Marketing Pulse Blog

Is Metaverse Marketing the Next Big Thing for Brands?

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Engagement has a completely different contextual meaning in the metaverse. Social settings now include the virtual world and all the experiences — and potential paths to purchase — that happen within it, from fashion to real estate. When you look at it through this lens, you can understand how metaverse marketing is shaping up to be the next big channel for brands. 

As we shift into a fully digital landscape, the human experience changes right alongside. With this transition, brands need to reposition themselves and develop new customer experiences.

Stats from the Metaverse You May Not Be Prepared For

In many circles, we’re still collectively discussing the metaverse as something that’s hardly in existence, framing it as an in-progress vision of a future that we’re still building. But even in its infancy, AR/VR experiences within the metaverse attracted people by the millions. And where people go, money follows. 

On top of attending virtual events, consumers also buy virtual goods with real money. 

  • In March 2021, Christie’s auctioned an NFT of a digital artwork titled “Everydays: The First 5000.” The winning bid was $69.4 million, and it marked the first sale of digital artwork by a major auction house.
  • Last summer, Gucci tested the waters on gaming site Roblox, hosting a one-hour-only sales event where users could buy a virtual Gucci Dionysus Bag with Bee. The original digital handbag sold for 475 Robux ($6), but scalpers sold the virtual bags for wildly inflated prices after the event, pushing virtual prices over the IRL bag’s price of $3,400. 

While users can resell NFTs in different places and environments, the Roblox Gucci handbag is only valuable on Roblox. This might sound wild at first glance, but it represents a shift in what consumers consider valuable — something brands need to pay close attention to.  

Where Do Marketers Go From Here?

With brands like Nike and Fortnite forging paths through their metaverse initiatives, it’s clear they recognize huge upward potential; they’re building virtual value in their brand portfolios accordingly. 

Here are a few ways today’s marketers can begin to incorporate the metaverse into their strategic media planning. 

  1. Keep the value of young millennials and Gen Z in sharp focus. These massive swaths of online users are also massive audiences of buyers. Learn how to target them, interact with them, and be everywhere they are. 
  2. Create metaverse experiences that mirror what your brand does otherwise. Nike’s Fortnite crossover and Balenciaga’s online and IRL releases are examples of parallel marketing that connects the virtual and real-world experiences. 
  3. Create and sell virtual assets and goods. Whether it’s as a partnership with an existing metaverse experience, or you’re embarking on a new experience altogether, your brand can join the metaverse as a merchant selling virtual goods, from apparel to NFTs to limited-edition collectibles. 
  4. Make it immersive. Zuckerberg said it: The metaverse is not something to look at; it’s something to be part of. Give users an interactive brand experience. Concerts, pop-up shops, and virtual apparel partnerships are just some of the ways brands are creating inventive new experiences. Gucci even launched a virtual garden last spring. 
  5. Don’t go in without a plan. Like all media experiences before it, the metaverse will provide the most value to brands with a strategic rollout effort. 

Breaking Ground in the Metaverse

The brand opportunity within the metaverse is not all that removed from current reality. In both cases, marketing and advertising strategy is a matter of designing the best approach for your target market, your channel and your product/service.

The “wild west” dynamics of the metaverse create significant unpredictability, at least for now. But, brands that properly balance the risks with strategy may soon find themselves as the pioneers of entirely new brand experiences. 

The biggest takeaway for brands at this stage is understanding that technologies, platforms, and emerging technical skills will drive metaverse development. So invest time now in finding the right talent and tools to ensure your brand is ready to be part of the next generation of brand experiences, and find partners who can support your journey. Have questions? Get in touch any time.

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