Welcoming Your Brand To The Metaverse

Koen Claes Rouire
Koen Claes Rouire

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You may have heard of the Metaverse and be somewhat familiar with it. But you may also be hesitant about how to get started with it and how it can benefit your company and brand.

We’re experiencing exciting times in the online world.

Exciting can also mean confusing, and quite hard to grasp, since it’s a new way of working, marketing, and interacting.

We’re heading toward a new iteration of the Internet (Web3).

Our advice? Get on board now instead of trying to play catch-up later.

In this blog, you’ll learn more about what the Metaverse is. We’ll give you insights on how to enter it, the benefits it brings to your brand, and all the ways we can help welcome your brand to the Metaverse. The good news is that as a brand, you can take part in the Metaverse and engage with your audience in a new and improved way. Yet first, you should take the time to better understand the background of the web, related concepts, and the ins and outs of the virtual world. Also, to gain a clear picture of where we’re heading next and how you can best prepare for the Metaverse.

Web3: the internet, evolved

Once upon a time, the World Wide Web was one static version of the Internet, much like a newspaper, mainly made to consume a lot of information: The OG Web1.
You can read the newspaper & complain to your Partner / Dog / Cat / Parrot but no other readers of the same newspaper know what you just said. It’s a one-way transfer of information.

Web2 started in the early 2000s when interactive web applications were developed.
For the first time, you now had the possibility to both be a consumer (reading the newspaper) and a content creator (sharing your opinion about it in the comments or on social media platforms): a two-way traffic of information.

The issue? Web2 is owned by large corporations, and they own almost all the platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok). They even own your data, so they do have all the power. Social media platforms wanted to incentive users to create high-quality content on their platforms. Therefore, they set up a revenue-sharing model and rewarded the creators who had the most views, likes, and engagement.

Creators could earn money with their content, but a couple of new problems arose.

Platform change their algorithms. This means that the platforms choose which kind of content will be shown on the platform. One day, you could be super popular and the next day you don’t get any views anymore. Some famous examples of big algorithm changes are YouTube, Instagram & Facebook.

As a creator on a platform, you technically don’t own the content you create. The platform can at any given moment decide to remove your video or even license it to a third party. The moment the platform goes bankrupt, your video & audience also disappears.

And then, Web3 came along: the next evolution of the internet.

Web3 is completely decentralized, which means that the power is distributed among everyone who’s participating in the space.

The big difference is that creators can now own their assets, data, content & most importantly: they have a direct way to connect to their audience.

As a creator, you can be rewarded for the work you’re doing. One significant part of Web3 is that the data is stored on a blockchain. A blockchain is some kind of database, but the database is not stored on or in one place.

you are familiar with blockchains, you may also know the concept of “smart contracts”. It’s something that will execute automatically based on different rules. No need for a third party to make sure a transaction goes through. Keep in mind that once it’s put on the blockchain, it’s out there. No way to change it.

From now on, you’re not limited to a platform anymore. You own the asset and the platform allows you to interact with it in their “world”. 

For example: musicians can directly release music to fans & create their own community.
Because all the interactions are stored on the blockchain, they can easily identify their super fans, reward them with exclusive experiences & build remarkable brand loyalty.

All About NFTs

Another core concept to understand in greater detail is NFTs: non-fungible tokens.

NFT prove that you have ownership of digital assets on the blockchain. As far as collectability goes, you can buy digital collectables or even tickets to a concert.

As an NFT owner, it gives you the opportunity for greater access. It also allows you to monetize your NFT and fund things. Having an NFT will even allow you to purchase exclusive merchandise in some cases. As a brand, you can build loyalty programs using NFTs on the blockchain as well.

What is the Metaverse?

By definition, the Metaverse is a virtual persistent world in which we can all exist together, represented by avatars only. You are represented by an avatar that can interact and engage with other avatars.
We must also understand that this definition only holds true for the present situation. It’s about the flawless connection between the real world and our virtual worlds coming together.

It’s a follow-up chapter of our current Internet that we will not only passively visit, but actively experience. No one truly knows where it’s going next, and is in a very early stage.

