3 Rules for Mastering the Metaverse
When discussing the luxury metaverse, I am a big advocate of separating the essence from the noise. While much of its hype stems from an interest in the opportunities it might offer and a fascination with the mystery surrounding it, there are already clear implications for companies, brands, and managers in this realm. The metaverse should be seen as the non-linear acceleration of an already-progressed digital transformation: deeper immersion, more emotional connection, and a shift from two to three-dimensional space. In short, the internet will move from a phone, tablet, or computer screen space to a more realistic, enthralling, and emotional place.
If history has taught me anything, it is that the universal adoption of a certain technology happens exponentially faster when it becomes more immersive and entertaining. Think about the speed of growth from Facebook to Instagram and TikTok. In each instance, the platform with more immersive content, whether photos in the case of Instagram or video in the case of TikTok, dramatically accelerated acceptance, use, and platform growth. Similarly, the metaverse allows brands to connect with customers more closely — and that will dramatically alter the way we engage with brands.
While no one understands now how the metaverse will look and feel when it fully evolves, we can anticipate one thing: The metaverse will become a crucial new access point for brand experiences. Eventually, it will affect everything from virtual stores and virtual events to virtual demonstrations and product collaborations. While many luxury brands have started experimenting with NFTs and crypto, those are not the true potential of the metaverse. Immersive brand interactions, accessible from any place worldwide, will significantly alter luxury. Instead of building flagship boutiques on Rue Royale in Paris or Fifth Avenue in New York City, new flagships will be in the metaverse — and they will offer personalized experiences that go far beyond what is possible today.
And this means that luxury brands will need to reinvent themselves. With the quick evolution of the metaverse that I expect, brands cannot adapt slowly to the digital transformation era. The new game requires a new mindset, more decisive leadership, and a profound cultural transformation. Building metaverse departments is not enough because that will only lead to silos that create structural disadvantages. Instead, the entire organization must figure out how to connect digital, virtual, and physical experiences into one holistic, cross-platform brand experience.
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