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Why it is essential for your business to invest in the metaverse now

The metaverse may seem a new and strange concept to many. Indeed, most executives will not have the metaverse on their corporate radar. But, make no mistake, it will bring a fundamental change to every single business sector and even our daily lives. Failing to invest now will put you and your business behind the curve in digital transformation. The train to the metaverse is already at the station and is ready to depart.

What exactly is the metaverse?

With it being such a new concept, there are many conflicting definitions as to what the metaverse is. As it isn’t a physical object, it has been hard to pin the tail on the donkey. But this does not mean that it won’t affect you or your business; the metaverse will be revolutionary to everyone with a digital presence. Can you think of any reputable company in the digital age that doesn’t have a website? The metaverse itself is the next logical step in the evolution of the digital world. One that promises to bridge a new connection between the digital and the real.

But the metaverse is all just video games, isn’t it? No, not at all. While the best-known existing applications of the metaverse may be in video games and the digital worlds they rely on, the technologies that they use and the applications they serve transcend into every aspect of business and commercial life. While you may think of donning your virtual reality headset to play a flight simulator, you could also use it to go into the office or conduct virtual meetings. Instead of using augmented reality to see a 3D fictional character, you could use it to demonstrate how your latest product will look in your customers’ homes. The applications and uses for the metaverse are truly endless.

But this is just the beginning. The metaverse does not have to be experienced through one form of technology in one application. Rather, the metaverse can and should be experienced through a multitude of complementing hybrid technologies.

Why is this important now?

Despite this, it may not seem obvious as to why you need to focus on metaverse investment now. Indeed, you may not feel it is relevant to your current business model or digital strategy. However, it is vitally important for all executives to consider the role of the metaverse within their business. In a study by Accenture, 71% of global executives were found to believe that the metaverse will have a positive impact on their organisation. Moreover, Bloomberg estimated that the metaverse represents an $800bn market opportunity within the next 2 years. This means that those businesses that choose to ignore investment in the metaverse will end up missing out on the next evolution of digital transformation.

How other companies have been entering the metaverse.

The starting gun has already been fired on metaverse projects. There are plenty of multinational and prestigious brands that have already shifted their business strategy and product line to include the metaverse.

One example is direct-to-avatar product services. Many well-known beauty and fashion brands, such as Ralph Lauren and Gucci, have started to sell a virtual version of their product lines. These can be added by their customers to their online avatars in the various digital worlds. Here, the brands not only enjoy a new revenue stream but also the advertising of their real-world products in a virtual setting.

Furthermore, Disney has been exploring and creating a virtual version of their infamous theme parks. After all, wouldn’t it be tempting to skip the long queues and mind-numbing bureaucracy of international travel when you can visit your favourite ride from the comfort of your sofa? Sure, the physical feeling may not be the same but it will at least allow you to test the ride and decide if it’s for you. And you could also map out the quickest route to the toilets before you leave for the real thing.

One last example is that of NFTs and blockchain technology. Despite being far from the new kid on the block, NFT was Collins Dictionary word of the year in 2021 and the technology is still very much in its infancy. Here, multiple brands have been utilising non-fungible tokens to create their artwork and advertising. The NFL even started using NFTs to turn the latest Super Bowl tickets into collectable souvenirs.

The importance of finding your jumping-off point.

What these examples represent is a jumping-off point for these brands. They are examples of how existing products and services have been diversified into the digital world. They have not only spawned new revenue streams but helped brands to engage with new audiences in a completely new sector.

But they are very much still the pioneers enjoying the fruits of an untouched wilderness. It is not too late for you and your company to start making the strategic decisions that will push your brand into the metaverse. Not yet at least. All businesses need to ask themselves: Where is the intersection between our business and the metaverse? What is the off-ramp that can help propel our products into the hands of new audiences and new spaces? Only then you will be comfortable in the knowledge you have boarded the one-way train to metaverse success.

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