‘Metaverse’ isn’t just a concept anymore. Traditional brands, some of them giants in their space, enter the metaverse everyday. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, even if they don’t fully understand it.
Here are some prominent brands and how they’re capturing the attention of the next generation of Web3 users.
NFTs in physical form: Tiffany’s Punk
Luxury jeweller Tiffany&Co. recently sparked positive chatter among netizens for creating a one-off rose gold-and-enamel pendant of Cryptopunk #3167. #3167 is owned by the brand’s vice president Alexandre Arnault, who made it his Twitter profile picture.
Arnault’s entry into the NFT community as a prominent member of a luxury jewellery house is indicative that traditional brands are warming up to blockchain technology.
Recently, Tiffany&Co. also purchased an Okapi NFT from Rocket Factory and made it its Twitter profile picture. It cited that this is the start of a “long-standing partnership” with Tom Sachs, the person behind Rocket Factory. Interestingly, purchasing a rocket NFT kickstarts the process of creating a real rocket which would be launched into the sky.
High-profile brand partnerships: Gucci & SUPERPLASTIC
Gucci, a luxury fashion brand has been making moves into the metaverse as well. It teamed up with the brand SUPERPLASTIC, which creates animated celebrities, limited vinyl toys and digital collectibles to launch SUPERGUCCI.
SUPERGUCCI is an ultra-limited three-part drop that includes ten exclusive NFTs and their accompanying ceramic sculptures. While Gucci retains its air of exclusivity and luxury, it’s able to present itself as modern and ‘cool’ via this collaboration.
The NFTs are available via Gucci Vault, the brand’s digital concept store in The Sandbox metaverse.
Novel way of selling consumables: Robert Mondavi x Bernardaud
The Robert Mondavi Winery is one of the first major wineries to dabble in NFTs. It partnered with French porcelain company Bernardaud to launch the MCMLXVI NFT collection featuring a limited series of 1,966 porcelain wine bottles.
The bottles hold custom wine blends created by Mondavi. Both the wine and bottles would be highly sought after by wine collectors.
Each bottle is sold as an NFT, with the artwork featuring a generative piece by artist Clay Heaton. Buyers receive the generative artwork and the hand-crafted porcelain bottle of wine. Each NFT also includes a certificate that unlocks exclusive experiences for owners who visit Mondavi’s vineyard and access to other special offerings.
Retail immersion in the metaverse
Retail trends have shifted to highlight experiential customer experiences in brick and mortar stores. What more the metaverse?
Traditional brands are moving into the metaverse to keep up with trends and open up news streams of revenue. So far, NFTs are the main vehicle of choice for marketing.
There are two main types of NFT utility by traditional brands:
1. Digital Fashion
Call it digital fashion, or FashionFi. Whatever its name, the fashion industry is digitalizing via the blockchain.
Luxury fashion brands in particular are at the forefront of launching NFT wearables. They come with accompanying (real) clothing that owners can wear, or most of the time - clothing that owners’ avatars can wear.
The fashion industry is taking note. In March, the first-ever Metaverse Fashion Week took place in metaverse platform Decentraland. Attendees included well-known brands Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana and Forever 21.
The beauty of digital fashion in the metaverse isn’t limited to just clothing or wearables. They can also include special effects for avatars. In a smart marketing move, cosmetic giant Estée Lauder gave avatars a veil of gold glitter for free during Metaverse Fashion Week.
Image credit: Cointelegraph
2. Online + Offline Pass
While brands may create NFTs to offer branded goods or services, these NFTs often also hold a dual function of being access passes to physical or virtual events.
Look no further than the music and arts festival Coachella. In February this year, Coachella announced its Coachella Keys NFT collection, which includes 10 highly-coveted lifetime passes to the festival with access to VIP treatment and other virtual experiences.
Metaverse: Smart marketing move or the future?
We may see more and more brands jumping onto the metaverse hype. From virtual wearables to branded concept stores, to fashion shows and gaming universes, the metaverse provides endless marketing opportunities.
More engaged users in an extremely lucrative environment, what’s not to like?
The views expressed in this article are the author's alone and do not necessarily represent the views of ApolloX.
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