There are more questions than answers on the Metaverse right now, and the role of the marketer within this space is still very much undetermined.
The lack of rules, structure and stability may seem daunting to some. Yet, any brand brave enough to enter this space now will be rewarded with ‘first mover’ advantages.
If you’re still deciding whether this universe is the right move for your brand, you can find the guidance you need here.
But if you’ve made up your mind, and the Metaverse is next on your to-do list, we can help.
In this blog, we’ll explore:
How to set your brand up for success in the Metaverse
The balance between brand consistency and innovation
Key considerations to make before launching into the Metaverse
Setting yourself up for success
Consider what goal your brand is trying to achieve in the Metaverse. What is it that you can gain from the Metaverse that you can’t elsewhere?
If you’re simply entering this space to jump on the bandwagon of other brands, then you may need to rethink your motive.
Mapping out what you want your user to get out of the Metaverse experience will help you to structure your strategy within this new channel.
You might be looking for:
Additional sales opportunities
Ways to educate consumers on your brand or features
Opportunities for product testing
Making your ‘why’ clear from the offset will help you to structure your approach, ensuring your strategy is targeted towards a specific goal.
Understanding the landscape
It’s important to be aware of what others are doing before embarking on this journey.
1) How will category expectations differ in the Metaverse?
It’s likely your consumers will want different things from your brand in the Metaverse. Interactivity and gaming are at the heart of this channel, so playfulness and creativity are encouraged even if this isn’t your regular medium in the real world.
When adapting your methods in the Metaverse, consider, does this approach feel consistent with your brand image?
Categories that are typically focused on multisensorial experiences – for example, food which relies on taste and smell – will find it more difficult to replicate this in the Metaverse. How your category adapts is important here. When one sense is removed, other aspects of your products can come to light.
McDonald's allow you to order food in the Metaverse and receive it in real life, from the comfort of your own home. This seamless connection between the virtual and real world is an example of how the Metaverse can be used to enhance a brand's connection to its consumers.
2) How are your competitors showing up?
Are your competitors actively involved in building this world or are they passive explorers?
How your competitors show up will affect how you do.
The ProQuo platform can help you to better understand your category and competitors. This live consumer intelligence platform shows you how your brand, category and competitors are performing, every day.
It might be that consumers expect different things in the Metaverse, like new features, games or partnerships. On ProQuo, you can ask any question to your audience, at any time, to figure out what they want from your brand.
When you know what consumers want and how the market is operating, you’ll be better equipped to begin your journey into the Metaverse.
3) What is the role of brands in this space?
Brands need to be sensitive to the fact that people in the Metaverse may not welcome their presence. On Twitter, people are actively leaving due to the high saturation of brands on this channel, and the awkwardness of the exchanges between these companies.
The work done in step 1 and 2 to understand what consumers expect from your brand and what competitors are already doing, will help you to avoid this fate.
When you focus on the needs that have brought your consumers into the Metaverse and show up in ways that are relatable and welcoming, your strategy is sure to resonate.
Skipping these steps may result in reputational damage, creating the perception of either being ‘try-hard’ or out of touch with your consumers.
The balance between brand consistency and innovation
A sense of familiarity will help to ease consumers into this new world.
Brands can be a stabilizing force in the Metaverse, as they are a reminder of the real world. Consumers will already have relationships with these brands and a familiar face can go a long way when stepping into a new territory - helping to reassure and support people as they navigate new experiences.
To make the most of these relationships, focus on consistency. Of course, you’ll want to adapt some things to better suit this new virtual experience, but this is a careful balancing act to maintain. You’ll need enough consistency to ensure consumers recognize you, but enough innovation to demonstrate a tangible difference to your other activations. If you’re only replicating real-life marketing strategies in this channel, how will you pique consumers’ interests?
Since sight is the easiest sensorial experience to showcase in the Metaverse, you’ll have to focus a large quantity of your resources into the visualization of your brand. Creating recognizable brand assets, like your logo and packaging, and ensuring any NPD aligns with your branding, will help you to establish strong relationships from the start.
Some of your products may need to be tweaked to suit the Metaverse – either because expectations differ or because of physical limitations.
There is nothing wrong with testing and playing around. The Metaverse is ripe for innovation. Use it as your place of exploration, testing and trying out new things that wouldn’t be feasible in the real world, either because it would divert resources away from existing projects or because of cost or safety factors.
Key considerations to make before launching in the Metaverse
How does it fit into your brand strategy?
Including the Metaverse within your overall brand strategy will help to determine its success. This channel should be embedded within your end-to-end customer journey, not seen as a standalone.
This will help to provide consistency within your product pipeline, ensuring what you produce in the Metaverse ties into your real-world activities.
How will your user experience map out in the Metaverse?
Consider the logistics behind the experiences you’ve providing:
Navigation - Will the user need to be guided through the experience or is it something they can navigate independently? This will influence the instructions you create and the way you set up your experiences.
Accessibility - Where will the user access your technology? Will they be expected to buy their own headset to explore from the comfort of their own home or can they try your technology publicly at a trade show?
After care – How will your brand support users after the sale? Will you have a live chatbot to answer ongoing queries? You could also provide optional training sessions for users.
What are the challenges in this space?
The Metaverse needs to be treated with care, as it’s still in its development phase, and many interactions aren’t yet smooth.
There are some key challenges facing brands in this space, including:
Technical complexity: Building and maintaining property in the Metaverse requires significant technical expertise and resources – from 3D modelling to VR and AR development, and cloud infrastructure.
User Experience - Providing a seamless and engaging User Experience across devices and platforms is still a major challenge.
Regulation – There are many question marks over how the Metaverse will be regulated on issues such as privacy, intellectual property and online safety.
Cost: Building and running a Metaverse can be expensive, and finding sustainable business models that can support ongoing development is a challenge.
Adoption: The Metaverse is a new technology, and there is a need for education and awareness to drive user adoption.
The Metaverse may be in its development phase, but each day more and more brands are embracing this virtual universe. Are you ready to take the leap of faith?
If you’re looking for more advice on the Metaverse, you can also read our blog here to determine if it’s the right time for your brand.