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How brands can use the metaverse to enhance sales and connect with customers
August 30, 2022
Experiential marketing firm (and EVCOM member), TBA Group, recently announced an exclusive partnership with metaverse creation company, Virtual Brand Group (VBG). Together their skillsets offer their clients an end-to end service to build brand experiences in the metaverse. Here, Guy Horner, (CEO, TBA Group), and Justin Hochberg (CEO, VBG) share how businesses and brands can become successful in the metaverse, and use it as a platform to enhance sales and connect with their customers.
Where should brands begin?
The first thing to remember is that while the metaverse might seem overwhelming in its sheer scope and with its many definitions, it is more accessible than most people think. Brands look at the metaverse and expect that building something within that must cost millions, which isn’t the case. Time wise, even a high-end build can be completed in 12 weeks. Almost everyone who talks about the metaverse has a slightly different definition of it, which can be intimidating. Don’t let that get in the way of beginning your journey.
Crucially the metaverse is about connecting the virtual world to the physical world, so if you’re wondering where to start, look at what your brand offers in the physical world and work up from there. Working with agencies such as TBA Group and VBG, who are already putting brands in the metaverse, is a great way to ensure you are getting the best advice on how to navigate and monetise the metaverse.
Defining the purpose of the metaverse experience you want to create is also essential for helping you pinpoint where to begin. Often the metaverse is hailed as a marketing channel, but it can offer so much more than that. It can be a revenue generating sales channels, selling virtual items that exist only within the metaverse, while also acting as a funnel to your physical sales. When it comes to experiences, the metaverse can turn something from a two-hour long music concert into a 365 day experience accessible from anywhere in the world through continuous activations. In the future, the metaverse could offer a full sensory experience from taste to smell.
What audiences can brands reach in the metaverse?
When it comes to audience, the metaverse is a space for everyone. Take Roblox as an example, which is being played by 200 million people a month with an equal gender split and a whole range of ages. Roblox hosts Forever21 Shop City, the award-winning project created by VBG which launched global fashion brand Forever21 into the metaverse. Roblox aside, consider how much time we spend on our phones, on our laptops, engaging with screen-based content. This is how so many people already shop, consume, access information, news and connect with people. The metaverse, done right, can feel like an extension of the platforms we already use. It is the job of brands to make this transition easy, to make their metaverse experience accessible to users.
The metaverse is a hot topic at the moment, and it’s worth making the most of this period of time and being first movers. And not just so that you’re ahead of the curve. While the metaverse is still so new, it’s the perfect space to try things with an audience who are forgiving and open. Excitingly, a metaverse experience is never finished. Instead, it’s about iterating again and again, testing and learning as you go. If something doesn’t work, whether that’s a product or a part of the experience, you can go in and change that and enhance it as the technology evolves and the needs of your customers change. You also have the opportunity to launch a product or experience in the metaverse to review its performance in the digital world, which can then inform your decision to launch in the physical world.
How should brands approach creativity in the metaverse?
The metaverse is a space full of creative potential. To really tap into that, it’s important to remember that you are working in a space that is no longer bound by the physical restraints of our world. There are no rules, which is an exciting place to come at a project from. Don’t replicate what already exists in our world, and make the most of the immersive nature of the metaverse. Get creative with the way things look and interact with each other, and create an experience that consumers can’t have anywhere else. That way, your consumers will keep coming back.
For brands who feel unsure about whether their product could work in the metaverse, ask yourself one simple question: do I have a consumer? If the answer’s yes, then your product will work in the metaverse, because the metaverse just creates another way for you to connect with your customer base.
Importantly, if you’re going to do it, do it well. How to make sure that happens? You need the right team with the right skillsets. You need people who can build things, virtually or physically, someone who knows how to market in a creative way and someone who can operate the metaverse and keep innovating on it. The partnership between TBA Group and VBG, for example, bridges that gap between brand experiences in the physical and virtual world. Ultimately remember to have fun with it. The metaverse is a creative space, a new space, a space of possibility. Make the most of that.