One of the emerging areas of interest for brands looking to expand the scope of their customer engagement activities is in metaverse and NFTs. Whilst the idea of unlocking an engaging and unlimited 3D world for exploration and interactivity with other users might be exciting for brands, it is not new to gamers. Ask anyone who has spent the last seven years playing GTA Online or Elder Scrolls Tamriel Unlimited. This ‘open world’ concept well-known by gamers presents an interesting expansion possibility to the worlds of social networking, super apps, APIs and more in considering brands and the Metaverse.

There are a couple of problems for brands and the Metaverse from the outset, though. The first is that it is being pushed by Meta, and there are many negative connotations that arise from this. According to more and more marketers, Meta is flogging a dead horse in terms of its own dwindling user base; kids today won’t be seen dead anywhere near their mom’s favourite online hangout.

Brands and metaverse

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What is Metaverse, and why should I care?

Meta made things worse with the “Zuckerberg Avatar” video, as seen in Netflix’s utterly hilarious Death to 2021. Most users, given the chance to be in the metaverse alongside one of tech’s most divisive figures, would more than likely wish to exit and trap him in there permanently – like a Ghostbusters apparition, smug and greedy, trapped in the Eco Containment Unit, to the grateful relief of all global citizens.

Metaverse news Thailand

Top metaverse platforms for brand marketing in 2022

The metaverse is here and creators economy is booming, metaverse marketing is fast becoming the norm.

Decentraland: Decentraland is built on the Ethereum blockchain. Users can develop digital properties such as residences, art galleries, and theme parks.

Roblox: It allows users to play games created by other Roblox players. It’s a community-driven network that enables users not just to play but also to socialize. Since 2004, Roblox has expanded to 180 countries and now has roughly 50 million monthly active users. Roblox has collaborated with major brands like Nike, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Forever21, Vans, and NASCAR.

Zepeto: It’s been around for 4 years and blends gaming, entertainment, and social networking. Zepeto is most popular in South Korea and China among female teenagers to early 20s. It has 20 million monthly active users, up from 10 million in May 2020.

Sandbox: Like Decentraland, Ethereum blockchain runs the platform. It’s possible to purchase and sell digital blocks of land (LAND) and NFTs using the SAND cryptocurrency.

Bloktopia: VR skyscraper Bloktopia has 21 levels, named after the 21 million Bitcoin hard cap. The cutting-edge tower is built on an NFT-based landscape, adverts and events that bring in revenue for users are part of Bloktopia’s economy. Bloktopia is currently in partnership with Animoca Brands, Avalanche (AVAX), Polygon(MATIC)

– Nikeland
– Axie Infinity
– Gather
– Bolly Heroes
– Space Somnium

The metaverse is here and creators economy is booming, creators have an enormous opportunity to monetize their skills. Metaverse marketing is fast becoming the norm too. Innovations such as blockchain, NFT, cryptocurrency envision a more immersive experience of the internet—the so-called metaverse. It’s around the corner as we enter Web 3.

How is metaverse going to impact online merchants and consumers?

01. Virtual Shopping Being digital assets, it’s possible for the merchants to open the same stores across an array of virtual worlds.

02. Personalized Shopping Customers will be able to personalize products and experience them through virtual experiences in real-time.

03. Customer Interaction A 3D virtual space where people can interact with virtual assets and other people will replace today’s monotonous 2D product pages, getting closer to the in-person shopping experience.

04. The Metaverse For Luxury Brands Virtual assets are being sold through the non-fungible tokens in a limited quantity in the virtual world.

Gucci sold a virtual bag in Roblox through NFT for 350,000 Roblox currency, which is equivalent to $4115.

In December 2021, Nike took over RTFKT, a popular digital sneaker brand that sold over 600 pairs of shoes worth $3.1 million in less than 7 minutes.

In 2021, Coca-Cola partnered with Tafi and create virtual loot boxes through NFTs, and grabbed over $1 million.

Brands and the Metaverse – a retailer’s perspective

We recently helped a jewellery retail business in Thailand prepare for an interview with a large newspaper, and one of the questions asked was, “Are NFTs and/or Metaverse something in which your company is interested?”

The answer, and also the common consensus among many a forward-looking retailer currently, is that brands are “definitely open to exploring this” and always seek to prepare themselves to adapt to new concepts. They also see this as a creative expression tool, and a customer engagement platform.

Retailers in Asia Pacific routinely try to go above and beyond, and try to position themselves as market leaders in terms of bringing in different technologies into the customers’ shopping journey for a digitalised shopping experience. This is driven in large part by the strong innovation and technology background of companies who for many years have excelled in capturing opportunities in tune with the times – e-commerce, apps, integrations, smart AI driven customer service chat, and now looking at ways in which brands and the Metaverse can adapt to each other’s mission and purpose. This is in addition to leveraging tools to express the brand’s creativity and further connect with customers (digitalized interactive experiences).

NFT & Metaverse are still very new; not only to the technology industry, but also the entire retailer and manufacturer spectrum of the business world around the globe. And so most firms will continue keeping a close eye on its development, and will keep track of trends should any possibility of innovating to enhance the customers’ shopping journey become available via the Metaverse … in Thailand, Hong Kong, or in Asia more generally.

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