Innovation is essential for brands that want to separate themselves from the competition and embrace creativity. Businesses are beginning to see the utility of NFTs. Companies integrating NFTs into their branding strategy should consider collaborating with NFT creators, tokenizing events, converting physical products into NFTs, licensing, and running NFT contests and giveaways. Zipline’s survey results indicated that 84% of Generation X, 70% of Millennials, and 63% of Generation Z would be interested in an NFT from the brands they enjoy.
NFTs allow brands to add value to digital products; however, the product must be of value to consumers. Brands like Gucci have created NFT clothing, and Nike offers digital sneakers that avatars can wear in the metaverse. The emerging use of NFTs now allows brands to merge the digital and physical worlds; consumers can buy or win a digital product like an image or video, then the company can provide a physical branded product to close the marketing loop. Companies can design NFTs on their own or use a company that specializes in creating NFTs and NFT platforms. NFTs are a viable option for brands to connect with the consumer and increase brand recognition. Brands that invest in using a pre-built NFT platform are more likely to experience market gains.
In the past, customers would visit a website or app to access the products offered by a company. With technological advances, brands can create more immersive experiences for customers. Customers can visit a virtual store, like the one created by Nike, to go beyond just looking at products. In the metaverse, customers can interact with digital products by using an avatar to try on clothes and other products. The possibility for brands to elevate the customer experience from a simple website visit to a rich and immersive encounter should be explored. An Accenture consumer survey indicated that 64% of respondents made a virtual purchase with 83% willing to make purchases through the metaverse.
Brands that simulate the convenience and efficiency of a traditional in-store shopping experience are more likely to hold customer attention. Once the decision is made to launch a store in the metaverse, businesses must decide which metaverse platform to use. Known platforms exist, but brands should consider building their own platform for more control. The store layout could be a stand-alone app or a virtual space. Multimedia companies can help the brand to create and design interaction layers that define the functionality of the storefront and the ability to integrate with third-party tools. Customers can have a 3D experience using wearable devices such as virtual glasses, haptic gloves, smart glasses, and VR headsets. Well-constructed storefronts enable a high level of interoperability with increased data access and manipulation of digital objects by the consumer.
Virtual meetings are all the rage thanks to the rise of Zoom, and brands can take advantage of the change by hosting custom virtual events. Immersive virtual experiences can attract new business customers for brands looking to expand beyond geographic boundaries. The type and structure of the virtual event is only limited by the level of creativity and allow unlimited customizations. Brands can collaborate with influencers or even create their own virtual influencer.
Businesses can host live or pre-recorded events accessed from a mobile device or laptop. Although 3D events that require VR glasses or headsets are possible, they are not as popular now.
Artists are one of the largest groups leveraging the metaverse to engage patrons with live music, comedy shows, and other social events. Virtual event attendees can be present in the virtual world using avatars that allow them to dance with others while listening to their favorite artists. Roblox tapped into the innovative technology of the metaverse with over 33 million attendees at its virtual concert. The gaming market, including Fortnite, has successfully used VR gaming to promote products during customer interactions, demonstrating the power of virtual branding.
Virtual exhibitors can create realistic interactions like traditional conference room events. Companies can use branded booths to present various content, but high-quality productions are key. Brands can use virtual tokens, badges, avatar updates, and digital giveaways to convert fans into customers. The metaverse provides the opportunity for further engagement with the participants. Brands must make specific decisions to ensure that potential customers are part of the event, not just spectators.
Having a presence on virtual platforms is good, but it is even better to have your own. Brands should consider creating their own virtual platforms. While it may initially seem financially risky, the ability to provide targeted and branded customer interactions will only enhance the consumer experience. Companies that want a successful launch in the metaverse must prepare a market analysis to ensure that the project will meet the needs of the client and outshine the competition. Some companies even offer the ability to create your own secure smart contracts, NFT marketplaces, and more.