Series entrepreneur with 2 outputs, author, faculty, investor. Awesome Enterprises | Web3 and Metaverse Investments. Metaverse business strategy.
Amid a global economic collapse, the metaverse still remains one of the most transformative results of the Web3 revolution.
Looking back to the “new economy” of the late 1990s/early 2000s, the change from having a business in a physical location to “you don’t need a location to start a business” seemed at first unthinkable. But with the advent of the Internet, many industries shifted their priorities from a physical location to a digital footprint.
For the first time, customers had a mountain of information to sift through, compare and contrast different options, and ultimately make their decisions.
URL to social media
After domain URLs established their authority over the marketplace and most businesses started gaining a presence on the web, it was time for something even more individualized. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram popped up one after the other. With social media, customers were given a virtual profile. Followers, likes, comments and shares became social metrics to measure a brand’s image.
Consumers could now communicate with the company as well as communicate with each other asynchronously. This had a major impact on the decision-making process of many companies as social media was a very efficient response mechanism for users.
For many companies, the trend was clear: the more followers interacted with the company, the more the brand grew. But I think social media and Web 2.0 have reached their limits. It’s not enough to create value over time if you can only respond to a brand’s decisions rather than participate in the decision-making process. That’s where the metaverse comes in.
URL merges with IRL
Social media limitations are no longer an issue in the metaverse. In the metaverse, followers become members of the community and the community has ownership and a voice in projects. Because community is the oxygen of any Web3 effort, I’ve found that it only works if community users are part of the process from the beginning to build and run according to their preferences.
What does it have to do with an IRL company? What does it even mean?
Think of the three phases of evolution in business: physical to domain URLs to social media. What if there was a way to combine the three into one? A company with a physical location that is digitally accessible and with community interaction features, in short a metaverse.
A business in the metaverse is built in specific locations, which anyone can visit, use its services, co-create a product, participate in its experiences, and interact with the community. Not only can it increase brand empathy by being more immersive, but it can also lead to multi-value creation, where brands, creators and users work together to build digital assets with the mission of collecting, trading or to sell. This is a four-way marketplace between users, brands, creators, and potentially token holders.
For example, if a shoe company expands its brand into the metaverse, they can create a limited collection of shoe NFTs and associate them with physical shoes. They then place various NFTs in the metaverse and take the users on a digital experience by inviting them to attend events at the right time and place. And finally, the creators are building their own value-added experience layer on top of the land. And the joint collaboration creates a Web3 metaverse experience. What was once just a shoe brand measured by transactions and likes is now a metaverse company with the potential for greater brand empathy and revenue growth with co-creation.
Any brand or company looking to Web3 and the metaverse can mature by adopting this next-gen trading model.
The metaverse value ladder
I created the metaverse value ladder to reverse engineer the path to a metaverse company. The four metaverse steps are called ACEP, which stands for awareness, commerce, experience and phygital. Here are the four examples of how brands, IP holders and companies can plan their brand expansion in the metaverse from 2022 onwards. The big picture: getting a phygital experience as an extension of your physical product.
Are you in the metaverse? Not yet? Creating awareness for your brand in the metaverse is the very first step towards establishing a functioning metaverse business. To do that, companies will first need to buy land in the metaverse.
Owning land in a decentralized metaverse is similar to buying a domain. It’s where you and your community experience your brand. Make sure to choose a metaverse that is beneficial, scalable and meets Web3 needs.
On your way to your phygital experience, after owning land, set up shop there. Focus on creating a place where customers can easily visit and buy/interact with your digital assets. Remember, give before you ask. Don’t make it transactional, but make your end user part of the process. And as users come to own NFTs, long-term satisfied companies must strive for asset interoperability.
This is where your business actually turns into a metaverse business. Your experiences can be anything, such as community events, concerts, shows, or competitions, that take place at a specific time and place in the metaverse and therefore have a specific meaning. The primary goal is for customers to experience the attraction and have the power to co-create.
Set up reward systems to encourage contributions and provide a secondary market where the community can buy and sell their own creations.
Because the metaverse is the extension of our real world, the convergence between product, places and people, brand extension flourishes when physical and digital meet. Select a product that you want to extend to the metaverse. Build a reward system that lives within a digital experience. Access the experience by increasing the product size.
An example I like to use to describe phygital is that, let’s say you own a fitness brand and you run a campaign where participants who register the most run time get an airdrop in their wallet. In this way you connect the physical reality with the digital world and successfully create a phygital experience.