategy to raise money for charitable causes.
Contests: Brands can run contests and issue NFTs as rewards. These tokens can be purely commemorative or can be used similarly as loyalty points.
Jackson Richards, VP of Strategy