Since the 2000s, the appearance of virtual reality foreshadowed a digital future sometimes associated with science fiction.
Then came the rise of gaming, which now has more than 3 billion players, invaded our screens and our relationship to digital.
Its strong thrust has generated many innovations that have resulted in the creation of avatars, stunning virtual reality and augmented reality.
The rise of blockchain and server capabilities have fostered the creation of innovative ecosystems.
Finally, the pandemic that we are going through has notably reshuffled the cards and accelerated the establishment of immersive spaces with high content, which today we call metaverse or metaverses: “meta” (around) and “verse” (universe) .
This new immersive online universe combines digital and physical worlds, including: technologies, virtual reality interfaces, augmented reality, 3D avatars, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.
Gamification of Internet usage
This digital world where humans end up living and interacting by superimposing themselves on the physical world is played like a video game.
This gamification that we already know in training or in retail becomes here a new form of relationship between brands and prospects/customers.
With one notable difference, it’s up to the prospect/customer – not the brand – to choose how and when to interact with that brand.
Gaming is not just a new medium: it’s a new active way of consuming
Successful consumer centric
This is a new experiential value chain that we call augmented experience.
Already in operation, it already has many examples of success and bitter failures.
When a luxury brand has its customers design digital clothes, then put them on sale and share the royalties with the customers, you change the paradigm.
When some players change their avatars every day, the use of new clothing (metawear) becomes a cornerstone.
But when an immersive platform offers to broadcast a concert live without any interaction, it’s a total failure.
Reproduction without adding physical activity cannot work in an immersive space.
Moreover, there is not one metaverse, but hundreds of metaverses.
Each game can become an immersive space.
Each platform offers an experience based on interactivity.
The brand, a religion for a community
It is no longer a question today of pushing for customer acquisition via paid media, but of building a “religion for a community”.
This community already present on social networks then becomes a real “fanbase” with which it is necessary to interact constantly and with whom it is necessary to know how to converse.
In the metaverse, everything revolves around adherence to a universe and its values.
Users love a story and want to add their own character to it.
The brand universe is then co-constructed with the customers.
Success for the brand requires an acculturation of the content to the media and not a simple reproduction of reality.
The use of the content must be possible through any device.
This alternative world must continue its life even in the absence of the actor, which inevitably gives him a feeling of lack and a fierce desire to return.
The brand does not stop communicating, it animates a universe 24 hours a day.
It’s a real omnichannel brand communication.
However, without losing coherence with all the other more traditional media.
With 95% of purchasing decisions being made along the digital journey, it’s clear that every digital space needs to be optimized and seamless.
A new generation of gaming
First of all, its aficionados are above all the Gaming generation, the one we call Alpha and Z.
But also the Geeks, who are not only determined by their age but by their assiduous practice of technological innovations.
You have to know how to talk to them, know their culture so as not to appear as artificial but as a real partner.
For what purposes to be in the metaverse?
Today is already tomorrow.
The brand’s offer is plural and changing according to technological innovations.
The field of possibilities opens up for each brand:
- Rely on its own metaverse to multiply live shopping sessions
- Virtualize real products for sale
- Virtualize real products for virtual use
- “VIPizing” a customer relationship
- Propose highly interactive events with the muses
- Place their products on immersive experiences
- Co-creation via NFTs of new products with consumers
- Develop playful and immersive experiences
- Increase product testing
- Further qualify the data
A profession that requires skills
These new experiences require the understanding of these universes.
A new profession that will be created: the Chief Metaverse Officer (CMO)
Become the brand’s strategist in the immersive universe to develop uses with high added value while being consistent with the brand’s other forms of communication.
Although this is a new universe where each brand is testing new experiences, we will have to quickly move from testing to professionalizing the offer.
It is thanks to the maturity of the experience that the brand will be legitimized that it will generate recurrences of purchases and will no longer be perceived only as an ephemeral attraction.
Author: Frederic LefretIT-A Agency
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