The growing popularity of the metaverse is driving brands from across sectors to build a presence in the space.
The move to the metaverse is understandable, given that Gartner predicts around a quarter of the world’s population will be spending at least an hour in the metaverse every day for work, shopping, education, and entertainment by 2026.
Metaverse branding is not only a chance for companies to engage with their clients but also another marketing avenue and a source of revenue.
While what companies get out of a metaverse presence depends on their values and objectives, Rajpal Rekhi, managing director at RA Republic, an agency that helps with metaverse branding, told CryptoSlate in an interview that for companies that value customers, the metaverse presents unlimited potential and opportunity.
“The metaverse is a perfect opportunity to not only create an avenue for connection, but it can also be a place where they can express their creativity, build new customer experiences, build new ways to interact with their audiences as well.”
Yet, just like in the offline and online world, metaverse presence does not equate to success.
The difference between success and failure
According to Rekhi, metaverse branding can lead to temporary success for the wrong reasons, but such success may not last without a well-thought-out strategy and purpose.
“The longevity of success comes down to whether or not they thought about what are they going to do in terms of progressing this great opportunity they have.”
In Rekhi’s opinion, the brands that have “really thought about” the brand, the characters, the world they’re designing, the purpose behind it, and the experience they want to deliver, are likely to be more successful than those seeking short-term gains.
“If they [the brands] can create something that’s quite creative, something that actually speaks out to the customers, something that is quite engaging, and that there is some sort of purpose to it and there’s some sort of replay value to it, and it gives customers a reason to go back to it,”
those brands are likely to be more successful than others.
Besides, there are some companies that are likely to benefit more from a presence in the metaverse than others. This means that metaverse branding is not for everyone.
This is because even in the digital realm, there are certain brands that are more successful online because of the nature of their products and services.
“I would always say that certain businesses would definitely benefit from the metaverse, but other businesses, they might not because their audience might not be looking for those experiences.”
Rekhi said. So if the customers of a business are not digitally savvy and if the brands cannot provide any additional value by creating a metaverse presence, then it “makes no sense” for the brands to venture into the metaverse, Rekhi said.
The challenges of building a brand in the metaverse
For RA Republic, building out a metaverse presence includes building the characters, narratives, the world, the landscape, and other assets. But part of the process is figuring out how the different assets can be used to create utility and the kind of experience they can offer customers.
Jaasir Ali, co-founder and chief operations officer at RA Republic, told CryptoSlate in an interview, that this involves getting to the depth of the company’s vision for the brand. He added:
“The key for us is to build out a utility-based metaverse which isn’t limited to an online portal and transcends into other aspects of the business and brand. This way the metaverse and brand become intertwined which opens a whole new opportunity to deliver creative experiences.”
Ali said that this also helps ensure that the brand’s values and creative goals are at the forefront of any strategic decisions regarding the build of the metaverse.
But transforming the brand’s long-term vision for the metaverse into tangible milestones is a challenge in itself, Rekhi said. Additionally, brands can also face a challenge trying to convey their metaverse presence to their customers without creating confusion, he added.
Brands have to think about how to effectively market a new creative product across multiple touch points to a customer base already familiar with the services, Rekhi said.
“Keeping things clear yet creative is one of the biggest challenges for any marketer. We have the challenge of identifying and further segmenting audience pools to ensure that the audience right people are hit with the right material.”
Rewards at the end of the road
While building a brand in the metaverse can be exacting, if done correctly, it can yield generous returns in the future. Brands can increase their revenue through the sale of non-fungible tokens or by providing different utilities. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Coca-Cola are just some of the brands already experimenting with the metaverse to increase revenue or brand awareness.
“There’s a lot of opportunities for revenue to be generated for a business as long as they’ve clearly thought about the reasons as to why they’re doing it and what they’re trying to achieve, and what connection they’re trying to build.”
Branding in the metaverse requires significant investments toward infrastructure and training. But the return on investment makes the venture into the metaverse practically sensible, provided that the company’s customers are looking for a digital experience and the brand can live up to such customer expectations.