Innovation is critical for brands willing to break away from the competition and embrace creativity. Businesses are beginning to see the utility of NFTs — digital products with unique IDs. Businesses that integrate NFTs into their branding strategy should consider collaborating with NFT creators, tokenizing events, turning physical products into NFTs, licensing and hosting NFT contests and giveaways. Zipline survey results indicated that 84% of Gen X, 70% of millennials, and 63% of Gen Z would be interested in an NFT from brands they enjoy.
NFTs allow brands to give value to digital products; however, the product must be of value to consumers. Brands such as Gucci have created NFT clothing, and Nike offers digital sneakers that avatars can use in the metaverse. The emerging use of NFTs now allows brands to merge the digital and physical worlds; consumers can purchase or win a digital product such as an image or video, then the business can provide a physically branded product to close the marketing loop. Businesses can design NFTs on their own or utilize a company specializing in NFT creation and NFT platforms. NFTs are a viable option for brands to connect with the consumer and grow brand recognition. Brands that invest in using a premade NFT platform are more likely to experience gains in the marketplace.
In the past, customers visited a website or app to access products offered by a business. With technological advances, brands can create more immersive experiences for customers. Customers might visit a virtual storefront, such as the one created by Nike, to go beyond just looking at products. In the metaverse, customers can engage with digital products by using an avatar to try on clothing and other products. The prospect for brands to elevate the customer experience from a bland website visit to a rich and immersive encounter should be explored. An Accenture consumer survey indicated that 64% of respondents made a virtual purchase with 83% willing to make purchases via the metaverse.
Brands that simulate the convenience and efficiency of a traditional in-store shopping experience are more likely to maintain customer attention. Once the decision is made to launch a storefront in the metaverse, businesses must decide which metaverse platform to use. There are well-known platforms, but brands should consider building their own platform for more control. The design of the storefront could be a standalone app or virtual space. Multimedia companies can help the brand to create and design interaction layers that define the functionality of the storefront and the ability to integrate with third-party tools. Customers can have a 3D experience using wearables such as virtual goggles, haptic gloves, smart glasses and VR headsets. Well-built storefronts allow a high level of interoperability with increased access to data and manipulation of digital objects by the consumer.
Virtual meetups are in thanks to the Zoom boom, and brands can take advantage of the change by hosting custom-branded virtual events. Immersive virtual experiences can engage new business customers for brands that want to expand beyond geographical boundaries. The type and structure of the virtual event are only limited by the level of creativity and allow unlimited customizations. Brands might collaborate with influencers or even create their own virtual influencer.
Businesses can host live or pre-recorded events accessed from a mobile device or laptop. Although 3D events that require VR goggles or headsets are possible, they are not as popular now.
Entertainers are one of the largest groups to harness the metaverse to engage customers with live music, comedy shows and other social events. Virtual event attendees can be present in the virtual world using avatars that allow them to dance with others while listening to their favorite artists. Roblox tapped into the innovative technology of the metaverse with more than 33 million attendees to its virtual concert event. The gaming market, including Fortnite, has successfully used VR games to promote products during customer interactions, demonstrating the power of virtual branding.
Virtual exhibitors can create realistic interactions like traditional conference hall events. Businesses can utilize branded booths to present various content, but high-quality productions are key. Brands can use virtual tokens, badges, avatar upgrades and digital giveaways to convert fans into customers. The metaverse provides the opportunity for more engagement with participants. Brands must make targeted decisions to ensure that potential customers are part of the event, not merely spectators.
Having a presence on virtual platforms is good, but it is even better to own your own. Brands should look into creating their own virtual platforms. Although it might initially seem financially risky, the ability to provide brandable and targeted customer interactions will only improve the consumer experience. Businesses that want a successful launch into the metaverse should prepare a market analysis to ensure the project will meet the customer’s needs and outshine the competition. Some companies even offer the ability to create your own secure smart contracts, NFT marketplaces and more.