Brands Test Both Luxury and Accessible Metaverse Marketing Campaigns
Marketing in the metaverse is a relatively nascent concept for multi-location brands. While there are plenty of opportunities for innovation and experimentation, a lack of understanding about how to evaluate performance and measure ROI from metaverse-based marketing campaigns has slowed down widespread adoption.
Luxury fashion brands like Gucci and sports retailers like Nike are selling digital versions of popular real-world products for thousands of dollars in the metaverse, and the fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 is selling products in Roblox that cost less than $1 each. The high/low approach is just one of many being tested by big name brands.
Fast casual restaurant chains like Chipotle have jumped in by offering product vouchers to people who visit metaverse restaurants. Another strategy is for brands to sponsor artists and musicians hosting virtual events, as a way to reach online gamers and people attending virtual events.
Early metaverse adopters are working to strike the right balance between experimentation and long-term strategy, says Jamie Burgess, vice president of partnerships at AmazeVR, a company that creates virtual reality concerts and cultivates celebrity and event partnerships in the metaverse.
New opportunities for metaverse-to-offline sales are expected to rise in the future, but in order for that to happen, brands will have to continue testing to see what works. Burgess says they should be prepared to adapt as the market continues to grow.
AmazeVR recently partnered with Timex to integrate the brand’s T80 watch into a Megan Thee Stallion virtual reality concert. Burgess expects to see these types of partnerships become more common as brands learn more about how they can use the metaverse to elevate fan experiences.
“Brands that are involved early and maintain a position in the metaverse will see value in the long term,” he says.
An estimated 25% of people will spend up to an hour a day in the metaverse by 2026. As consumers gravitate to the metaverse to socialize, work, and play-—and new VR headsets and applications from major players like Meta and Playstation make their way to market—Burgess expects to see more brands playing a role in sponsoring immersive entertainment experiences.
The biggest challenge at the moment is identifying the right KPIs and metrics to evaluate the success of metaverse campaigns. However, like any talent partnership, authenticity is essential. Burgess says there needs to be a reason why a brand is involved in the metaverse and an understanding of how brands can add value to the consumer experience.
“I think fashion brands are leading the way and have been early to see the value of digital merchandise and NFTs. The same impulse consumers have to line up outside the store to get that limited edition pair of sneakers as soon as they drop or putting signals out into the world about our identity through the clothing we wear still apply in the metaverse,” Burgess says.
While Burgess is hesitant to make any predictions about what the metaverse could ultimately become, and the role that it may have in the brand marketer’s toolbox, he says companies like AmazeVR are continuing to develop even better integration opportunities for brands to participate in virtual events.
“We believe that in the same way as artists have built their careers through TikTok or YouTube before that, we will see the emergence of artists breaking through the metaverse and particularly through AmazeVR,” Burgess says. “Similarly, I think we’ll see brands aligning with this trend to become endemic metaverse brands in the same way as iconic brands have aligned with sports or music in the past.”