Imagine you walk into a digital store and buy your favorite pair of Nike shoes. The digital shopkeeper’s avatar takes your order, and the shoes are delivered to your home address in the real world.
This is the magic of the metaverse. Buyers can purchase their favorite brands of fashion goods in exchange for NFTs in a digital shop and receive the physical version of the same product from the store.
The bourgeoning integration of the metaverse and NFTs has brought forward new opportunities and big brands like Gucci, Nike, and Coca Cola are already moving into this new frontier. So, what is the future potential of NFTs and the metaverse, and why are these big brands diving in? Let’s find out.
The metaverse creates a virtual world based on augmented reality where people can live the life of their dreams. The metaverse also creates a virtual economy where people can buy or sell products, just like the real world. It creates a social community where people can interact with each other.
Within the virtual world, NFTs are one-of-a-kind crypto assets based on blockchain technology. In addition to being an asset in itself, such as music or digital artwork, NFTs can also be used to buy and sell digital representations of real-world assets, such as artwork and real estate.
With this in mind, the metaverse and NFTs go hand in hand. The metaverse, like any other digital economy, needs a currency to effectively function in the virtual economy.
Big brands are using virtual reality and the metaverse to market their products, using “meta branding” to publicize their products and reach out to a wider audience, especially young customers. Brands like Nike, Gucci, or Dior are creating virtual showrooms where customers can walk in to see and experience the products. They can try out virtual dresses, or change their wardrobe according to the seasons.
For example, Gucci launched their recent collection in the Roblox game. Roblox avatars can buy bags, glasses, and hats of Gucci’s limited edition collection through NFTs. Nike also recently unveiled its new digital platform “NIKELAND”. Here, players can use their avatars to try different Nike products.
In July 2021, Coca-Cola launched its first NFT collectible in the OpenSea NFT marketplace. One of the highlights was a customized futuristic jacket called “wearable”. It can be worn by avatars on the Decentraland platform. Avatars of Decentraland can use NFTs to buy the special jacket and also re-sell it to other avatars in Decentraland. Another surprise element was the “loot box” that was offering a fridge stacked with Coca-Cola. Winners can get a chance to win the loot box and enjoy it with their friends.
In another use case, home appliance brand Dyson created the “Dyson Demo VR”. This space acts as a virtual showroom where customers can test different home appliances such as hairdryers, straighteners, etc.
Today, the virtual world is dominated by the younger generation, and big brands are using NFTs to tap this enormous customer base. NFTs also accommodate interoperability between different ecosystems. They are based on open blockchain networks. NFTs can be viewed, exchanged, and transferred from different wallets in the world. They have emerged as a free market where both the virtual and real-world can operate and trade.
The metaverse holds enormous potential for brands moving into the virtual sphere. For example, brands can:
- Introduce new designs and concepts and facilitate a new experience for the customers.
- Organize virtual events and exhibitions to showcase artworks and virtual products.
- Host fundraising exhibitions.
- Create virtual stores and allow customers to walk in and have a unique experience of the products of the company.
- Organize live demos to help users understand the utility of the product.
- Monetize digital assets through NFTs.
- Engage customers through loyalty schemes. Selected customers can get VIP access to events.
The Metaverse has created a new digital economy with unlimited opportunities for its users. Post-Covid, when there have been limitations in travel. Metaverse is an excellent marketing tool to advertise products in a 3D digital space.