The metaverse is an emerging concept, and the landscape will continue to evolve. For companies to build viable strategies for the metaverse, it is important to move past the buzzwords and hype to understand the fundamentals of the experience and its potential business value.
Let’s start with this: there’s not a single monolithic metaverse, and different hardware is used to access the various worlds that comprise this new landscape. The metaverse is highly fragmented, and interoperability is very limited, so it’s important to consider where and when scale will be significant for the particular use cases and experiences that brands hope to bring to life.
There are three considerations for brands to successfully engage in the metaverse:
- Experience the metaverse firsthand: if the metaverse is an abstract concept, it will be hard to think about how to get your brand involved. By experiencing the metaverse firsthand, executives can discern what the core experience should be for their brands and put humans at the center.
- Customers and competitors are the guide: if your customer base is already participating in the metaverse at scale, then it may not be an option to sit on the sidelines for long. Competitors can also be an important factor in determining the pace of entry, as human expectations are often set by a person’s last best experience.
- Think about the ESG potential: the metaverse has wonderful implications for sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives as well as overall inclusivity. Shifting consumption from physical goods to virtual goods takes strain off manufacturing and distribution impact on climate change. And the metaverse offers emerging scenarios for manufacturing simulation and monitoring, both of which are potential contributors to the sustainability agenda. From a social standpoint, the metaverse has the potential to offer more access and inclusivity across many boundaries, but it’s important to be mindful of the equally important possibility of exacerbating the digital divide, given the hardware and connectivity required to participate viably in the metaverse.