Part 3: A Blueprint for Winning in the Metaverse
Welcome to Part 3 of The Attention Series. This series articulates the growing attention problem, discusses how brands are contributing to or solving the challenge via the metaverse, and provides thoughts and a blueprint on the way to win as you bring the metaverse into your brand strategy. For a Part 1 refresher, click here. For a Part 2 refresher, click here.
So by now, I should thank you for taking this journey with me. Claps! You’ve read a lot of words! And hopefully as a result this series has provided you with the necessary examples and data to start thinking really critically about the role of attention and how the metaverse can help combat and not reinforce that underlying problem.
In this final installment, we are going to talk through the 3 most critical points brands must follow for success in the metaverse. Failure in any one of these three could pop your brand into the “not working” pile. And no one wants that.
The experience must be additive.
I can’t state the importance of this point enough. If you recall the Gucci & Roblox example from the last installment, you’ll remember that this experience was just a gamified store. It didn’t add any real tangible value for the participant. I’m sure most people would prefer to shop in a real Gucci store where, if paying that much for a product, you can explore the textures and colors and try on what you are buying to make sure it fits. This metaverse experience is naive to think that it meets the same criteria and feeling of shopping in a real Gucci store.
When ideating for the metaverse, brands should ask themselves this question as they think about how to translate their real world experiences in this new space.
- Are we adding something novel to the experience or would this be achieved more effectively in the real world?
If the answer is no, then it may be time to scrap the idea and start over.
The experience must be authentic.
Consumers are smart and they can smell inauthenticity from a mile away. In our recent 2022 Trends report, we discuss the trend around the current hype cycle and how it’s becoming increasingly dangerous for brands to pile on quickly to a trend without really considering their company’s values and connection to the issue at hand. This can produce disastrous results.
With this same intention in mind, it’s critical for brands to opt out of the “get in quick bandwagon” mentality for the metaverse. When thinking about their experience, they should ask this question.
- Is this experience coming out of left field for our brand, or can consumers easily connect it back to our vision and goals to date?
Remember the Coca-Cola NFT (link to previous week) example from the last installment? This is a classic example of a brand leaning into a new trend that doesn’t really align to their historical brand story. NFTs and crypto bros? I’d expect Coca-Cola to focus on enabling community and connection. That goal would feel more aligned to their historical brand narrative. NFTs are cool, but Coke isn’t what I’d call hip. They are foundationally timeless. That’s a big difference.
The experience must take them somewhere they’ve never been.
This is perhaps my favorite of the three points which is why I saved it for last. The metaverse has the potential to change everything. I’ll say it again. The metaverse has the potential to change everything. I often make the joke to my colleagues (and for those who’ve seen Ready Player One) that I’m not trying to live in the stacks here. And if inevitable, I greatly desire a world where the metaverse helps make things better, not worse. We are already at max cognitive capacity. Let’s expand our minds, not clutter them more.
If you recall the two winning examples from the last installment, they both align to this guiding principle. With the BBC Green Planet experience, they aimed to transport you to the actual jungle to show you the critical importance of natural biomes and plant life. Seeing is believing. With climate change being a real and necessary challenge to solve, this kind of experience expands the mind, providing access and exposure to a real problem, in a real way.
With Gather Town, we see a platform for innovation and connective community. The possibilities are endless. This kind of platform gives control back to those using it and allows you to build community with those around you in new and exciting hybrid ways. I begin to think about the potential of digital churches because my family is sick that week, or joining my colleagues in the virtual work kitchen to catch up over a cup of coffee because I’m working from home today. I could experience a streamed concert across the globe with friends from all over the world because I can’t afford to fly to Spain right now. Again, the possibilities are endless.
So when thinking about this point, brands should ask themselves this question.
- Will this experience expand our consumer’s mind in a real way?
No problem is unsolvable really. It’s all how you look at it. The metaverse carries real potential for brands to enhance their value, create authenticity, and expand consumer minds. This plays directly at odds with the currently overwhelming attention crisis. I challenge all marketers to steer your clients and brands away from kitschy entry points into the metaverse. Use these questions as your guide and think bigger and build better. And take your time to get it right. Remember, the metaverse isn’t going anywhere.
At Dendro, we believe that brands are driven by ambitious leaders and ambitious decisions. Sometimes talking the right stand means doing something no one else is doing. Sometimes it means starting a movement, or truly defining a purpose that drives real consumer benefit and improves connected relationships. Ambitious growth is solving brand problems by solving consumer problems, not by finding ways to break through the noise. For more information on how we think, and how we can help please reach out via our website. Wearedendro.com