Metaverse Gastronomy: How Food Brands Harness Digital Innovation
The metaverse, an all-encompassing digital realm where interactions transcend physical boundaries, has ensnared the attention of industries far and wide, including the culinary world.
The rise of the metaverse has led to a paradigm shift in marketing strategies for brands worldwide.
While the term "metaverse" is often used loosely, it refers to an immersive 3D world delivered over the internet. On the other hand, blockchain technology enables the storage and exchange of digital assets. Although brands may benefit from both aspects, it is important to recognize that the broader term for these advancements is web 3.0, not solely the metaverse.
Brands are experimenting with various approaches within the web 3.0 ecosystem. Some have chosen to buy exposure within existing virtual environments like Roblox or Fortnite, aiming to maximize reach and top-of-funnel awareness. However, an increasingly effective approach involves investing in the creation of branded custom worlds.
To create a bespoke virtual experience, brands must have a clear understanding of their own identity and what they wish to offer customers. The focus should be on providing a space for engagement or connection, ensuring that customers feel comfortable being their digital selves. For example, the Mini brand, known for its fun and unconventional image, replicated this essence in the virtual world through a racing experience where players can be aided or hindered by spectators.
To bring their vision to life, brands need to find partners capable of delivering high-fidelity environments accessible from any device. Collaboration with skilled developers and designers is crucial in constructing immersive worlds that captivate customers and encourage ongoing engagement.
In the metaverse, brands have the opportunity to offer customers limitless experiences that inspire and excite. Instead of replicating what others have done, brands should aim to create unique experiences aligned with their own identity and customer preferences. By leveraging the metaverse's potential for unparalleled customer experiences, brands can cultivate engagement that transcends geographical boundaries.
With increasing time spent online, the boundary between the real and virtual worlds is blurring. Younger consumers now view their digital identities as an integral part of their overall self-expression. Furthermore, digital identities can be fluid, with individuals adopting different personas in various environments. Brands that understand and embrace this fluidity can create inclusive metaverse worlds that resonate with their customers' desire for authentic self-expression.
Claire's: The popular fashion retail brand Claire's launched the virtual fashion show ShimmerVille on the Roblox platform. Claire's has regularly promoted ShimmerVille on its official social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
Decentraland: Decentraland’s virtual platform is very active on social media. They use YouTube to provide tutorials to users on how to use the features of their virtual world. During the Game Jam event, for example, it uploaded a complete video demonstrating how to build a multiplayer wall. Decentraland’s team uses Facebook to promote virtual events like music festivals and fashion shows.
Gucci: The world-famous Italian leather and fashion brand Gucci entered the metaverse by launching the Gucci Vault Land on The Sandbox platform. Gucci gave us a sneak peek of this experimental world on its official Facebook page.
Meta: Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, saw enormous potential in the metaverse and renamed Facebook, Inc. to Meta, Inc. It was an indication that his company would be leading the way in the evolution of the metaverse. Meta regularly posts videos about the metaverse and virtual reality on its official Facebook page. In this video, for example, Meta demonstrates the use of its Meta Quest VR headset by showing how students learn to use it in VR college classes.
Nike: Nike announced its entry into Roblox by launching its virtual world, Nikeland, via an introductory video on its Instagram page.
Wendy’s: Wendy’s launched the Wendy Verse in Horizon Worlds, the online virtual game by Roblox. It launched Buck Biscuit Dome, a virtual reality restaurant it is heavily promoting on its official Facebook and Instagram pages.
Step up to the plate and carve out your own identity in a market that’s yet to be realized. Only a handful of businesses have ventured into the ever-changing metaverse world. With only a few companies currently existing in the metaverse, you only have a little competition right now. Use this golden opportunity to establish your brand in the metaverse to attract the younger tech generation to your business.
As the concept of the metaverse continues to evolve, it is important to approach it with an open mind, recognizing its potential while acknowledging the need for ongoing exploration and adaptation.