By Emilia Roman
As consumers become more interested in exploring the metaverse, businesses are starting to consider the ways in which they can service this new fascination. But how will the metaverse impact companies and the way in which consumers interact with different sectors and brands? This blog, as part of our ‘In the Know’ series, will explore how the metaverse is changing consumer expectations and business priorities alike, and hopefully provide some interesting insights along the way.
What is the Metaverse?
To put it simply, the metaverse is a shared virtual environment, combining aspects of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), three-dimensional projection, and other technologies that are yet to be discovered. The core of the Internet is Web 2.0, with its websites, apps and social networks. Meanwhile, the metaverse represents Web 3.0, and it will feature enhanced capabilities like motion-tracking tools. If you own a non-fungible token (NFT) or some form of digital currency, then you are technically already part of the metaverse.
At a Crossroads: Virtual Customer Experience (CX) or Digital-Only Products
The applications of the metaverse within different sectors know no limits. Businesses are trying to stay ahead of the competition by determining how the metaverse will impact their product offering, and the relationships they build with new and existing customers. While some businesses are focusing on bringing physical replicas of their products into the metaverse, others are placing their bets on enhanced digital experiences to keep customers engaged. The metaverse is expected to become a $1 trillion revenue opportunity, and no one wants to miss out.
Applications of the Metaverse
Traditionally, enhanced virtual worlds have been leveraged by companies within the gaming industry, with video games such as Fortnite and Animal Crossing being the front runners in offering immersive digital experiences. Leading brands in a variety of industries have already made attempts to interact with the metaverse, with some collaborations starting as early as 2019. Within fashion, well-known designer brands have partnered with gaming giants to create virtual-only collections. Louis Vuitton collaborated with Riot Games to create skins for League of Legends avatars, as well as an exclusive fashion collection. Products ranged from $170 for a bandeau to over $5,000 for a jacket. Last October, the Hyundai Mobility Adventure experience was launched on Roblox, an online entertainment platform with around 42 million daily users. By creating their own avatar, users were able to enter an enhanced digital world, test drive the new Hyundai models, interact with other customers, and provide feedback on their experience. As we move forward, there is no doubt that other industries will capitalise on the growing opportunities provided by the metaverse.
Spotlight on ritestream
The film and video market will be worth approximately $317 billion by 2025, with around 165 million viewers using streaming services. With the rising demand for new and original content, allrites’ new Web 3.0 venture, ritestream, looks to expand the industry into the metaverse. By placing the most crucial step in pre-production activity - funding - on the blockchain, and sharing completed movies in the metaverse, ritestream believes that the growing interest for video content can be met. The ritestream launchpad, which leverages NFTs, offers equal opportunities for both established and independent producers to fund their projects. This way, a wider pool of investors can access fractional ownership and support the production of more content. Once projects are completed, they are minted as final NFTs and distributed within the metaverse, with ownership rights and licensing specifications staying intact.
In the metaverse, consumers can earn Rite coins, a native token linked to the ritestream launchpad, by watching distributed content. Rite coins can be used by consumers to support their favourite celebrities, by purchasing NFTs actors create, following the distribution of their films. Viewers will be able to watch these movies in the metaverse exclusively, with family and friends joining them in this digital space. Streaming in the metaverse will allow viewers to build new connections, as well as interact with artists and producers. ritestream is creating a filmverse where viewers have enhanced digital experiences, allowing for deeper connections between audiences and creators.
Spotlight on Bottle Rocket
Some companies already place digital experiences at the forefront of their CX strategy, but believe that diving into the metaverse head-first is not the best strategy. Bottle Rocket, a brand that vouches for digital transformation, advises companies to first reflect on their goals, messaging and practical operations before joining the metaverse. When building virtual experiences, companies need to focus on the pain points of their customers and determine the ways in which the metaverse can be leveraged to solve problems and delight consumers. This can only be approached on a case-by-case basis. Bottle Rocket believes that the metaverse will be used as a tool to tour homes or preview holiday trips through enhanced VR experiences, ultimately helping customers to make better purchasing decisions. This growing trend of “try before you buy” will become widespread in the premium sector. In addition to this, the metaverse can also play a key role internally for businesses: for example, training employees through VR and AR experiences can become a great way for enterprises to save time and resources.
It is predicted that 25 per cent of consumers will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse by 2026, with 74 per cent of adults in the US considering joining this new digital world. The metaverse will be used for most day-to-day activities, including working, shopping, socialising and consuming entertainment. In light of these fast-approaching changes to everyday life, companies should start thinking about how they can capitalise on the metaverse, and determine whether this should be their next big move. At Flame PR, we can support companies who want to dive into this new world of technology. We can help your brand stand out in the noisy metaverse space, with our public relations and broadcast PR services, or amplify your voice in the online conversations about the metaverse with our digital marketing offering. Contact us today if you would like to find out more about the metaverse and our service offering here at Flame PR.