Why Should Your Business Prepare for the Metaverse?
The coming of the metaverse was the one headline that dominated business magazines this past year.
Of course, most of this news coverage was sparked by Facebook’s surprising announcement that it was changing its name to “Meta” in a very public commitment to the metaverse. However, Meta is far from alone in its efforts to move toward a more virtual future. Walmart has been filing trademark applications for a variety of non-fungible tokens, virtual currencies, and virtual items to sell in the metaverse quietly. Ariana Grande and other global celebrities have performed at virtual concerts presented by Epic Games. Disney also recently patented an augmented reality device that doesn’t require glasses or headsets.
However, don’t be fooled by the fact that global tech behemoths dominate the metaverse’s headlines… The billion-dollar brands aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the metaverse. Every company must learn how to integrate the metaverse into its operations. Sure, it’s easy to dismiss the metaverse as a fad in technology, but the metaverse is all about experiences. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the previous few years, it’s that the experience-driven economy isn’t going anywhere.
Read More: How to Make Your Brand Thrive in the Metaverse
Still not persuaded? Let’s look at three reasons why your company should get ready for the metaverse right now:
Table of Contents
1. The experience economy is embraced by the metaverse.
I’ve written extensively about why I believe experiences will drive the future of business. However, the numbers back this up: According to a recent Harris Poll, 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences rather than material items. With Gen Z, this number is only going to rise.
Take a look at The Museum of Ice Cream’s success. This attraction is virtually always sold out, even in a time when museums are struggling to sell as many tickets as they once did! Why? Because it’s an adventure, complete with enormous candies, sprinkle swimming pools, and a plethora of other amusing, intriguing, and “Instagrammable” events.
This experience economy encompasses more than simply places and events. Consider the success of the wine 19 Crimes. It all started with a good bottle of wine. The company’s AR-enabled wine labels, which come to life when paired with the company’s proprietary smartphone app, are the brand’s true difference. This technology has allowed 19 Crimes quadruple in size over the last few years and be embraced by a whole new generation of wine consumers by turning the age-old ritual of opening a bottle of wine into a one-of-a-kind experience.
These are the kinds of moments that the metaverse will empower businesses all across the world to produce. The metaverse is the art that leaps out of the frame, the Hall of Famer who sits next to you while you watch the game, and the superhero who leaps off the page of your child.
Time, money, and the physics of the natural world no longer limit experiences in the metaverse. They’re only limited by the inventiveness of a brand.
2. The metaverse drives the bottom line
So, why are these brand experiences in the metaverse’s hub so crucial? They are responsible for the bottom line.
One of the most essential lessons I received while working as Disney’s chief of invention and creation was from Walt Disney himself: “Start with the experience, and the sales will follow.” Not surprisingly, Walt’s preoccupation with the Disneyland experience allowed him to transform what was once just orange groves and walnut trees in Anaheim into a crown jewel that now generates over $4 billion in annual sales.
Disneyland’s success as a profit machine is due to the fact that it wasn’t designed to be one. Instead, it was designed to be a platform where people could tell stories. These stories, in turn, create experiences, which lead to customers unlocking their wallets.
Brands will be able to take their tactics to a whole new level with the metaverse, providing one-of-a-kind experiences for each guest. Imagine a future where, instead of wasting a day trying to find your daughter’s favorite Disney princess at the park, the princess emerges directly in front of her (and can even converse with her in the language of your choice) on demand! How much would this improve your family’s Disney vacation?
Of course, for companies like Disney, who can afford to invest hundreds of millions of dollars on these immersive experiences, this is all well and good. But how about your company? This is where, to some extent, the metaverse will level the playing field.
Designers may create bespoke structures, items, games, rides, events, and more without having to pay for materials, labor, or equipment because virtual real estate can be purchased for thousands of dollars instead of millions. This means that creating a memorable branded experience in the metaverse may be done for a fraction of the price of doing it in the real world.
And, thanks to an unprecedented level of data and artificial intelligence integration into your organization, the metaverse will not only drive virtual sales – it will also drive real sales. Consider this scenario: you save an Instagram photo of a new blouse from your favorite local retailer. Later that week, you go out for a cappuccino, and as you walk past the boutique, your AR lenses notify you that the blouse you bookmarked is in stock in your size. You can tap once to see a photo of how it might appear on you, twice to have it pulled from the rack by a salesman, and three times to have it delivered to your door.
Isn’t that something out of a science fiction novel? Perhaps. Consider McDonald’s, which recently filed a trademark for a metaverse restaurant where consumers can order meals at a virtual counter and have it delivered to their real-life door. This is the world that will be ushered in: a personalized, customer-centric one.
3. The metaverse attracts previously unengaged consumers.
I ran a training session for the Philadelphia Eagles not long ago. During the session, I was told that 90 percent of Eagles fans will never go to a game in person because of the cost, location, transportation, and other factors.
Consider what it would be like if 90% of your potential consumers were unable to conduct business with you. In the metaverse, this is a big area of possibility for enterprises. Sports clubs are already taking advantage, as evidenced by the NBA’s interactive fan displays during its bubble period. Even before the outbreak, Manchester United used Google Hangouts to provide fans all over the world a front-row seat.
For small businesses, the metaverse means being able to engage with consumers who can’t come to your store, offer virtual items to customers who can’t afford your actual ones, and having your sales people display at trade exhibitions all over the world without ever leaving their homes. Every organization will be able to become a truly worldwide brand thanks to the metaverse.
Read More: How the Metaverse Projects Reality in a Virtual World
As you can see, the metaverse isn’t just for the world’s billion- and trillion-dollar IT corporations. It will eventually effect all brands. Will your company be prepared to seize the opportunity?
Exploring the metaverse for yourself is the simplest approach to get your firm thinking about a meta future. After all, metaverse technologies are straightforward; I move my hand or head in one direction, and my virtual avatar moves in the opposite direction. And all I have to do to interact with someone in the virtual world is walk up to them and say hello. Spend some time looking at these options, and you’ll soon be thinking ways to embrace the metaverse’s inevitable future. Who knows, you might even have a good time in the process.