Marketing: Coming to a Metaverse Near You
What is the Metaverse?
Metaverse refers to the merging of virtual reality and the real world. The concept has recently been embraced by Facebook parent Meta Platforms (FB), so much so that the company changed its name.
The model includes digital avatars embedded in virtual worlds that provide an immersive online experience. Popular programs such as Minecraft (MSFT) and Roblox (RBLX) embody the concept. Marketing executives are seeing opportunities to reach consumers in new ways, all while more effectively gathering data, to better understand what the market wants.
Blurring the Lines of Reality
The pandemic drove more people online as they began to prefer at-home solutions for things like groceries, food-delivery, and exercise classes. Companies want to take advantage of the growth in ecommerce by weaving visual brand cues and hooks into the metaverse.
In this way, they hope to gain new customers and hold onto those they already have. Analytics will help inform how consumers are reacting to their initiatives. The lines will be blurred between the virtual and real world as online promotions could cross over into physical products and services.
A Wendy’s in Your Roblox World
Restaurant chains, such as Wendy’s (WEN) and Chipotle (CMG), are experimenting with the metaverse as they try to gauge its potential. Wendy’s placed a digital restaurant in Meta’s Horizon Worlds virtual reality game. Last fall, Chipotle did likewise in Roblox and plans another virtual restaurant opening this week, in which online players will have the opportunity to earn “burrito bucks” that can be traded for real food.
Other companies showing interest in the metaverse include Forever 21, Estée Lauder (EL), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and HSBC Holdings (HSBC). For companies of all shapes, sizes, and scope, it’s a brand new digital world and business landscape.
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