Serial entrepreneur w/ 2 exits, author, faculty, investor. Upland | NFT Metaverse Strategy for Businesses.
The race for metaverse is heating up as new players enter the market every day. Interestingly, it’s the big Web2 companies that are keen to jump on the metaverse bandwagon first. The potential trillion-dollar economy is the next big thing that brands are betting on to interact with customers after social media.
But what makes the metaverse so lucrative? It can be many things: the virtual economy, the ability to co-create with a community that has ownership in offerings, the promise of a larger-than-life existence, etc. Even though a fully-functioning metaverse is far away by a decade, these brands are creating the first layer of the virtual realm. Equipped with blockchain technology and different types of digital assets, although distanced, the metaverse is truly a gamechanger.
Brands Rolling Out A Metaverse Strategy
JP Morgan became the first mainstream leading financial institution to actively participate in the metaverse. It opened a lounge in the Decentraland metaverse, one of the leading metaverses. The lounge consists of an avatar of Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, roaming around with a tiger.
Earlier the Wall Street giant released a paper on different opportunities on the metaverse and how brands can benefit from them. As JP Morgan takes its own advice, I believe it won’t be too long until we see other banks and financial institutions expand their businesses into the metaverse.
Although JP Morgan is yet to disclose any financial plans for the metaverse, the Korea Investment Corp. has already announced its interest to invest in the metaverse. With $200 billion AUM (paywall), it’s positive evidence of liquidity in the industry and will help boost the metaverse economy with more brilliant projects.
The metaverse will also change the fashion world, as the Italian fashion brand Gucci has already proven. In one of the Roblox events in 2021, Gucci sold a virtual bag for 350,000 Robux or nearly $4,115, which is more than the price of the actual bag. The brand also offered its newly released collections in NFTs to get a foothold in the digital economy. To further grab this new opportunity, Gucci has partnered up with The Sandbox, a leading metaverse.
What It Means For Your Brand
With entities like JP Morgan and Gucci becoming a part of the metaverse, it’s going to be a confidence booster for other large corporations to take the metaverse seriously and put their best foot forward. The metaverse is undoubtedly the new big opportunity in the tech market, but a fully functioning metaverse still requires a lot of work.
Now might be your time to join the metaverse and build your own community around it. And there are roughly three ways in which tech companies can be directly involved with this burgeoning industry.
1. Build The Metaverse: At the highest level, companies like Meta, Microsoft and Sandbox are building the metaverse. They are joining every piece of the puzzle by creating communication and collaboration software, manufacturing VR headsets and 3-D lenses and constructing immersive AR/VR architecture. However, building the metaverse quite literally has a very high entry barrier, and only a few companies are fit for this venture.
2. Build On The Metaverse: On the other hand, building on the metaverse is something that is possible for many SaaS and other types of companies. Building gaming arenas, movie theatres, casinos, dance clubs and libraries is proving to be very profitable, and at this early stage, the competition is very low as well.
3. Help Build The Metaverse: While these two types of companies are important to build the metaverse, these companies will be helpless without the likes of Qualcomm, Nvidia, Intel and other similar ones. Advanced microprocessors, faster computational speed, 5G network and AI—these techs are instrumental to the success of the metaverse and, therefore, it is a lucrative business market for the right companies.
There are also many ways for other types of brands and companies to be part of the metaverse and enjoy similar benefits. While tech companies will be directly building the metaverse, the non-tech companies can become one of the first to test and experience the new business environment and quickly adapt to it. If you run a non-tech company, here are a few things you can do.
1. Host Meetings And Events: Platforms like Sandbox and Roblox are hosting a lot of events and concerts in the metaverse, and this has been a huge success so far. You can be the first company to organize the annual retreat in the metaverse and have a blast on top of Mount Everest. It not only can make attention-grabbing headlines but also open up a new customer demographic for you.
2. Make Your Brand Visible: Another positive step would be to make yourself visible in the metaverse. Similar to JP Morgan or McDonald’s, you can also secure a piece of land in the metaverse for your brand. Even if you own a brick-and-mortar business like a grocery chain, having a branch in the metaverse could give you much-desired visibility and more interest from different types of customers.
While it seems a great opportunity to act instantly, you should also be cautious with your steps as much is yet to be known about the metaverse. Companies like Meta and Microsoft are losing billions of dollars every quarter in R&D to upgrade AR/VR hardware, harness massive computational power and offset production costs by mass scaling. Experts predict it won’t be until the 2030s when we have a metaverse that can actually transcend the barriers of the physical world.
It’s important to understand that the metaverse isn’t going to limit people to a virtual world; it’s actually going to augment the physical world to a point where both the worlds are intertwined and complementary.