In Facebook’s recent second-quarter earnings conference call, co-founder and CEO Zuckerberg explained his grand vision of transforming a social media company into a “metauniverse” company. He called this transformation “in our lifetime” One of the most exciting projects to be engaged in”.
Transformation of the way consumers interact with brands
As the experience economy has entered a new stage, the way consumers interact with brands has also changed. The brand is no longer all the products and services of the brand, but gradually expands to the sum of the touch points and interactions of each customer.
This two-way, interactive and dynamic relationship between commercial brands and consumers requires the consistency of the digital and physical worlds. This urges brands to integrate experiences related to their own products into an ecosystem, which is realized through meta universe.
Metaverse: A platform that mixes physical and digital experience
Meta universe is a virtual space that combines reality and virtual reality, and is becoming a highly influential platform for social interaction, cultural attributes and economic exchanges. Some people predict that it is the future direction of immersive digital experience. It will play a key role in forming its own ecosystem and ensuring cross-channel synchronization, and will serve as a platform for mixing physical and digital experiences.
For brands, changes in consumer behavior and people’s interest in Metaverse are gradually increasing, which creates opportunities for companies to enter the virtual world of marketing.
The background of digital brand marketing
Generation Z and new social spaces
The young group is the main audience group of the new form of online space. The behavior of young players of Generation Z shows that the gaming environment is first of all social spaces. They are not channels that operate in a virtual environment, but are cultural touchpoints for young people to meet, compete, collaborate, and create. This deep connection and similarity between online and offline experiences creates a huge opportunity for brands.
The time people spend in games becomes a new way of socializing and complements real-life conversations and behaviors. The Internet and games have been deeply embedded in the lives of a generation as television is to the X generation and the baby boomers. The difference is that games and the broader meta-universe are more participatory. They are active rather than passive. Therefore, the role of game developers is rapidly changing to build the most distinctive and attractive virtual space to obtain rewards and create a sense of belonging for users.
The new crown epidemic accelerates the virtualization of the world
The time people spend in virtual space has gradually eliminated the boundary between “real life” and “virtual life.” During the epidemic, the quarantine policy forced people to interact in a virtual environment through video calls. A number of virtual games, such as “Animal Crossing Friends” and “Fortress Night” have become important recreational and social methods for people.
Virtual games and social interactions have gradually formed an important part of people’s lives. This trend itself has also been accelerated by the epidemic, creating an opportunity for brands outside of games-brands can join them and become part of the meta universe.
At the same time, this opens the door for the participation of fashion and furniture brands. For example, IKEA Taiwan took advantage of the user’s enthusiasm for virtual furniture in the game to recreate the in-game product catalog, which provides a link to the in-game IKEA theme island, linking it to its own platform and store. And KFC in the Philippines went one step further, providing real-world rewards for users who visit its official islands and discover the “colon”.
The development of virtual reality technology
The scale of the game market in 2021 has accelerated the trend of commercial brands entering the meta universe. In 2020, the number of mobile game players in the UK alone has increased by 50%, with a total of 8.6 million new players. The widespread availability of technology means that AR games on mobile phones have a real opportunity to create their own social meta-universe, which provides opportunities for brands to enter the meta-universe.
A glimpse of the marketing form in the meta universe from the game
Fortnite is one of the most popular video games in the world, and its success is not only because it attracts a large number of players (now has more than 350 million registered users), but also because the platform can surpass it as a platform for competitive shooting games and provide users Provides a social space to hang out with friends.
Fortnite is not the first game with meta-universe features. Second Life is an online game released in 2003 that allows users to spend “Second Life” in a virtual world. Recently, games such as Minecraft , Roblox and VRChat have become popular spaces for virtual social interaction.
Although the existing game platforms are not fully interoperable, they can be regarded as partial, small meta-universes. The existing marketing forms in the game platform provide imagination for how brands can market and promote in Metaverse.
Marketing with in-game products
These game products may be virtual re-creations of real-world items (such as the monster energy tank in the action game Death Stranding) or branded items that promote real-world products (such as the John Wick character model released in Fortnite, used to promote the same name movie).
Many games already make money by selling in-game products and character skins. Selling these items is often considered a desirable business model, which means users actively want them (for example, users can pay for the John Wick skin in Fortnite).
In sports games, users want the experience of the game to be as real as possible. Therefore, there is also a market for virtual sneakers or jerseys. When a new product in the real world is released, users can immediately get the virtual Air Jordan released in the game. Similarly, a large number of brands can enter the game scene and become an important part of the game.
Present the real world in virtual form
Take the video game advertising technology company Bidstack as an example. Bidstack initially engaged in outdoor advertising in the real world, but now they have transferred the technology to the virtual world. In the virtual world, Bidstack can place advertisements on virtual billboards and place sponsorship information in virtual stadiums.
With the full development of the meta universe, more virtual spaces will appear. For example, Fortnite recently announced that Christopher Nolan’s movie will be shown in the game this summer. If this format is popular, in the near future, before a movie is shown in a virtual cinema, maybe trailers and advertisements will run as they do in the real world.
Marketing through experiences, events, and events
Marvel’s linkage with Fortnite last year provides a good example. In this linkage, Thanos, the character in Marvel’s “Avengers” series, was designed as a character in “Fortnite”. Thanos is integrated into a specially designed game mode and is given a unique set of abilities in the game.
This type of advertising does not actually occur in the real world at all, but runs in the form of full-screen video or display advertisements in the game. This form is similar to the advertisements in current mobile games and is usually given to users in the game. Rewards in exchange for their attention.
