While some are still researching the metaverse, major companies are already working to create that digital future.
The arrival of the metaverse was the headline that dominated the business media this year.
This was due to the surprising announcement that Facebook was changing its name to “Meta” in a large public commitment to the metaverse. But Meta is not the only company making steps toward a more virtual future. Walmart, the retail giant, has been quietly submitting trademark applications to various non-fungible tokens and virtual currencies. Epic Games hosted virtual concerts with global stars like Ariana Grande. Disney has recently patented an augmented reality device that does not require glasses or headsets.
Although global tech giants dominate headlines about the metaverse, don’t let that fool you. The metaverse isn’t just for big-name brands. Every business must learn how to make this metaverse work in their operations. It’s easy for it to be dismissed as a technology fad, but the metaverse is all about experiences. We’ve learned a lot over the past few years that the experience-driven economy will be around for the long haul.
Are you still not convinced? Let’s look at three reasons your business should be prepared for the metaverse.
I have written extensively about why experiences are the future of business. This is evident in the numbers: A Harris Poll revealed that 72% of millennials would rather spend their money on experiences than material goods. With Gen Z, this number is growing.
Look at The Museum of Ice Cream’s success. This attraction sells almost all the time, even though museums are struggling to sell as many tickets these days. Why? It’s an experience, and it’s filled with oversized candy, sprinkle pools, and other “Instagrammable” moments.
This experience economy does not only apply to places and events. Take a look at 19 Crimes wine’s success. It started with high-quality wine. The brand’s true difference is its AR-equipped wine labels. These labels come to life when they are paired with the company’s exclusive smartphone app. This technology has turned the age-old ritual of opening a bottle of wine into a one-of-a-kind experience that has helped 19 Crimes quadruple in volume over the last few years and be accepted by a whole new breed of wine drinkers.
These are the moments that the metaverse will allow businesses to create. The metaverse is an art that jumps off the page, the Hall of Famer sitting next to you as you watch the game, or the superhero leaping right off the child’s pages.
The metaverse allows you to experience that is not limited by money, time, or the physical laws of the natural world. Only a brand’s imagination can limit them.Also read: 10 Types of Developer Jobs: IT Jobs
These brand experiences are at the heart of the metaverse. They are the driving force behind the bottom line.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in my time as head of innovation and creativity for Disney was from Walt Disney. He said, “Start with the experience, and the sales will follow.” It’s not surprising that Walt’s obsession for the Disneyland experience allowed him to transform what was once only orange groves in Anaheim into a crown jewel that generates over $4 billion in revenue.
Disneyland is a profitable machine because it was not built to become one. It was created to tell stories. These stories create experiences that ultimately lead to consumers opening their wallets.
The metaverse will allow brands to elevate their strategies and create unique experiences for guests. Imagine a world in which your daughter doesn’t have to spend the day searching for the Disney princess she loves, but instead of trying to find her favorite Disney princess at the park, the princess is right in front of her eyes (and can even speak the language you choose)! Imagine how much this would enhance the Disney experience for your family!
This is great for Disney and other brands that can invest millions in immersive experiences. What about your business? The metaverse will, to a certain degree, level the playing field.
You can buy virtual real estate for thousands instead of millions. Designers can create custom buildings, merchandise, and rides without the need to purchase labor or equipment. It is possible to create a memorable brand experience in the metaverse for only a fraction of the cost it would take in the real world.
The metaverse will not only drive virtual sales, but it will also drive physical sales through unprecedented data and artificial intelligence integration in your business. Imagine you save an Instagram photo that shows a blouse you like from your local boutique. You go out for a coffee and then you see a notification on your AR lenses that tells you that the blouse that you have bookmarked is available in your size. Tap once to view a photo, tap twice for a salesperson to pull the blouse from the rack, and tap three times to get it delivered right to your door.
Is that science fiction? Perhaps. Consider McDonald’s, who just registered a trademark to create a metaverse restaurant where customers can order food from a virtual counter and have it delivered directly to their home. This is a customized, consumer-centric world.
A few years ago, I conducted a training session with the Philadelphia Eagles. I learned that 90% of Eagles fans won’t ever be able to attend a game in person because of transportation, price, and location.
Imagine if 90% of your potential clients weren’t able or willing to do business with the company you represent. This is an enormous area of opportunity that businesses in the metaverse have. As you can see, sports teams are already taking advantage of this opportunity. This was true even before the pandemic when Manchester United used Google Hangouts for fans around the globe.
The metaverse allows smaller businesses to reach customers that cannot make it to their store or sell virtual goods to customers who can’t afford them. It also gives sales reps the ability to exhibit at trade shows all over the world without leaving their homes. Every company will be able to build a global brand with the metaverse.
The metaverse isn’t just for billion- or trillion-dollar tech companies. It will eventually affect all brands. Is your business ready for the opportunity?
It is the easiest way to get your company thinking about the future of metaverse. Metaverse technologies are intuitive. I can move my head or hand in one direction and my avatar follows. If I want to interact with someone in a virtual universe, I just need to walk up to them and say hello. You’ll soon be exploring these options and will begin to think of ways you can embrace the future of the metaverse. You might even have some fun.
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