Many brands are searching for “What is the metaverse,” “How to buy land in the metaverse,” and “How to access the metaverse.” It is a legit question, isn’t it? The metaverse is the elusive technical world that makes most marketers queasy.
To get the straightforward definition out of the way, the metaverse is defined as “A simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world.” Yes, that is the metaverse meaning.
Ever played The Sims as a kid? That is the closest world I can think of mimicking the metaverse. You become an avatar in the metaverse, which becomes the avatar’s entire world. Your physical worlds become your VR headset.
Facebook metaverse is not a thing. Mark Zuckerberg made a metaverse, and one of Meta’s metaverse properties is Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta is NOT the metaverse; it is one metaverse out of many metaverses created by tech companies (and brilliant people) worldwide. Strange, I know.
To say I am a pioneer in the social media space is just about as accurate a description as possible. To explain the metaverse, I have to go way back to my college days. There were no brands on social media when I graduated from college. My job went from being the only one who understood social media in the room to the one selling the value of social media to the C-suite, who stared back at me like I was a crazy nut.
When I speak about the digital world that is the metaverse, I receive similar blank stares. I could be giving a physics lesson, and some people in the crowd would not know the difference. And that’s okay.
One of the most popular questions from marketers is when they should invest in the metaverse. I like to use brands’ journey through social media adoption to explain my predictions for the adoption rate.
Early adopters have already created their unique metaverse and will most likely be the metaverse champions for the time being. The majority of brands are not using the metaverse for marketing. Innovative brands invest time in learning about the virtual space and how it works.
Early adopters have already created their unique #metaverse and will most likely be the metaverse champions for the time being. The majority of brands are not using the metaverse for marketing. Innovative brands invest time in learning about the virtual space and how it works. #DigitalMarketingTweet
The one crucial step all brands need to take now is similar to brands securing their brand name as a handle on all social media networks. Every single brand needs to trademark everything it has trademarked in the physical world, in the metaverse. Brands like Hermès and Nike are already in lawsuits with NFTs and virtual worlds.
Once you are legally covered, you might find that like the social media craze, not every brand belongs in the metaverse. First, you need to fully understand what the metaverse is and how to enter the metaverse space, and then decide if it aligns with moving your brand goals forward.
Considering everything I just mentioned, the rollout of the metaverse will happen over a long period. It will continue with a sprinkling of brands dipping their toes in to see if it’s compatible with their brand.
We are still rolling out brands on social media. Not every brand has the same adoption rate, and this is one tool you do not want to push before your team is ready to use it in the right way.
Where the social media and metaverse trends part ways is cost. Metaverses are incredibly technical and require a talented team of professionals to create. They also take time to build and test before they can roll out to larger audiences.
Unlike the quick testing of social media, metaverse testing takes a long time and requires a higher technical skill. You want to rely on professionals to create your metaverse, whether they are in-house or external.
As most brands struggle to wrap their heads around the metaverse, and others simply avoid it altogether, Gucci proves that it’s not just another pretty face. Gucci created The Vault, a space dedicated to fun (admittedly pricey) avatars and fashion-forward playgrounds in response to the future of virtual worlds.
The best part of Gucci’s metaverse? It comes equipped with an NFT/metaverse 101 handbook, beginning with defining an NFT as “NFT stands for non-fungible token. Each token represents rights to a unique digital asset or collectible such as an avatar, wearable, skin or piece of digital art.”
Gucci provides step-by-step guidance on how to purchase cryptocurrency to purchase its (wait for it….) $10K+ avatar. You are most likely wondering what cryptocurrency is, how to buy it, and where to purchase it.
Metaverse crypto is a finite digital currency. Unlike printable bills, crypto is limited, meaning once the computers solve all of the issues, there is no more crypto entering the universe. Computers solve challenging math problems, thus releasing more cryptocurrency into the metaverse.
Please don’t quit reading now because that sounds like gibberish to you. It makes sense when you think about the first currency in the world >> a rai stone. Micronesian islanders used these once-precious stones for money. Someone would buy a piece of the rock since the rocks were too heavy to be moved, and then that piece of stone would be honored to purchase other goods.
