The metaverse is irritating. One day you seem to have become a dinosaur – left behind while other brands bravely step into his Web3, the junior analyst who minted SmurfCoin last night and made his $100,000 shows up did not. The next day, his NFT value of your brand he is down 90%. what to give
In fact, many of the promises of the Metaverse have yet to come true. Some do, but others are half-hearted. Some feel they can’t get here, others never come. What is the brand to do?
The thing to keep in mind is that some version of the metaverse remains here and it has a profound effect on our lives. No (and likely none of today’s platforms are suitable), but it’s important for brands to understand and experiment with this space to shape and accelerate its future.
At Dentsu, we are often asked what the future holds. But the better question is, what should brands do today to learn and build muscle memory to thrive when the final model that defines the Web3 era finally arrives? More importantly, how can the future be shaped so that the Metaverse can live up to its promises?
That’s why we’re experimenting. We built Dentsu NXT Spaces, a secure metaverse platform, in Moon Valley and worked with Microsoft to test and learn dedicated collaborative spaces for a variety of use cases. At its most basic level, it is an immersive educational platform that helps clients understand what the metaverse is and how it can be shaped. But like the metaverse itself, it’s only the early stages of its maturity curve.
From here, you can create a digital twin of your execution that your clients can experience at will, leading to greater discovery and engagement in their work. These lead to more immersive spaces for hosting events and innovation sprints. Combining the output of these innovation sprints with our own capabilities and learnings, dentsu NXT Space will increasingly be used as a sandbox for our clients to experiment with. Perhaps that sandbox will one day offer its own commercial platform.
The point is, you’re thinking of the maturity curve. How quickly we can move up as the technology that underpins it evolves with us.
A common trope is that the future metaverse should tick the following boxes, regardless of technology.
1) Must feel immersive and realistic
2) Permanence is necessary to continue as a parallel world even when you are not there
3) And, importantly, you need interoperability to move between channel platforms. This is very important and a difficult legal and technical challenge to bridge.
If there is a better part of the metaverse in the future, what are the current hurdles? The metaverse platform has many benefits, but the key is to recognize and leverage those that match and enhance your brand experience.
Current platforms also have limitations, so it’s worth considering some of the trade-offs you’re facing today.
Earlier this year, Decentraland hosted Fashion Week. Many brands had a presence and the event was largely considered a success, if a little awkward. With a limited ability to accurately describe clothing, brands had to produce more fantastical and imaginative garments. This was probably an indication of creativity rather than a product.
Another challenge is engagement. As of this writing, Decentraland has her 542 users. It’s global… despite his $1 billion market capitalization. Fashion brands looking for larger audiences and better technology (though not decentralized) are turning to gaming platforms that offer a larger, more engaging base and more powerful graphics engines. but it still faces trade-offs in terms of experience, audience, and control.
Photorealistic fashion experiences, on the other hand, tend to be pre-rendered experiences rather than shared ones. But they look and feel closer to the real world on the run. So what is the correct answer?
It depends a lot on what you are trying to achieve or learn. Events and launches in Decentraland work. The brand execution on Roblox is compelling. An immersive experience that isn’t technically a ‘metaverse’ but could potentially engage customers in new ways. Ultimately, brands need to think about their strategy and the experience and value they want to offer their customers.
It’s not just about stepping into the metaverse. It’s time to consider the ambition maturity curve and how it relates to the technology maturity curve.
Think about your goals, the platform that works for your brand, and how you want to execute it, given your unique trade-offs. How important is it to decentralize your brand, or are you really just looking for an immersive 3D experience?
If you give it a try, you’ll find that there are as many use cases to explore as we do. Emerging technologies offer powerful new ways to engage with new audiences, so long as the strategies underpinning them align with brand strategy and execution offers more than suboptimal alternatives. It can be intimidating and confusing, but your customers are as eager and inquisitive as you are. Success comes from navigating the curve together.
See you in the Metaverse… after a bike ride outside. If it’s not raining, we’ll see you on Zwift.
Chris Bower is CEO of Dentsu Solutions Australia and New Zealand.