The Metaverse. It’s still taking shape, and it’s still surprising us. NFTs are still volatile, but they’re down and not out. The Metaverse isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so it’s best to be prepared. The broader market are still sceptical about the Metaverse, it’s purpose, and how relevant it will be to their plans. That’s where the risk lies.
In 2010, the mobile revolution brought about a whole host of irrelevant apps and technological advances in a boom and bust period, but those with foresight and robust strategy stayed the course and survived. Do you want to be left behind? I didn’t think so, but the question is this: how do we approach strategy for the Metaverse in a way that prevents irrelevancy and maintains a purpose?
Metaverse Strategy - The Same as Product Strategy?
Although new and exciting, staying grounded when creating your Metaverse strategy is critical. Your strategy should be well thought out, planned, and stress-tested before going to market. Just as you would with a traditional product or service, research needs to be conducted and the future planned out.
You should treat your Metaverse strategy as you would a product strategy, but approach it with caution. The Metaverse is still brand new, and no one truly knows how it will pan out. However, experts are predicting that the market will determine the success of the Metaverse, so bearing that in mind is wise.
As with a product strategy, where you define what you want to achieve and how to get there, the Metaverse should be treated in the same way. Product strategy is putting the “why” behind a product or service, as well as the what, when and how. The Metaverse is no different.
In addition, you need to consider how you will launch into the Metaverse, the life-cycle of your product, and how you will manage the end of life. Let’s look at some non-negotiables for your Metaverse strategy.
Whilst we can’t create your strategy for you in this article, we can give you some pointers. There are several factors that just can’t be ignored and will be instrumental in your success in the Metaverse.
Find a trend that suits you
The first thing to be noticed about the launch of the Metaverse is big-name brands jumping on the bandwagon and investing significant sums of money into their strategies and products. Think Nike commissioning the launch of NIKELAND, or the same brand acquiring RTFKT, which offers digital products and NFTs.
Be wary of following the biggest brands and trying to jump on every trend. Find a niche and stick to it, just like you would with a physical product or service. If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t be able to manage your offering. Consumers will be confused by your scattered messaging. Try not to be distracted by the multitude of trends cropping up every day - you should be focused on creating the best solutions and products for your audience.
If you were launching a physical product or service, you’d be focused on finding the whitespace between competitors and trying to offer something genuinely different and valuable for your consumers. It’s exactly the same with the Metaverse - find a problem you can solve or a desire that you can fulfil, and pin it down.
Be immersive and accessible
Unless you’re a giant of a brand, it’s crucial that you remain accessible. That’s not to say that large brands should be inaccessible; it’s just that they have the pulling power to leverage their price point to make themselves desirable. Therefore, brands should do everything in their power to remain accessible to their audience through price points and experience.
The immersive nature of the Metaverse means that brands should create an experience that is rewarding and interactive for their audience. That could be virtual fitting rooms, interactive meeting spaces, or even a chatbot. The whole experience should feel like it would in the real world. That’s to say that it should be highly immersive and interactive. This also solves the accessibility topic.
Strike a balance
It wouldn’t be a strategy article without a tip of the hat to marketing.
Native advertising may turn out to be one of the best ways to announce yourself to the Metaverse. Already within video games, big brands are advertising on billboards (think sports hoardings). The Metaverse is no different, and native advertising could be the perfect way to garner more eyeballs on your product.
Disruptive advertising, such as the slightly annoying ads you get at the start of online videos, may still have a place in the Metaverse – so keep an eye on those tactics. However, with the Metaverse being so immersive and experiential, native advertising would be our pick of the two.
Just be wary of how you can measure the performance of either tactic. It likely won’t be traditional marketing, so measuring click-through rates and ROI may be challenging. However, by sticking to your strategy, you can negate the risk.
Start small and evolve
With no one entirely sure how the Metaverse will pan out and NFTs recently taking a nosedive, there is still an element of risk about stepping foot into the virtual world. However, by having a robust plan and sticking to it, you can negate the threat. It’s also about starting small, testing the waters, and evolving as you continue along the virtual path.
By having a solid value proposition and being clear on what you offer, why you offer it, and how you’ll offer it, you can remain confident. Not only does a solid value proposition improve customer understanding and engagement, but it also increases your own understanding and grasp of what you are trying to achieve. Your value proposition is your compass, so have it to hand and spend all the time you need on it.
The same goes for your product strategy. As we mentioned earlier, your Metaverse strategy should be approached in the same way as a product strategy. It will help you understand your market fit, who your audience is, where they’ll hang out, and what they’re looking for. Without this critical information, you’ll be lost.
Create your plan and reflect back on the decisions you’ve made up to that point, iterating only after testing and using data. Take your learnings from the real world and apply them to your Metaverse strategy. Of course, the Metaverse is going to differ in many aspects, but the safest bet is to be prepared and have a plan. Don’t dive in headfirst without one. No one is saying that the Metaverse will mirror real life because it likely won’t, but you can still research your audience, fine-tune your offer, and nail down your strategy, so you are, at the very least, prepared.