Since the release of Horizon Worlds in December of 2021, there has been a number of major brands expanding their digital footprint into the metaverse. These brands were quick to jump on the train and start strategizing a new and different type of marketing strategy. So in what way could the metaverse help brands, you may ask? This new virtual world will allow brands to have the opportunity to have an innovative attitude to staying relevant and ahead of the game while acquiring a new audience. An example of some of the major brands that were able to get a headstart include: Nike, Wendys, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Hyundai & Louis Vuitton just to name a few. These brands took notice of the newest opportunity and did not waste time getting a piece of the cake. Although big brands were able to get in fairly quickly, they could not do it without the help of well-known game developers as they want their brand to be as immersive and interactive as possible. For example, Nike partnered with Roblox to create Nikeland which is based off Nike’s headquarters. Nikeland comes with a variety of games, and it wouldn’t be Nike if there is no apparel, so customizing your avatar in Nike is also a possibility. Now that avatars in Roblox can wear Nike’s apparel, they now are expanding their digital footprint and awareness because you will not only see Nike on some of the biggest athletes in the world but also while you are enjoying games in the metaverse. Other companies even went as far as creating their own virtual reality games inside the metaverse where you can earn collectibles that can be either redeemed or even sold for real money.
Many people do not see the value in marketing inside the metaverse as it is game related and will reach people in the Gen Z era more than a mature audience such as Millennials. Because these brands jumped on the metaverse train so early, Gen Z is directly building a relationship with these brands as they are in their world now. This could affect who they buy with now and in the future as they grow older. As we know, it will be hard to keep the attention of the younger crowd, but many of these brands have already thought of ways to keep their audiences engaged by having special events that users can interact with. An example of this is when Warner Bros. hosted a block party for a movie that was about to launch called, In The Heights. There has also been a number of concert performances by various artists in Fortnite, and interactive Virtual Reality experiences hosted in real-world movie theaters. For apparel brands, users have been given a blank canvas avatar where they can walk in the store and try on different clothing items that they can then wear inside the metaverse. So as real-world companies face the day-to-day challenge of keeping customers interested in their brand, they now have a second force driving the same initiative in the digital world.
All in all, a lot of these companies are joining the metaverse simply for brand awareness. In addition to that, all of this is digital, so their real-life plans and goals are still in full effect while there is an entire digital world working towards the same goals as well. With everything considered, expanding your brand’s digital footprint in the metaverse can greatly help a brand, especially if done the right way.