Metaverse: the five favorite strategies of brands to make their place in the virtual world

The digital universe is not a new concept, and while the fashion industry quickly took an interest in it, the presence of sector players in the digital world has grown at breakneck speed in recent years. . In summary, 2022 will have been the year of digital integration and activations in the metaverse.

A new report from Fashionbi identifies the different ways brands are using this virtual space and the different strategies they are putting in place to continue to offer new experiences to their customers.

Through this report, FashionUnited has highlighted the most popular methods brands are adopting to enter the metaverse and why they favor these strategies in the current economic environment.

The NFT craze

A non-fungible token (NFT), like a cryptocurrency, exists in the blockchain ecosystem, but it remains unique and may contain additional information. Possession of an NFT, which may be an object of art, software or a virtual asset such as a piece of fashion, gives its holder sole ownership of that asset. It is this element that has made NFTs so popular in the luxury industry, because they offer their buyers a unique experience.

While brands that have invested in NFTs can thus generate a new revenue stream, buyers also reap many additional benefits from owning this new generation of artwork, such as the ability to incorporate it into games. online and unlock exclusive experiences.

Fashionbi’s report lists the best-selling NFTs to date, many of which have been sold at auction and then resold through a dedicated marketplace. Dolce & Gabbana topped the list with “The Doge Crown.” The artwork, originally auctioned, was sold for more than $1.2 million. Among other big sellers, Gucci’s Supergucci collection sold for $83,000, and Givenchy’s NFTs in collaboration with Chito fetched $13,000.

Image: Kollectiff

Popular game platforms and virtual worlds

The virtual world offers users many advantages: games, network, new experiences… Games like Fortnite or Zepeto have already attracted a large number of brands wishing to embark on digital merchandising and explore the possibilities offered by online games. online, whether it’s online retail spaces or the launch of other digital assets.

While Animal Crossing (Nintendo) has been a hit with gamers and retailers alike during the pandemic, it’s Roblox that’s particularly distinguished itself by partnering with brands like Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger and, more recently, Clarks. with digital fashion offerings and brand experiences directly related to gaming. Virtual platform Decentraland also made a name for itself in the fashion industry with the launch of the first Metaverse Fashion Week last March. This digital event saw brands and retailers like DKNY, Selfridges and Etro launch into the metaverse for the first time.

Picture: Decentraland, Tommy Hilfiger

Investing in metaverses

Acquisitions and investments in digital companies have also played an important role in the development of brand activations in the metaverse. Nike, for example, acquired virtual sneaker company Rtfkt in December 2021 after launching its virtual experience on the Roblox platform, which has since had nearly seven million visitors. Diesel has also taken on digital platforms by launching its own virtual platform D:verse in March 2022. The site allows visitors to purchase unique NFT versions of the brand’s apparel, as well as physical pieces.

French luxury group LVMH invests heavily in startups and digital businesses as part of its annual innovation award, presented at the Viva Technology conference. This year’s edition of the award includes a roster of 21 young startups spanning everything from 3D product experience to metaverse companies to omnichannel and retail specialists.

Virtual Fashion Shows

From the year 2020, when the world was facing confinement, many brands turned to the virtual world in order to continue to present their collections and maintain a link with their customers. The GCDS brand led the way by presenting a virtual fashion show. Shortly after, the Museum of Other Realities (MOR), a virtual art center, presented The Fabric of Reality, an immersive experience produced by RYOT. Now virtual reality (VR) fashion shows have become more common, with shows held via the Second Life platform, run by Jonathan Simkhai, and Crypto Fashion Week, which has launched numerous NFT drops and hosted panel discussions. expert in the digital world.

While brands are investing more and more in the digital space, physical fashion shows are also beginning to integrate the metaverse into their collections. For the Spring-Summer 2022 season, Paris Fashion Week has integrated NFTs into its offer, provided to accredited guests so that they can access exclusive content and augmented reality experiences. During London Fashion Week in February 2022, Roksanda notably showed off the latest silhouette from her collection as a limited-edition NFT that shoppers could try on virtually.

Image: Perry Ellis America, Decentraland

The virtual store: an experience

Along with virtual runways and digital artwork, many brands have also been testing new online retail experiences. Often located in the aforementioned virtual hubs, these new retail locations allow players to browse, purchase, and don branded products through their personal avatars, bringing a brand’s products to life in the digital world. Selfridges was one of the first to adopt this strategy, with the launch of its own augmented reality department store on the Decentraland platform. This immersive experience, modeled on the Birmingham store, hosted various art exhibitions and various events, with the collaboration of brands such as Paco Rabanne.

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.com. It was translated and edited in French by Maxime Der Nahabédian.

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Metaverse: the five favorite strategies of brands to make their place in the virtual world


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