When consumption encounters the concept of Metaverse, is it still a new outlet?

The rise of the new concept of “Metaverse” is brewing a new round of changes.

As foreign companies such as Facebook and Microsoft are betting on the Metaverse, and domestic giants such as NetEase, Huawei, and ByteDance have also announced their entry into the game, the Metaverse has become the next Internet outlet, attracting more and more players to join. Consumer companies that are “unrelated” in the universe have also begun to gear up.

A few days ago, Guangyao Wanglaoji officially signed a contract with Highstreet World, announcing that it will land on the Highstreet World Metaverse and build a Ji cultural base. Lin Xianfeng, Director of Wanglaoji Pharmaceutical Food Business Department, said, “By using blockchain technology, digital products can swim on the blockchain. And this unique digital asset with unique identification and ownership information owned by users has room for appreciation. It ‘s very big.” In his view, the Metaverse constructed by interactive technologies such as blockchain and big data has played an important role for Wang Laoji to reach the new generation.

In addition, Haidilao, Coca-Cola, Michelle Bingcheng, and beauty brands such as L’Oreal and Natural Hall have also launched Metaverse.

When consumption encounters the Metaverse, is it a concept or a new outlet?

Metaverse is surging

 “The Metaverse is a new concept. At present, we try to contact and embrace it according to our understanding.” Weng Shaoquan, general manager of the company, told the 21st Century Business Herald reporter.

On the same day, Wanglaoji held the launching ceremony of the Metaverse “Ji Space”, and planned to apply the related technologies of the Metaverse to bring consumers a new consumption scene experience. Before that, a Weibo with the theme of “Wanglaoji’s application for the Metaverse trademark” had been on the hot search, causing heated discussions among netizens.

Weng Shaoquan said, “Digitalization is the development direction of the national strategy in the future. Wanglaoji’s application for the Metaverse trademark and the release of ‘Ji Space’ are mainly for the layout of future business development.” He pointed out that the layout of the Metaverse is on the one hand to promote sales, on the other hand It is the need for future business development.

The reporter checked the data and found that as of March 30, 2022, the total number of trademark applications containing “Metaverse” in the name has reached nearly 20,000 . Topics related to the Metaverse have quickly become the focus of public attention. According to the Baidu Index, the overall daily average number of searches for the keyword “Metaverse” in the past six months was 26,393, a month-on-month increase of 676%.

What is the “Metaverse” that has swept the world?

Kong Rong, the global technology chief of Tianfeng Securities Research Institute, once defined the Metaverse as a “3D version of the Internet.” She said, ” If the Metaverse is a building, then network computing and artificial intelligence are the core underlying technologies .”

It is understood that the Metaverse was born in the 1992 science fiction novel “Avalanche”, in which the author depicted a three-dimensional digital space parallel to the real world. iiMedia Research pointed out that the current definition of the Metaverse refers to a virtual universe constructed through a variety of technologies, that is, a data world that people can immersely enter using science and technology such as brain-computer interfaces and VR.

The “2020-2021 Metaverse Development Research Report” released by Tsinghua University believes that 2020 is a critical point for the virtualization of human society, paving the way for 2021 to become the first year of the Metaverse. On the one hand, the epidemic has accelerated social virtualization. Under the prevention and control measures of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the time spent online by the whole society has increased significantly, and the “home economy” has developed rapidly; on the other hand, online life has changed from the original short-term exception to the norm. The supplement of the real world has become a parallel world with the real world, and human real life has begun to migrate to the virtual world on a large scale, and human beings have become an “amphibious species” of reality and digital.

As people have higher interactive needs for virtual worlds, the Metaverse has ushered in a huge space for development.According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the market size of the Metaverse will reach US$1.5 trillion in 2030, and Bloomberg estimates that the market size of the Metaverse will reach US$2.5 trillion by then; Morgan Stanley predicts that the potential market space for the Metaverse in the future will Over $8 trillion. Not only that, in the development process of Metaverse, it will continue to drive and expand the market scale in other fields.

Fast-moving consumer goods get together and break into

In fact, Wanglaoji, who is trying to enter the Metaverse, is just a microcosm of many FMCG brands. As the Metaverse has become the hottest outlet of the moment, consumer brands are constantly finding their way. Tianfeng Securities pointed out that the concept of the Metaverse has long collided with consumption since the fire last year, or that new consumption in the Metaverse has already become a trend.

On March 30th, Haidilao pre-sold blind boxes of “Pie Chi Xiaohi – Eggplant Star Doll Series” in the member mall and Tmall’s official flagship store, and presented a limited number of 1,920 digital art collections in Tmall’s official flagship store. The pre-sale started at 10 a.m., and the limited-edition blind box with the digital collection was sold out in an instant. “I opened the pre-sale page early and stared at it, but I didn’t expect it to be killed in seconds. Fortunately, the physical blind box is still in stock.” One person Consumers who didn’t get the bonus digital collection style are a bit unwilling.

Influenced by the concept of “Metaverse”, digital collections are creating a boom in countries around the world. It is understood that digital collections are essentially digitized specific works, artworks and commodities that are uniquely identified using blockchain technology, including but not limited to digital paintings, pictures, music, videos, 3D models and other forms. Each digital collection is mapped with a unique serial number on a specific blockchain, which cannot be tampered with, indivisible, or substituted for each other.

However, unlike foreign countries, most of the domestic digital collections are issued based on the alliance chain, focusing on the concept of digital collections. For example, the Xiaohai blind box digital collection launched by Haidilao this time uses the ant blockchain technology. Under the circumstance that everything can be “digital collection”, the boundaries of digital collection are constantly being expanded.