It sounds like a good system, right? The mining of these stones became more efficient, and they became less rare, thus losing their value. This is called inflation, something we are all too familiar with.
Satoshi Nakamoto created cryptocurrency to combat inflation. It has a maximum productivity level, and no one can go back and make more of it when banks run out. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
Okay, enough shop talk. What does this have to do with the metaverse and Gucci?
Cryptocurrency is purchased online using your “real” money. You then can spend it in the metaverse, which consists of avatars (an electronic image that represents and may be manipulated by a computer user) and many virtual worlds waiting for you.
You then choose a place to spend all of that crypto- top NFT marketplace OpenSea is the most popular sport right now. Gucci’s detailed virtual experience sends you directly to OpenSea to purchase their SUPERGUCCI.
You might think that $10K+ buys you the rights to your avatar, but that is false. You own a part of virtual reality. Anyone can copy and use your piece of digital artwork. So, in most cases, you are paying $10K to know that you OWN that piece of digital artwork everyone is sharing.
Thankfully, in Gucci’s case, you also get a little bear matching your avatar that you can hold in the real world.
Gucci’s sub-brand Vault metaverse marketing does not end there. They also have a Discord account (video game ring a bell??) and a tease of the virtual worlds they are creating.
All of this comes from the brilliant mind of Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, who has been investing more in digital since he took the helm of the ship in 2015.
Michele’s newest world lives in a metaverse city named New Tokyo where, thanks to a partnership with 10KTF, a shop in New Tokyo that produces clothes and accessories for avatars, you can buy Gucci fashions for your avatar exploring the city. Gucci describes it as a collection “for those who aspire to express their individuality through fashion in the parallel digital worlds.” Michele is an atelier avatar in this new world, bringing his essence to a virtual space.
Gucci capitalizes on a crucial moment in marketing history by creating a beautiful NFT and virtual space and then tops it all off by creating a handbook for its target audience so they can be a ready player in the NFT community. Talk about an early adopter!
Your head probably hurts right now, but stay with me just a moment longer as we explore answers for how your brand can get into the metaverse and join the metaverse.
Some ideas to step into the metaverse with your brand? You don’t need a full-blown NFT marketing strategy to dip your toes into the real world. Here are some ideas to build a community in the augmented reality space:
Coca-Cola sold unique NFTs of products on OpenSeas and then donated all of the money to charity. This method hits younger audiences twice— they love companies that give back and are on the NFT scene.
Are you launching a new product? Sell it as an NFT and send it to the buyer IRL. Make it exclusive by having a finite amount of NFTs available on launch day.
Are you launching a new product? Sell it as an NFT and send it to the buyer IRL. Make it exclusive by having a finite amount of NFTs available on launch day. #Metaverse #NFTCommunityTweet
Nothing is quite like an event in the metaverse. Avenged Sevenfold sold tickets to their metaverse concert with prices ranging from $88-$125. NFTs are a great way to use the charisma of a private event to draw a crowd. Maybe there is even a concert you could “host” like OpenSea’s Multi-Metaverse concert.
Buy Metaverse Land and Partner Up!
It truly is the Wild West out there! By buying land in an already established metaverse you are able to market your product to an already produced audience and only worry about how your particular NFT performs in the metaverse.
Are you a brand that can invest in augmented reality and convince others to invest? Look into it. This is extra credit, a high-achiever option for entering virtual reality, and is for those with finance backgrounds.
Once you have a metaverse created, market it like you would sell your product! Yes– I am telling you to market the tool you are marketing your product with. Email marketing, social media, and influencer marketing are ideal ways to let the universe know about your immersive experience. And, of course, good old-fashioned digital marketing helps market your NFT and metaverse experiences.
Want to get ahead of the game? Hire an NFT marketing agency to help you create and promote your NFT dream.
Also, use one to discuss metaverse options for your brand– after you have taken the time to learn as much as you can about metaverse marketing and agree it aligns with your brand goals. You will be thanking me. I promise.
For those who have headaches after reading this, please head over to a much easier read >> What is Digital Marketing in 2022?
-Marji J. Sherman