What consumers expect from brands in Metaverse

25/05/2022 – The Germans’ relationship to metavers is divided. While some view the virtual worlds with skepticism, the euphoria of others knows no bounds. Some younger people would even have their eyes operated on for the virtual experience. What does this mood mean for marketing:

by Frauke Schobelt

While confidence in and awareness of Metaverse is high in emerging countries like India or countries with a rather younger population like Argentina, Germans are quite skeptical of the new virtual world. However, this depends a lot on the age group: 9 out of 10 German Gen Z respondents say they know about Metaverse and its most prominent digital platforms compared to less than a quarter of the baby boomers. About 20 percent of the young respondents would even be willing to have surgery on the lenses of their eyes in order to fully experience Metaverse. The older generation, on the other hand, does not have this will.

Havas draws this odd mood
in his prosumer report “Metaverse: The New Age of Experience”
, in which about 14,500 people in 30 countries participated. The study also analyzes how this development will shape the digital future of marketing. Havas has conducted the prosumer surveys since 2014. The agency defines this target group as trend-conscious consumers who, as opinion leaders, have a great influence on their surroundings. According to Havas, what prosumers, ie also producing consumers, do today will soon triumph in the mainstream.

Consequently, a similarly unequal picture emerges when it comes to expectations and concerns between German prosumers and mainstreamers, the cross-section of the population: while three out of four prosumers believe that Metaverse will expand the range of their experiences, almost as many mainstreamers is afraid that virtual worlds will diminish our desire to seek experiences in the physical world.

Control over the virtual new world still needs to be negotiated

What is clear is that as part of the future of the Internet, Metaverse will be based on decentralization and monetization through blockchain. It is unclear who or what should control these platforms and to what extent. When asked this question, more than half of German prosumers say that the metaverse should be public property. Nearly three-quarters support government regulation, specifically criminal behavior in the metaverse should be controlled and punished in the same way as in real life. It is not just about phishing scams, data theft and the like, but also about harassment and even sexual assault in these digital worlds.

Consumerism for the virtual world has already been awakened

Havas has also looked at what people are willing to spend money on in the virtual world. At the top of the list is live entertainment: almost half of German pros would be willing to buy a ticket to a digital concert or event. However, live events are just the beginning. Nearly one in four pros would spend money on digital clothing for their online avatars. About one in five could also imagine buying digital property, such as a piece of land or a house. However, nearly 90 percent of German respondents unanimously stated that they would not spend more than $ 1,000, if at all, on digital art in the NFT market.

How brands can earn their place in the metaverse

Brands are welcome in the meta-verse and in consumer communities if they add a real contribution. However, you will need to understand what needs and desires this new world meets. Havas identifies four main areas:

  • Social interactions are activated or encouraged by the brand.
  • 2. Identities can be explored and expressed through the brand.
  • The brand offers stimulation and relaxation through entertainment and games.
  • 4. The brand offers exclusive content and experiences that reality does not offer.

Advice from Sandra Onofri, Group Strategy Director Havas Germany: “For brands in Metaverse, it’s not about translating a real-world brand experience into the virtual, but rather about understanding the psychological benefits of the new world and interpreting them creatively for their own brand.”

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