Why Big Brands are Jumping into the Metaverse

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NFTs and the Metaverse: The New Future?

The Metaverse is creating a lot of buzz for consumers and businesses alike, but few understand what it really is. In particular, business owners aren’t sure what it is or how it can be beneficial for their brand.
NFTs and the Metaverse
While the Metaverse is a virtual world, it’s also real and tangible. Though it may not exist in physical space, it can generate its own economy and mirror – in many ways – the real world.
Broadly speaking, the Metaverse has been around as a hypothetical iteration of the internet as a single immersive virtual world. In the context of technologies that businesses are referring to as the Metaverse, however, it’s virtual reality and augmented reality.
The idea was championed by Mark Zuckerberg, who changed the name of his wildly successful Facebook brand to Meta. More big brands are getting on board, including Microsoft, Google, and Epic Games.
Even more traditional and less innovative companies are making the move, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, and have purchased virtual properties in Sandbox, a Metaverse platform.
With so many businesses making the leap and investing billions into this virtual environment, the Metaverse is on track to become a $20tn market in the next decade or so. It’s likely that more will follow suit, fueling the growth of the Metaverse on a whole.

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Is the Metaverse the New Future?

Metaverse the New Future
The Metaverse may seem like a strange concept for people in their 30s, 40s, or older. These generations grew up in the analog world and learned the internet in its infancy, already full-fledged adults by the time smartphones became nearly ubiquitous.
The next generation has a different perspective. The kids in school now will grow up with the Metaverse as part of their daily lives. They will experience both the physical and virtual world together. Much like how we’ve adjusted to have constant access to information and the internet at our literal fingertips, they will be immersed in these new and innovative virtual spaces.
The first businesses to get in will have an undoubted advantage. Big brands have the agility to adapt to the chances the Metaverse may bring. As the Metaverse evolves and grows, new businesses are likely to flock to it.

What Does Operating a Business in the Metaverse Look Like?

Business in the Metaverse
Simply put, the Metaverse is a virtual version of our physical world. A business operates within the Metaverse similarly to the real world. Meetings can be conducted with avatars or holograms of coworkers or customers in a virtual conference room. Realtors can do walk-throughs of homes with clients.
Construction contractors will still build properties, just virtual ones. Sales pitches will occur in virtual locations. Instead of replacing human connection, however, the virtual space can add a new layer to the largely remote, disconnected world we’re in now.
This isn’t without cost, however. Businesses operating in the Metaverse will need to purchase real estate for business operations and meetings. The rooms will need furniture, décor, and office supplies. Entrepreneurs will look for opportunities to sell the goods people are looking to purchase for their virtual workspaces.
None of this is happening soon, however. Contrary to expectations, the Metaverse isn’t a full-fledged reality yet. The technology expected to power the Metaverse isn’t likely to arrive for at least 10 years.
Over the next decade, we’ll begin to see the changes that the Metaverse will bring and how businesses can leverage it for success.

Here are some indications of what the full Metaverse may look like:

  • Roblox: This gaming platform allows users to create and play in virtual worlds. Creators can monetize games by selling assets through Robux, the digital currency of the platform.
  • Fortnite: What began as a free-to-play multiplayer game quickly rose to popularity for its realistic gameplay. Over time, it became more of a virtual world, even as far as hosting a virtual concert with Travis Scott.
  • Facebook Horizon and Microsoft Mesh: Facebook released Horizons Works, a virtual workspace that’s a competitor to Zoom and similar technology. Using Oculus VR, employees can collaborate and interact virtually. Microsoft offers a similar product, Mesh, that creates a “digital twin” of a physical workspace for virtual interactions.
  • Decentraland and The Sandbox: Decentraland is a virtual world where anyone can build structures, such as theme parks or museums, and charge an entrance fee. Users can buy digital assets as NFTs using the native token. Sandbox is another gaming Metaverse that allows users to create and sell unique digital assets as NFTs, also with the native currency.
  • Second Life: One of the older virtual worlds, Second Life launched in 2003 and allows people to create avatars to carry out real-life activities in a virtual world, such as shopping and socializing.

Why the Metaverse Matters for Business

The Metaverse is still new, but it should be on businesses’ radar. It offers plenty of business potential, including:

Profits from Digital Products

Profits from Digital Products
Digital assets on virtual platforms like Roblox, Fortnite, and Decentraland amass millions of dollars in sales. The virtual economy is strong, and brands have an opportunity to create virtual twins of their real-life products to create new revenue streams.
Sports apparel companies, such as Nike, and luxury fashion houses like Gucci and Dolce and Gabbana [link to updated fashion NFTs] are already getting in on the action and selling virtual clothing lines and wearables.
Smaller businesses have opportunities to capitalize on the trend as well. Products that can be represented in virtual reality can be sold on the virtual market. Along with revenue in the Metaverse, this also boosts demand for consumers to purchase the physical equivalent.

Better User Experience

Better User Experience
Ecommerce changed the way businesses operate and the expectations consumers have. While customers enjoy the access they have with ecommerce, however, they want an approximated in-person experience in a virtual space.
AR and VR offer new ways for consumers to shop for and interact with products and services. Consumers can use the products, try on clothing, and more to see if they’re satisfied before purchasing the real-life equivalent.
Given this trend, some brands have created virtual malls that allow anyone to come in and see branded goods.

International Reach

The internet was a revolution for international commerce. The Metaverse is the next step, allowing virtually anyone to enter and interact with a brand, no matter where they live. For brands, this creates seamless, universally accessible experiences for consumers all over the world.

Better Employee Collaboration

Better Employee Collaboration
Technologies like Horizons Workspaces and Mesh offer virtual solutions for the disconnect of remote and hybrid workplaces. Employees can interact and collaborate more effectively, improving satisfaction and engagement.
Similar to a real-world office, employees can collaborate and brainstorm in a shared virtual environment, rather than through a screen. This interactive environment will exist in the Metaverse and allow anyone, no matter where they live, to connect and share ideas like a real office space.

Improved Product Development

Many products suffer from a poor product-market fit that causes them to fail. Product testing can fix this problem, but this is currently expensive and time-consuming for companies.
The Metaverse removes these barriers. Product testing can be done with a digital twin, or a complex, hyper-realistic virtual representation of a physical product. Real-life experiences and interactions can be simulated in the Metaverse, so brands can test products in development with users’ avatars.
VR testing also offers another layer of understanding. Companies can analyze body language through VR simulations to gain insights into a customer’s behavior and sentiment, which can then be used to improve the product’s experience.

Improved Advertising and Marketing

Technology always offers new and exciting use cases for marketing and advertising. Targeted ads, interactive billboards, and more all elevated our approach to reaching customers. The Metaverse is no different.
This is a double-edged sword, however. Like current advertising practices, brands in the Metaverse can go overboard and use too much marketing and advertising, which may ruin the customer experience.
Metaverse Matters for Business

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How Can Businesses Get Started in the Metaverse?

Big brands may be preparing for a future in the Metaverse, but it’s not that simple for smaller businesses. Entrepreneurs need to future-proof their businesses by preparing for the lines between physical and virtual worlds to blur.
Though it may seem promising, the Metaverse isn’t a guarantee. No one knows if it will truly be the next big technological revolution, so it’s best for businesses to prepare and understand the risks and rewards.
See how our marketing agency can help your business grow. Since 2014, we’ve worked with hundreds of businesses across multiple industries to help them with marketing. From startups to billion dollar brands, we share the strategies that’s working and what you need to know.


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