The rise of the metaverse has been compared to the dot.com boom, recognized as the next Internet by some analysts, which has been dismissed as baseless hype by others. But recent advances in technology, retail, productivity, entertainment/games, and education are heralding rapid and dramatic changes that can change the way we work, learn, buy, play and interact with each other. .
In the business world, the metaverse has aggressively emerged as a trend that needs to be addressed by industry leaders to protect growth opportunities and corporate competitive strategies. Even if the metaverse has been around for decades (the term comes from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel. Snowfall), companies are now beginning to place large bets on them, anticipating that enhanced virtual immersion experiences will become unprecedented disruptions in the global marketplace. However, when it comes to metaverse acceptance:
- Recognize the opportunity. How can your business and industry use metaverse elements to gain a competitive advantage?
- Analyze the scene. If you haven’t already, are you sponsoring a team to continue to research current opportunities and plan for potential uses?
- Evaluation and planning. When and how do you start experimenting with adapting to the functional requirements of metaverse environments?
The answers to these types of questions can facilitate predictive planning and avoid risky operational cultures.
Where We Are Today: Early Adopters and Innovators
In late 2021, Facebook chose to rebrand itself as Meta (a move dismissed by some as an attempt to reverse the huge PR crisis). CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Metaverse the “holy grail of online social experiences,” saying the company hopes to “help Metaverse reach a billion people and hundreds of billions of dollars in digital commerce. in the next decade ”.
Zuckerberg’s vision of big sales in the virtual world is already a reality in the gambling industry, where competitors will spend real money on virtual items (think clothes, weapons, decorations) that they can use. in games like World of Warcraft, Fortniteand crossing the beast. In addition to generating serious profits (over 9 billion dollars per year for fortnite Epic Games, for example), gaming platforms now compete with virtual and real-world destinations by hosting meetups, concerts, movie screenings, and parties. More than half of American children and teens under the age of 16 are already there. Gartner, a management consulting firm, hopes that by 2026, adults will join them — predicting that 25% of people will dive into the metaverse, at least one hour per day, for work, shopping, learning , socializing and/or having fun. .
Leading adopters use these existing metaverse communities and the technologies they rely on to improve business results, educate, reach more potential customers, increase brand loyalty and engagement, and pushing real -world sales. Last year, crossing the beast Players can order a virtual snack from food delivery service Deliveroo, which includes promo codes to order real-world food. Designer Gucci has released virtual clothing and items RobloxTry out products to market to gaming communities before real -world production begins.
Fast food chain, Wendy’s, promoted its use in fresh meat by sending an avatar Fortnite to break the freezers of a virtual burger restaurant. The stunt was watched, alive, more than a quarter of a million times over Ticincreased the brand’s social media coverage by 119% and won eight Cannes Lions (a prize awarded to the event formerly known as the International Advertising Festival).
Commercial insurance broker HUB, launched in 2019, uses Meta’s virtual reality collaboration platform Horizon work rooms, internally and externally, to host board meetings, interact with clients, onboard talent, and provide an enhanced hybrid working experience. The platform has a lot of competition: Roblox, Join XR, The Microsoft mesh (which the company calls the “gateway to the metaverse”), UNITYand Spatial, etc., use virtual reality to enhance online collaboration and other work experiences. Some of these platforms require the use of a virtual reality headset, which creates another revenue stream for companies like Meta and Accenture (which acquired Microsoft’s XR — extended reality — division to expand its reach. Ninth floor and compete in space) who are developing their own compatible hardware.
The existing metaverse can also be used as a training environment. Medical schools use virtual reality to train future doctors even before working with patients in the real world, and doctors use it to plan complex procedures, including new operation to separate conjoined twins. Richard Ward, McKinsey’s senior director of business virtual reality practice, says Metaverse can be used to prepare workers in many industries: “Why not practice first in Metaverse, where it’s a little expensive, can we do things forever, and can we make the impossible happen? These kinds of things really give people more efficiency and productivity…. [metaverse] there is a very wide range of tools across the board that you can literally do now.
Where we are going
The price to pay for breakthrough innovation can be astronomical, making it difficult to decide whether to go ahead or wait to be delayed. Think toy maker Lego®, which just got a $ 2 billion investment to create a family -friendly metaverse on the Epic Games platform. CEO Niels Christiansen said: “Children love to play in the digital and physical worlds and move smoothly between the two. We believe there is great potential for them to develop lifelong skills such as creativity. , collaboration and communication through digital experiences.Lego® bets that its virtual experience will create its own revenue stream and improve the sales of its product in the real world.
For organizations that want to enter the market and don’t have a deep pocket to be a frontrunner, there’s a lot of good news. The tech industry, in particular, is full of examples of late winners, including Google, Apple, and PayPal. If your business prevents you from using an existing platform, waiting until this early stage of the game can be a wise choice. Laggards receive benefits that include learning from the mistakes of the early operator, less spending on R&D and market education, refining early innovations to create a better offering, reducing risk. to receive the product, and low cost to get the customer.
Even with deep pockets, choosing to leave the first-mover position may be reasonable. Earlier this year, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the company’s ambition was to “connect the physical and digital worlds”. will be presided over by a newly hired Vice President. Mike White is currently setting up a task force and developing models on how to take advantage of new technologies to take Disney characters and storytelling to the next level.
To be successful in the “latecomer” approach, companies must, like Disney, be transparent and deliberate. Is your business ready to pivot and adapt to the trendy metaverse and the inevitable impact of cross-industry markets? What is your plan?
Maybe you need to give your time to determine the best way to bring your product or service to the virtual world. Or, you have a plan, but you have to wait for new technologies to support your move. Or, you know that a competitor has made a huge investment that makes it unreasonable for you to compete with him now. Or you’re working to build an ecosystem of partnerships (including vendors, talent, distributors, sites, and/or customers) that will support your future engagement in the metaverse. Whatever your reason for waiting, there is a team in place to monitor your industry and competitors, allowing you to continuously update your strategy and communicate your current status to stakeholders.
Whether it chooses to launch now as an early adopter of an existing platform, invests in disruptive technologies and applications, starts experimenting on a small scale, or adopts a wait-and-see that way, the opportunities for businesses to grow in the virtual world appear to be limitless. The only obstacle? A failure to appreciate the potential for strategic innovation and business model adaptation for metaverse integration.