In April 2021, Coca-Cola and digital wearable device design platform Tafi jointly launched the NFT digital collection, the work of Coca-Cola Friendship Box. In December, Nai Xue’s official Weibo account posted the tag “Milk Tea Session Enters the Metaverse”, and sold virtual idol NFT blind boxes online, announcing its official entry into the Metaverse.

Coincidentally, Mixue Bingcheng, which focuses on the sinking market, also registered a series of Metaverse trademarks in succession last year. “MIXUEMETA”, “SNOWKINGMETA”, etc. In February of this year, McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast-food chain, also submitted a Metaverse-based trademark application. The new trademarks applied include “operating a virtual restaurant featuring real and virtual goods” and “an online virtual restaurant that provides home delivery services.” “.

In addition, beauty brands such as L’Oreal and Natural Hall have also made efforts one after another. On Double Eleven in 2021, Natural Hall will launch the collection of “Natural Tang Thangka Ice Muscle Water + NFT Edition Ice Muscle Water”, taking the lead in eating the first “crab” in the field of Metaverse concepts. In February of this year, L’Oreal France applied for virtual goods trademarks for 17 of its brands. In the application documents, L’Oreal said it would “provide a virtual world for people to browse, accumulate, buy, sell and trade virtual cosmetics”.

“There is a saying in L’Oréal ‘grasp the small trends and make good moves’, that is to seize these trends as soon as they appear.” L’Oreal North Asia President and China CEO Fei Berry was interviewed by the 21st Century Business Herald Shi believes that digital tools or means such as the Metaverse can bring products and services closer to consumers and provide consumers with more personalized experiences and products.

Chen Xinhan, director of digital innovation at L’Oreal China, told reporters that in the past few years, L’Oreal began to use augmented reality (AR) to interact with consumers, and at the same time brought naked-eye 3D technology to the live broadcast room to provide consumers with an immersive shopping experience. Tianfeng Securities pointed out that 3D content can enhance the consumer experience in terms of spatial sense, and combining virtual and reality can help consumers make satisfactory online shopping choices, thereby reducing costs and improving efficiency.

The reporter noticed that in December last year, L’Oreal released seven NFT collaboration works focusing on female artists.It is understood that L’Oréal currently has a dedicated team in France to research and develop content related to the Metaverse. Fabery said, “For the Metaverse, we hope to play our first moves well.”

Real layout or rubbing hot spots?

From VR technology to virtual IP, virtual spokesperson, etc., to the ever-evolving NFT, it is not difficult to see that the enthusiasm of consumer brands for the Metaverse is rapidly expanding, but at the same time, the voice of doubt in the industry has followed.

Some people in the industry believe that the essence of consumer brands entering the Metaverse is “old wine in new bottles”. Many consumer brands have registered Metaverse trademarks to increase brand awareness for manufacturing hotspots and increase product sales. At the same time, most consumer brand companies lack IT, smart hardware teams and black technology patents, and essentially use NFTs, virtual IPs and virtual idols for marketing.

Chinese food industry analyst Zhu Danpeng told the 21st Century Business Herald reporter that the entry of catering companies into the Metaverse is “actually a hot topic, without any meaning” . He pointed out that this is a “playing concept, playing a gimmick, whoever proposes it first, who Maybe you can enjoy this traffic first, that is, hype and attract fans”, a means of gaining traffic.

The reporter found that many brands under the banner of “Metaverse” did not have any substantive actions in the layout of the Metaverse. Perfect Diary told 21st Century Business Herald that the application for registration of Chinese and English trademarks such as “Perfect Diary Metaverse” and “Pico Xiong Metaverse” is “for the purpose of trademark protection, and there is no Metaverse plan yet”. Michelle Bingcheng also told the media that the Metaverse trademark is only a protective registration. In order to avoid possible counterfeiting in the future, there is no clear plan and action in the Metaverse field for the time being.

Under the Weibo entry of Naixue’s “Milk Tea Session Enters the Metaverse”, some consumers also questioned, “Naixue’s NFT can’t be given away, can’t be traded, and can’t be circulated, so what’s the point of collecting?” In fact, The transaction attributes of China’s NFTs have been weakened, and the domestic supervision of virtual currencies is very strict. The current application scope of NFTs is still limited to digital collections and digital artworks . After the release of IP Chaowan, so far Nai Xue’s tea has not announced the next Metaverse plan.

Tianfeng Securities pointed out that the popularity and traffic brought by the concept of Metaverse + Web3.0 are driving more brands and IPs to settle in. Brands/IPs/platforms locate special consumer groups through virtual people and NFTs, and create virtual and physical products. However, traffic is only the surface value of virtual people and NFTs, and its core is the community attributes behind it. It creates new consumer demand for brands and platforms, and it also becomes a path for deep digitalization.

The new consumption development problems under the Metaverse cannot be ignored either. Tianfeng Securities further pointed out that the current development of Metaverse’s core technology is less than expected, and the main constraints on the development of new consumption in Metaverse are the immaturity of technology and cost issues. The “Metaverse Development Research Report 2020-2021” shows that the Metaverse needs to use 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, blockchain, digital twins, extended reality (AR/VR/MR), robots and brain-computer interfaces as technologies base, which is still relatively far away.

Zhu Danpeng said that if brands simply hype the concept of the Metaverse, it will only be short-lived, and it is impossible to have long-term customer stickiness. He said, “If no substantive content or new elements are added in the future, the new generation will only have a momentary pleasure for the Metaverse.”

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