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The metaverse will drive brand loyalty, but utility for users is essential - here's why

September 9, 2022

The “metaverse” — a vision for interconnected digital worlds opening up the seamless movement of data and value — looks to change the very fabric of the internet. This new digital frontier allows brands to engage with their loyal supporters directly by tapping into digital assets and experiences designed to promote loyalty. In doing so, the metaverse can transform legacy loyalty programs and convert passive consumers into brand advocates. But, to do so, it’s essential that brands offer genuine utility for users and avoid the mistakes of the past.

The endless possibilities of the metaverse

Web3 technology, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has already proven its benefit in promotional campaigns, with the likes of Coca-Cola and Kia harnessing this tech in various activations. However, the rise of the metaverse looks to bolster the potential of NFTs, bringing new experiences and content with it and unlocking new ways for brand names to engage with their supporters.

By creating digital assets that offer unique perks to those who hold them, users will be incentivized to continually return and interact.

There are a myriad of ways that this could work in practice. The central idea is to create an experience that goes beyond the modern web2 paradigm. For example, holding a given NFT could allow non-intrusive and even gamified ads that allow the user to generate a small monetary return every time they agree to view them. This could make the relationship between advertisers and consumers more direct and mutually beneficial.

NFTs can also allow interactions between brands and their customers to become much more private. Data from users will only be accessible by the company if that information is explicitly approved to be shared by the individual. Here again, sharing data can be incentivized but not forced. The inherent cryptography that powers digital assets means there is no way any other entity can get around requiring permission.

Then there are the opportunities to create more immersive and rewarding interactive experiences. Various NFTs can be used to grant access to exclusive events within the metaverse or even product discounts. There can even be cross-promotions that work in conjunction with more than one metaverse platform or brand name. Brands have a long history of coming together to create exciting experiences for their fans, but in the metaverse, this can become a more complex and open-ended series of experiences.

Continued engagement over time can become deeply rewarding, and early adopters will feel this most of all.

Raise the experience

For these campaigns to be effective, they need to bring genuine and ongoing utility that rivals legacy loyalty programs.

One promising way to add utility to promotional NFTs is to tie them into the growing “GameFi” part of the metaverse. By adding elements of gamification and reward, be it through a collectible series or playable metaverse minigame, brands can further increase consumer engagement and retention.

Additionally, there’s no reason that every company has to rebuild these ideas from the ground up. Tools already exist that allow for any brand to begin creating their own unique metaverse items, complete with benefits and parameters for ongoing engagement. This will free up the marketing teams to focus on the experience and message while allowing for seamless integration across web3 platforms.

NFTs are clearly going to be part of the fabric of the metaverse, and there are likely more innovative ways they will be used that will become clear as the metaverse evolves. Right now, brands have an opportunity to be at the forefront of what these assets can offer for consumer interaction and repeated engagement. The first movers will likely generate some of the most loyal customers for the coming years, as long as their offerings bring real value and solid use cases for those who hold them.

Tags

customer loyalty
Brand Love
brand loyalty
Metaverse
web3