Metaverse and brand: new Eldorado, or test bed to be seized? – Image

Nike, Axa, Balenciaga, Forever21 or even Carrefour, there are many brands that invest in virtual universes and not a day goes by without a new ad effect. So much so that some forecasters already envision a total market for the metaverse of around $ 700 billion in 2030!

Hard to believe for the majority, because these metaverses are still in an embryonic stage – the weak penetration of this universe to the general public is clear for the moment. Added to this are the weak signals issued by the market in recent months: correction of the price of cryptocurrencies, decline in enthusiasm around NFTs, etc.

So, should you invest in the metaverse when you are a brand? Is it really accessible to all brands? What do we have to gain by venturing there today? How to avoid losing, both in the short and long term? And above all, what place will it occupy in the brand experience of tomorrow?

There is often talk of accelerating the pace of change. What’s new about Web3 is that it’s maturing at breakneck speed, integrating brands right from the start. Because today these virtual universes need brands to gain credibility, as much as some brands do, for reasons of image and experience. Fifteen years ago, debates raged over Facebook’s profitability and where brands could occupy it. It took at least 6 or 7 years for the iconic web 2.0 platform to give birth to a profitable model.

On the contrary, Web3 immediately offers a completely different paradigm, which makes it an essential playground for brands, for at least three main reasons.

First of all, Web3 is based on a so-called “decentralized” philosophy and model. Against the rule of GAFAM, it offers a democratic and open model, where all actors are welcome. Sébastien Borget, co-founder of The Sandbox (one of the reference platforms, with a videogame and social vocation, among the metaverses under construction), explains that in the long term “only 10% of the contents of the platform will be produced by The Sandbox” – the rest is in the hands of the “creators”.

At the forefront of these creators: brands. Today there is a certain form of equality between platforms and brands, which now have a card to play by experimenting and offering an experience in their image, which resonates with their DNA, their identity and their values. True IRL cultural landmarks, they have the notoriety, intangible assets and financial means to deliver original and bespoke experiences that satisfy the desires of new Web3 explorers. The fashion and luxury industry is at the forefront of this industry, like what Louis Vuitton has been able to do with League of Legends, but many other industries are gradually following suit.

Then, precisely on these new explorers of the Web3, they are younger, more connected, in search of shared experiences and moments. There is therefore an essential playing field and conquest for brands, which must be present where their consumers are, to seduce the Z and Alpha generations. It is therefore a question of taking a step forward, creating a bond with the consumers of tomorrow, even the day after tomorrow.

Finally, Web3 operates on a more mature business model than previous iterations. The issue of value creation and its sharing among stakeholders is central to this model. The creation of communities (the famous DAOs) with their own tokens and cryptocurrencies, the logic of “play-to-earn”, or even the remuneration of the attention of Internet users (see the model of the web browser Brave and its currency proprietary, BAT) are all examples of this financial maturity. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all Web3 business models are destined for success! As in any business venture, only time will tell which models will hold up over time …

So, obviously, venturing into the depths of the Metaverse and its ecosystem presents its share of risk. Brands must ask themselves the right questions: is my brand asset projectable in Web3? How can I offer a consistent experience across all channels and touchpoints already activated by my brand? Or, is it possible to project oneself responsibly into this universe, so as not to betray the brand’s commitments already made elsewhere in terms of CSR?

However, it looks like it will soon be riskier for a brand to stay away from Web3 than investing in this space – thoughtfully and responsibly, and with good support, of course! Experimentation and exploration are still allowed, and the possibilities are numerous, with the aim not only of investing in a platform, but of offering real experiences and content in line with the brand strategy.

(Published forums are the responsibility of their authors and do not involve CB News).

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