Loyalty in the Metaverse. Some Food for Thought.

Industry, News

If any of you already watched ‘Ready Player One’, then buckle up because we are about to make the science-fiction of this movie a reality. The Metaverse has been a hot topic in the recent months since Facebook or rather Meta, announced that they were going to shift their vision in the direction of the Metaverse, with 10bn dollars per year being allocated to Metaverse endeavors for the next decade.

Apart from Facebook, many brands like Marriot, Adidas, Alibaba, and Louis Vuitton, among many others, have started to venture into the realm of the Metaverse. All these brands are joining the scene to be the first to create the next revolutionary solution for their loyal customers. Before we deep dive into these branded Metaverse examples, let’s first ask ourselves what is the Metaverse?

What is the Metaverse?

The Metaverse is the next step for web3 and computer technology, as venture capitalist, Matthew Ball stated, “It’s moving into what people call ambient computing,” he said about the metaverse. “It’s about being within the computer rather than accessing the computer.”

Many projects are starting to create the fundamental building blocks of the Metaverse by creating these various NFTs that will be eventually used in their own Metaverse. Creating an NFT is now the first step into building a future in the Metaverse, after all the NFT will be the first thing that will be integrated and used in the Metaverse. Whether it be shoes, clothes, watches, cars, avatars, or even pet dinosaurs, these will all have their role and function in the Metaverse.

This virtual world that we call the Metaverse aims to combine the immersive nature of virtual reality and the connectivity of our online social platforms to create a digital place in which people can interact within, and even spend money!

The grand idea is to eventually create a digital replica of the world that features a virtual economy, social identity (albeit digital), the opportunity for businesses to establish themselves and grow, the opportunity to implement real-life services that are delivered in the metaverse, and much much more.

When we talk about the Metaverse there are 2 pathways that are the most popular currently. The first of which is the many brands that are attempting to develop their own Metaverse using gamification and loyalty features but not necessarily utilizing web3 or the blockchain. This means that the experience is centralized to that brand and their specific Metaverse, whilst the main Metaverse we are talking about, is the decentralized Metaverse that is created on the blockchain. This Metaverse can be accessed by any project on that chain and assets can be integrated easily without much resistance.

In the Metaverse the assets are owned by whichever entity purchased it just like with a T-shirt or a watch in real life, if you bought it, it’s yours and no one can take it away. NFTs are perfect for this purpose as they are all unique with their own distinct serial code to distinguish between 1 item and the other.

Our Top 5 Metaverse Use-Cases

Sandbox – Snoop Dogg’s Metaverse Experience

Creating one of the first-ever Ethereum based Metaverses that even features plots of land occupied by various brands and celebrities. Including the famous rapper, Snoop Dogg, who has his very own mansion and section within the Sandbox Metaverse. Loyal fans can obtain a ‘Snoop Party Pass’ to go visit Snoop Dogg’s mansion for exclusive events, mini-activities with unique rewards, and even to spend time with the rapper himself.

Sandbox, Snoop Dogg's Metaverse

Alibaba x Burberry

The launch of the Double 11 “Metaverse Art Exhibition” is the first of things to come from Alibaba’s endeavors in the Metaverse. In this exhibition, users are treated to 8 unique NFTs from brands such as Burberry and Kiehl’s. Upon purchasing 1 of these unique NFTs in the Metaverse the user is rewarded, for instance upon buying an NFT from Burberry (wearable in the Metaverse) they receive an exclusive Burberry Scarf that is only obtainable to people holding their NFT.

Alibaba's Metaverse x Burberry

Marriott

The multi-national hospitality brand decided to create 3 different digital art pieces in the form of NFTs. These NFTs act as the access passes into Marriott’s upcoming Metaverse. Additionally, NFT holders were also able to attend the Art Basel event in Miami for a chance to win 200,000 reward points from Marriot’s loyalty program. 3 Lucky winners that held their NFT were chosen.

Marriott Bonvoy's Metaverse

Louis Vuitton

Louis The Game, Louis Vuitton’s attempt to merge gaming, NFTs, and the Metaverse. NFTs will randomly appear as rewards when players move through the game’s various levels. They are collectibles but not for sale. They then have a chance to attain and stock the NFTs in a digital wallet that users can only access after the end of the year. This game is just the start of Louis Vuitton’s journey into the Metaverse.

Louis the Game | LV's Metaverse

Decentraland – The Australian Open in the Metaverse

Similar to Sandbox, Decentraland is an Ethereum based Metaverse that aims to be the hub for projects, brands, and people to meet and share experiences. One of these is the first-ever grand slam tennis tournament taking place in the Metaverse! The Australian Open is organized by RunItWild and enables fans to enter the main stadium Rod Laver Arena, explore the precincts, and of course, watch tennis matches. The event even adds a layer of loyalty through fun mini-activities that reward loyal fans with different wearable NFTs, that allow you to change your look in the Metaverse or you can just sell the item!

Decentraland hosts the Metaverse Australian Open

Key Takeaways (TL:DR)

  • The Metaverse has been a hot topic most recently with a lot of brands creating different virtual experiences that act as proto-Metaverses. Other brands took a step further and fully shifted their focus onto the Metaverse, such as Facebook now known as Meta. Now the question is, how can we use loyalty within the Metaverse, what are brands are doing?

  • With all these brands jumping on the Metaverse trend, it’s important to understand what exactly these brands are doing and in what way. Brands like Marriott, Alibaba, and Louis Vuitton all took a step towards establishing their Metaverses by either creating the virtual experience or the keys that unlock the doors to their Metaverse. As in the case with Marriott releasing 3 unique digital art pieces as NFTs that also act as access passes.

The concept of the Metaverse is still young and although many brands are taking their first step into this virtual world, there is still much to come and a lot of optimization that needs to occur! With such brilliant technology, there is a lot of change that is to come in the way we interact with our customers in the future. The sooner we attempt to understand these new technologies and their potential benefit, the sooner we can start developing more beneficial and innovative solutions for our customers.

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