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And, what seemingly started as a buzzword, the Metaverse, is now a concept regurgitated by many tech entrepreneurs and brands around the globe. This begs the question, what really is the Metaverse? And, what can a brand that jumps into it right now expect in terms of revenue and growth?

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, physical interactions among peers and relatives were at a standstill. This brought in a new primary method of communication – virtual spaces. However, as the pandemic has luckily died down, this method has stuck amongst the masses.

And, what seemingly started as a buzzword, the Metaverse, is now a concept regurgitated by many tech entrepreneurs and brands around the globe. This begs the question, what really is the Metaverse? And, what can a brand that jumps into it right now expect in terms of revenue and growth?

What is the Metaverse?

In layman’s terms, the Metaverse acts as a universe that exists beyond physical manifestations of ourselves. Just like how the Internet is a culmination of many different servers combined to form one large global Web, the Metaverse is a collection of entities existing in virtual reality that form together to create the larger Metaverse.

But, the Metaverse is only a small part of the bigger picture. Considered to be a vital part of Web3, the next major Renaissance of the internet – aptly named, it can be considered as an act of rebellion against major tech giants and governments which currently control the flow of information around the Internet.

Brands and the Metaverse: What to Expect?

The Metaverse, as you’ve already found out, is uncharted territory. And, when something isn’t explored to its fullest potential, there’s a lot of opportunity brewing within. Because of this, major brands have already started experimenting with what they can achieve in the Metaverse, and the market figures paint an even clearer picture. 

For instance, according to a 2022 report by GamesPad, 74% of individuals in the U.S. want to try out the Metaverse. And, in the same report, the market cap for AR, VR, and ER (technologies used to access the Metaverse) is expected to reach $500 billion by 2024.

In essence, while the Metaverse already shows potential, we’re expecting to see massive growth in the next few years. This is where brands can truly benefit from their first-mover’s advantage if they act quickly.

The dynamics of the Metaverse itself are evolving quite rapidly. And, the barrier to entry and the initial investment is relatively low, especially if the brand in question already dabbles in IT / web-based technologies.

Moreover, with sufficient innovation, there’s a high chance of developing proprietary intellectual property or utilizing the unique perspectives that the Metaverse offers and thereby tapping into the unlimited potential that it creates.

Access to New Markets

The Metaverse aims to capture entirely new demographics to which your brand may not have had access to. For instance, the creator of Fortnite, Epic Games, in a partnership with LEGO, aims to create an entirely new Metaverse specifically aimed at kids.

This presents two different opportunities. Firstly, your product or brand can create its own Metaverse that caters to different stratums within society. Or, it can integrate with pre-existing Metaverse projects and utilize its approach to increase brand awareness.

Moreover, the Internet has paved the way for creating a globalized ecosystem wherein individuals who may not have had access to certain opportunities or resources now do, helping them uplift their economic standing.

The Metaverse is the natural evolution of the internet’s mission of empowerment since it allows the replication of real-world connections through immersive virtual environments. This allows an entire one billion individuals suffering from neurodivergence, disability, or some other form of impairment to partake in the Metaverse.

So, now businesses have new opportunities to integrate their core brand values to create more accessible technologies for those who suffer from some sort of disability or are from developing economic backgrounds

New Advertising Methodologies

The virtual world is ripe for advertisement. And these methodologies are proven to feel less obtrusive and are also more impactful to those consuming them. For instance, brands can incorporate virtual billboards and posters into publicly used virtual spaces.

We’ve also already seen major companies plaster their advertisements on stadiums around the globe, just as they would in the real world. The VR advertisement industry is expected to balloon into a trillion-dollar industry in the next decade. But, for now, it remains a rather affordable sector.

So, a brand that starts advertising in the Metaverse now will be able to establish dominance in these virtual spaces before more major players come into the picture. 

Gaming / Play to Earn Models

In the Metaverse, players can effortlessly move in and out of various 3D virtual landscapes, interact with real players in various different spaces, and can navigate through various experiences without ever leaving the greater Metaverse.

For brands, this leads to a few exciting possibilities. Firstly, the usage of games-as-platforms. Here, games would discredit the traditional one-dimensional structure that they’re usually based on and would instead act as a Social Hub for other activities such as interacting with peers, performing digital meetings, having a cup of coffee, etc.

New Immersive Experiences

Brands have to step their advertising and marketing game up in the Metaverse. With traditional advertisement now kicking the bin, more immersive experiences need to be made. 

For instance, a performer can now organize virtual concerts wherein they can perform live with avatars tuning into the Metaverse.

Besides just performing for a much larger audience, the performer will also be able to give attendees a taste of how a real concert would sound.

Think about it this way, an individual sitting a continent away from the performer may now be able to experience what the performance is like. This will lead to the performer’s name reaching places that were seemingly impossible through traditional marketing models.

So, in this case, the performer, or brand benefits in two ways. Firstly, they gain access to a larger audience who now has an idea of what their product or service is like in the real world. Secondly, they’re also hailed as innovators which leads to an overall image of an innovative forward-thinking brand.

Virtual eCommerce

Brands often face the conundrum of not being able to get their physical across or service to a larger demographic without spending excessive amounts of money on outreach. In the Metaverse, a virtual shopping mall or experience can be made where a brand can showcase their products in a more realistic manner to a larger group of potential customers.

For instance, a game development company might be able to showcase its next VR title inside the Metaverse. Or, a brand that offers a particular product, such as clothing, can have users stroll a virtual shopping mall online and have the product be delivered to their doorstep.

For brands, this opens up two avenues. Firstly, the utilization of the virtual space for eCommerce itself. And, secondly, the ability for targeted advertisement to exist within the Metaverse. For example, a coffee shop in the virtual shop may have actual advertisements for nearby cafes in their geographic location. This form of advertising will be much more relevant to the end consumer and will therefore be more effective.

Augmented Reality Workplaces

The work-from-home culture has truly gone above and beyond anyone’s expectations in the past few years. However, this has led to very real issues popping up in terms of efficient workspace collaboration and engagement.

Since employees may be scattered throughout the entire world, it’d be quite impractical to house them under one roof. While video calls and virtual meetings have certainly closed the gap, they don’t match up to the real experience.

To circumvent that, augmented and virtual reality experiences existing within the Metaverse act as a medium wherein a brand’s workforce can assimilate under one virtual space. These collaborative spaces help a brand in two different ways:

  • Universal Employment: Brands don’t need to worry about geographic location acting as a bottleneck to employing a particular individual or collaborating with another team. With AR and VR workspaces, everything that can be done in real life can easily be done in the Metaverse.
  • Redundancy: With the COVID-19 pandemic, it was quite clear that natural disasters can happen at any time. So, a virtual setup acts as a contingency as critical infrastructure within your company and brand can still function thanks to virtual workforces.

Conclusion

The Metaverse is land that’s ripe for exploration and innovation. With the right game plan, any brand, no matter how divergent it seems from tech and Web3, can take advantage of the seemingly endless potential that the Metaverse offers. 

On the other hand, the risk of not investing in the Metaverse and having these minor incremental investments into the ecosystem bar you from the multitudes of ways the Metaverse can benefit your brand would be disingenuous to the spirit of growth.

However, ready or not, brands will have to employ more of a test-and-learn mindset since this still remains unexplored territory. Therefore, letting the creative juices flow and devising new strategies is an excellent way to get an understanding of the Metaverse and how it’ll suit your brand or business. 

With a market cap of $14.8 trillion in 2021 and 84,000 mentions of the Metaverse in social media, it is clear that virtual spaces aren’t going anywhere. And now, the question is, will your brand be at the forefront of innovation in this brave new world?