What is also interesting is that you can buy and own digital assets or virtual goods (NFTs). Ownership becomes important here since you can take your virtual goods with you from one platform to the next since you’re the owner.

As expected, Facebook will likely have a large portion of it. As of today, Facebook has 3.5 billion active users. They will “own”, unless they don’t succeed, a large portion of that Metaverse. However, there will be multiple Metaverses.

Every company that’s active on the Metaverse, will probably have their own piece of the Metaverse as well. It’ll be like a virtual world that you can explore.

Entering the Metaverse

So, what does entering the Metaverse really mean? It is an integrated network of 3D virtual worlds in which you access through a virtual reality headset. How it works is that you’ll navigate this virtual world using your eye movements, feedback controllers, or voice commands.

Enjoying a VR experience and participating in the Metaverse doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Through your smartphone, you’re already able to participate. However, the way you will experience the Metaverse in the most immersive way is definitely by using a VR headset.

Think about it as you would about augmented reality (AR): virtual worlds that you can explore to meet and interact and engage with other people.

As a brand trying to enter and get involved in the Metaverse, you need to start with a customer-centric experience.
Ask yourself: how can these technologies help to elevate that experience? Make sure that you understand your reasoning behind getting involved in the Metaverse as a brand before diving in.

Otherwise, you risk becoming a PR stunt and not gaining any true value for your participation and being unable to better connect with your audience.

Digital Identity

You’re also going to soon have a digital identity to manage that you’ll use to interact with others and the virtual world. It’s a representation of yourself or your real-life persona, but online. What will happen with the emergence of the Metaverse is that your digital identity will become even more important than your physical identity.

Your experience will be built on Web3-technology. What NFTs you and your friends own and how you interact in the Metaverse will become even more important than how you look in real life. It’s also very possible that in about ten years, we won’t use the term “Metaverse” anymore. In the same way, no one says “World Wide Web” anymore. You may have heard about “Second Life”, which was just an early adoption of what we are seeing now.

First Steps Brands Need to Take to Enter the Metaverse

It’s essential to start with your customer first and ask yourself: Why are we doing this?

Think about the “Why” and “How” when it comes to improving the experience for your customers.
Ask yourself how and why should you improve your services.

Avoid investing a lot of money right away to build your own world. Instead, take the first step easy: experience it. Be present there and get a taste of it by, for example, sponsoring a small event. You’ll be able to easily plan your next steps from there.

It all starts with having a strategy for entering the Metaverse. Don’t just jump on the train because “it’s a trend” or it brings PR value. Use your innovation budget and start experiencing and experimenting with it instead. Instead of advertising, you can partner with other brands and create a brand activation experience. You can reward your customers and participants with coins, for example.

Pitfalls When Entering the Metaverse as A Brand

Be mindful that there are some pitfalls and obstacles you’ll face as a brand, entering the Metaverse.

For instance, having no strategy when entering the Metaverse, will work against you as a brand.

Go where your audience is and be active on those platforms.

It’s also advised to not just do what you’re doing in the real world and copy it over to the virtual world. Instead, think outside the box. Innovate, get creative, and think more as in NFTs. There needs to be added value that comes with your participation in the Metaverse.

Also, think about how you see your brand evolving in the Metaverse and what possibilities you see with it going forward.

Monetizing A Business in the Metaverse

As a brand and company owner, you’re probably wondering how, or if it’s even possible, to monetize a business in the Metaverse.

One opportunity might be with ‘virtual fashion’. If you care about profiling and how you look in the real world, then you will likely feel the same in the virtual space. You can create something and then sell it and skip the whole supply chain process and logistics of it.

Big fashion brands are already thinking along these lines and naming a Chief Metaverse Office, for example. Gaming also becomes an important and big part of the Metaverse. There will also be an opportunity for immersive storytelling and immersive videos and TV shows. Keep in mind that the younger generations are the ones who want and will use these virtual worlds. It’s not just hype and noise, but a way of the future.

Why Should Brands Start Thinking about the Metaverse Today?