The advantage of these types of ads is that they will be easier to integrate into the media plans of most brands, using creative formats and metrics that the brands are familiar with.
Examples of existing commercial applications
Brand marketing in Meta Universe expands the space for commercial brand development. For brands, they can go out of the real world and enter the virtual world, where the brand will have a new economy, currency, consumption environment and user behavior.
At present, many brands have begun to conduct brand marketing attempts in Meta Universe, and it has become the consensus of major brands to seize the marketing opportunities in Meta Universe. For example, brands such as Nike, Disney, Snap, and Facebook are creating virtual communities, providing virtual content, building assets, and providing users with fashion and art experiences.
The Facebook mentioned at the beginning believes that digital goods have great potential, such as providing digital clothing for people’s avatars. Brands such as Gucci, Netfpx and SK-II are also trying to embed their brands in the virtual world organically.
Japanese high-end skin care brand SK-II has cooperated with advertising company Huge to create its own virtual SK-II city and transport users to virtual streets of Tokyo for viewing and play.
In June 2021, Netfpx launched a gamified version of the iconic Stranger Things Starcourt Mall on the meta-universe platform Roblox.
Many other brands, especially the luxury goods industry, have also begun to try to use existing virtual platforms to create empowering experiences for users to build immersive brand experiences. Louis Vuitton has released a heroic alliance universe featuring exclusive capsule collections, including the League of Legends champion Kia Na special skin Gucci earlier this year launched a two-week joint Roblox Gucci virtual garden to immerse in Florence, Italy The multimedia experience is a prototype, and a limited-edition virtual package is launched in the game at a price of US$4,115, which exceeds the retail value of physical items of US$3,400. At the same time, Warner Bros. created a virtual block party on Roblox to celebrate the film remake of Lin Manuel Miranda’s new musical “Highland.”
Advantages of Meta Universe Marketing
Compared with traditional video games, in Metaverse, brands are more likely to be bound to specific themes or genres, thereby reducing restrictions and achieving broader product integration. For example, in the real world, it is easy to tie Air Jordans with a basketball game, but it is relatively difficult to link with a brand like Burger King. But in the open world meta-universe, both are fairly easy to integrate.
Metaverse can surpass the limitations of the physical world. Therefore, in Metaverse, different brands may also collide and cooperate. Some application scenarios that cannot be realized in the real world can also be realized more easily in digital form in Metaverse. .
Higher brand freedom
In Metaverse, brands can not only determine their own aesthetic orientation and self-customized construction, but also collect data to measure participation and promote the refinement of the overall experience.
Imagine a virtual world where brands are free to provide tailor-made experiences, entertainment, inspiration and purchase opportunities without being restricted by physical conditions and other external factors. In this virtual space, users can exchange products, experience an extraordinary virtual environment, and obtain personalized consumer interaction. In addition, brands can seamlessly update content, respond to changing trends and customer needs in real time, effortlessly keep up with the cultural speed, and give full play to brand creativity.
More flexible marketing forms
Natalia Vasileva, the vice president of Anzu, an in-game advertising platform, once said: “It is the dream of every marketer to make games as an ecosystem.” Any test that is impossible in other channels can be used in the game. Test in. Every marketer can find opportunities for brand placement in the game world. From billboards to videos to interactive advertising, brands can communicate with players in a variety of ways.
A closer brand-consumer relationship
In a virtual world where trust, money, and identity are embedded in the environment, the relationship between brands and consumers is not only centered on the product, but also because of the interaction between advertising and virtual images, which gradually has the characteristics of partnership, and is directly connected through decentralized business activities. stand up.
This change in consumer relations has also created a new source of income for the brand. Taking luxury brands as an example, the digital goods sold by luxury brands now account for nearly half of brand revenue. More and more users hope to have a Gucci skin to decorate their avatars in Metaverse, and the reason is exactly the same as if they own a Gucci handbag in the real world. With the development of the meta universe, the boundary between the real world and the virtual world will be further blurred.
What brands need to pay attention to when virtual marketing
Align with real-world business strengths
Lindsay McKinney, the global head of technology and innovation for Zed Run, a horse racing project in the virtual world, said that brands should use virtual space carefully and focus on what they are most famous and good at in the real world, as well as what they do There have been successful practices and experiences in the real world.
“If you are not an art dealer in real life, why should you sell art in the digital world?” Although virtual reality provides more opportunities and possibilities for brands, brands must also consider the virtual world and the real world The business consistency of the company maintains and exerts its own advantages in the real world.
Respect the virtual community
Many virtual communities, such as Decentraland , are owned by users and have a very open and relaxed community atmosphere. When a brand enters a virtual community, it must not do things that go against the atmosphere of the community and make the residents of the community feel uneasy.
For any community that a brand wants to cooperate with, it is necessary to respect the culture and atmosphere of the virtual community. In the meta-universe, the power of individual users is often stronger than that of the real world. Brands must not only conduct package deals with the big bosses of spaces and venues, but also need to pay attention to interactions with individual users and respond to users’ comments in a timely manner.
Have an open mindset of trial and error
Everything about virtual trading is completely new and untested, so the brand will definitely make detours when it first tries, and there is no ready-made roadmap to refer to. For all brands, brand marketing in Meta Universe is “crossing the river by feeling the stones.” Therefore, brands should strengthen cooperation and avoid some obvious mistakes.
Just as many people in the early 21st century believed that they would never need the presence of social media, now brands will need to start building a meta universe team to help them seize the opportunity in the Web 3.0 era.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/what-kind-of-digital-brand-marketing-revolution-will-metaverse-bring/
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