Another question that brands are asking themselves is if they should begin thinking about the Metaverse today. Obviously, the answer is YES. If you intend to experiment on the Metaverse, you need to start now.

Many brands are already stepping into the Metaverse as we speak.

Why? Because you need to be able to successfully follow and target the younger generations. These are the types of platforms they will be active on and engaging in. You must focus on these generations if you are going to become a notable and successful brand in the future. The time to start learning about the Metaverse is now.

Test out your experience in these new worlds and notice how people engage with your brand and how it works. Pay attention to what does or doesn’t work for you or your brand.

Gather all the learnings and insights as soon as you can, so you can step in once the technology matures.
You will have figured out and established your identity and are setting yourself up for future success.

You don’t have to invest a lot of money at the beginning to get involved. Instead, make small investments in the Metaverse, to begin with. It’ll allow you to see what potential exists and what else you may want to do and how much more money you want to spend.

How Will the Metaverse Affect Marketing?

It’s a way to become closer than ever to your audience.

It’s more engaging and immersive than just putting out an ad or poster in front of your audience and hoping they see it. It’s a way to create a broader experience for your audience. They’ll be able to immersively experience your brand from within the Metaverse.

The (r)evolution that’s called Metaverse

What we’re experiencing right now is the perfect example of yet another evolution, and surely the next revolution.

This is likely going to be one of the most immersive experiences and probably the main device that everyone will use the most, looking at the future.
Affordable headsets will launch soon. Entering virtual worlds will become easier and likely replace laptops. 5G connectivity will also play a crucial role here.

Everything takes time to create, gain momentum and adopt. Everyone must be patient, but also prepared because: it is coming. It’s just a matter of when.

You want to be comfortable with the concept of a virtual world, instead of being caught off guard and trying to keep up with your competitors in the traditional ways. Make the better choice, choose to be one step ahead and ready to immerse your brand in the Metaverse.

There are also companies and IT people focusing on building out Metaverse standards such as interoperability standards and how are you going to take your virtual assets from one world. They are working on how to transform the Web2 towards a decentralized Web3 and how it’ll work and what this will look like.

How We Can Help Welcome Your Brand to the Metaverse

This is a lot of information to digest and take in, we know. Especially if it’s a new topic for you, and you don’t have much background information coming into this topic.

However, we have great news for you! Our team here at Upthrust can help you with the next steps and with the process of building a Metaverse strategy and getting comfortable with it and using it.

We are proud to be a top agency that can lead the way in welcoming prospective clients in the Metaverse.
We understand and offer services that cover Immersive technology, Immersive Narratives, and 360 Video so that you can elevate your branding and figure out a game plan for establishing your company in the Metaverse.

Upthrust is a global digital business acceleration agency and office that works with brands such as yourself to implement growth marketing processes and build high-performing digital products business leaders and corporations can use and apply.

Not only that, but we will also train your internal team on the tactics and processes we apply and use.
Our team of experts will sit down with you to discuss your goals and vision and help you come up with a strategy that works for you.

We’ll brainstorm with you and ensure you are fully optimized to have a successful and rewarding experience getting set up and experimenting with the Metaverse.

Through our proven processes, we will drive your business forward and help you accelerate growth. Our digital experts will give your business a boost in the right direction through growth services and digital products.

Next Steps & Getting in Touch

Are you ready to accelerate business growth and make a name for yourself as a brand? Then we want to hear from you!

Our team of digital experts can’t wait on welcoming your brand to the Metaverse through a strategic plan and approach that will provide you with a positive experience and help you get the results you desire.
We’ll ensure that you feel confident and ready to enter the Metaverse and not only exist in it, but truly make forward progress and grow your brand.

We’ll inform you of the best ways to engage with your audience and where to spend your money, time, and energy in the virtual world.

Are you ready to take the next step and ensure you’re ready to enter the Metaverse?

Then request your Metaverse strategy session today.

Why wait any longer when you now know what’s unfolding and what to expect in the future?

We will listen to your needs and goals, and then teach you how you can effectively position your business in the Metaverse.

Want To Explore The Metaverse With Your Brand?

Request your free Metaverse Strategy Session now!