What is the metaverse and why should your brand be there?
With the growth of technology and increased access to the internet, people are now spending more and more time in virtual worlds. This ecosystem is known as the metaverse, a term coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 SF novel Snow Crash.
The concept has since evolved as gaming platforms, augmented reality, streaming services, and social networks have created an environment where virtual activities are ever-growing.
For businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve, establishing a presence within the metaverse is becoming increasingly important. By engaging with customers in this space, brands can leverage their expertise and contribute to the organic growth of communities, ensuring fruitful results for years to come.
The metaverse opens limitless opportunities for branding outreach, enabling companies to build effective relationships with customers from around the globe. By getting involved early on, your beauty brand can take full advantage of these new opportunities while they’re still emerging. That way, you can establish yourself as a frontrunner in navigating this ever-evolving digital landscape. After all, it’s no secret that those who stay ahead of trends tend to be among those who thrive. And with the exponential growth of the metaverse we see sweeping our world today, there’s never been a better time for your brand to join in!
AR metaverse – a fruitful digital playground for beauty brands
The metaverse has been gaining serious traction over recent years, allowing brands all over the world to transport their products, services, messages, and stories into hyper-realistic digital realms. And thus, allowing them to create experiences so real that customers feel like they’re actually there.
So, with the rise of metaverse technology in general, metaverse beauty and metaverse makeup worlds are also coming into their own. And with them, beauty brands now have an unprecedented opportunity to engage customers in a whole new way.
Metaverse – or better yet, “beautyverse” – is likely to completely reshape beauty brands’ digital outreach and allow brands to interact and connect with potential customers on unprecedented levels.
Currently, the main metaverse demographic is, unsurprisingly, Gen Z and the millennials. But soon enough, anyone with internet access will be able to and most likely want to dive into this world. Moreover, WGSN has predicted that by 2024, there will be a brand-new beauty persona for brands to target – the Beautyversal. A Beautyversal is a persona that finds digital products equally important as physical products. It is a persona that prefers to interact with virtual ambassadors and use virtual services rather than their real-life counterparts.
This brings us to another emerging concept, we can say a new mindset, within consumers – fluidity. Both brands and their consumers are moving towards more fluid realities. They want to move seamlessly between the physical and the digital world, existing within the new, phygital space. As the name suggests, phygital refers to physical + digital, a space where physical and digital products and/or services are equally important, just like the Beautyversals want it.
So, how to join in and reap the benefits of this fluid, phygital space? Here’s what you need to know!
Metaverse beauty immersion – virtual spaces and opportunities
When talking about metaverse cosmetics or metaverse beauty and makeup, one of the main buzzwords surrounding this world is Decentraland. But it’s not only a buzzword – it is the place to be. So, what is it exactly?
Decentraland is a metaverse that the beauty industry favors the most and that some beauty brands have already joined. It’s a virtual world where you can build, create, explore, even buy property, set up digital shops, and organize events. Events such as Fashion Week, for example.
And the benefits? Well, for one, tapping into and engaging with pretty big, and ever-growing communities of consumers that are already immersed in the metaverse. With consumers that love and want to experience things differently, i.e. virtually.
Here, you can create virtual representations of your physical products, test out the waters in a way, see what customers want, and what to focus your production on. You can also give your customers the opportunity to buy those products using NFTs and redeem them for actual items in the physical world.
The metaverse also made globalization and localization more achievable and affordable in the virtual world. For example, you might not be able to open stores in every city or in every country that you want, but you can do it virtually and therefore become easily accessible to everyone.
Maybe even more interestingly, you can also create and sell only virtual products – products that don’t exist in the physical world. Because, with the evolution of the metaverse, there are now customers that are ready and willing to buy virtual products and experience everything they do in everyday life virtually. Which is closely related to, or at least stems from, the gaming world.
Let’s take a look at some of these opportunities more closely.
➥ Virtual makeup try-on – as real as it gets
It’s virtual, online, digital, but also a highly realistic representation of your physical products, as well as a seamless way for your customers to try on makeup. A virtual try-on, powered by AR technology, is an essential part of your beauty brand and the overall buying experience you provide to your customers.
Because that is what today’s customer search for – an experience.
It is no longer enough to simply advertise your products, tell stories about them, and talk about their popularity. Nowadays, you need to show what your products are all about by allowing your customers to try them on before they buy them. Virtually, of course.
And within this vast metaverse, you can even go a step further and create a completely virtual store where you can incorporate your virtual try-on. Some brands have already taken that step and are offering completely immersive virtual beauty experiences.
But what’s important in the end is that you give your customers a real-time, virtual try-on solution that will allow them and encourage them to experiment with your products. This is how you can tap into the vast possibilities of the metaverse, keep your customers happy and engaged, and, ultimately, grow your business.
Now, let’s explore how you can go a step further.
➥ Beauty + gaming = unique opportunities
We’ve all seen or heard how gamers immerse themselves into their gaming worlds, and how they practically become one with their in-game avatars. Well, now, it’s spreading to almost all other facets of life, where people now want to shop, play, socialize, and express themselves in a virtual space.
There are some interesting examples of collaboration between the beauty industry and the gaming world. All in the metaverse, of course.
For example, in 2021, NARS Cosmetics reached out to the famous social simulation game Animal Crossing and created several custom designs for their avatars. The famous MAC Cosmetics joined forces with The Sims 4, creating exclusive makeup looks and products for the characters. And these proved to be so popular that MAC later released a physical make-up palette inspired by the Sims’ looks.
Therefore, by setting foot into the metaverse, you are tapping into a huge new world of virtual communities, of both consumers and their avatars, who are basically waiting for you to find them and want to buy what you are (or will be) selling.
✦ Did you know: 75% of Gen Zers have bought a digital item in a video game
Nearly 3/4 or 75% of Gen Zers have already bought a digital product within a video game
41% said brands should sell in the metaverse because it’s convenient to buy both NFTs and real-life, physical products there
52% of Gen Zers are also willing to pay up to $49.99 for a virtual product for their avatar
It’s clear, therefore, what the consumers need and want, and what they are already doing in the metaverse. And that is shopping and living their best virtual lives.
➥ Beauty NFT
We’ve briefly mentioned NFTs above, so let’s see now what they are all about. Because in the metaverse makeup and beauty world, they play a crucial role.
Today’s beauty brands and beauty innovators are using beauty NFTs and avatars to navigate through the virtual world, connect with virtual communities, and tap into the unique potential they hold for further growth.
NFT stands for non-fungible tokens, and their main role is to ensure the authenticity of the virtual product you’re selling. In other words, they are unique digital certificates or electronic tokens that verify the ownership of a specific digital product.
NFTs are actually highly versatile. Beauty brands such as Clinique, NARS, and e.l.f Cosmetics, among others, are using them to offer benefits to NFT owners. For example, they can trigger special access, VIP experiences, interactions with the brand, loyalty programs, limited-edition products, event attendance, etc.
Possibilities are near-limitless, and the benefits numerous – for both the customers and the brands. NFTs allow you to provide unique, fully virtual experiences or, on the other hand, to enhance real-life events. For example, tickets can be sold in the form of NFTs, NFT tickets can provide some additional VIP experiences, or you can give NFTs to event attendees as rewards or souvenirs. Either way, you are engaging with your customers, as well as nurturing and growing your online communities on unparalleled levels.
And even though the concept of NFTs is still a bit confusing to some, it’s an undeniable fact that NFTs are here and that there’s a huge portion of your consumers that are already using them.
The confusion, however, is expected to die out very soon. In the next two years, as the actual, palpable beauty NFT benefits become more realized, customers will jump on board the NFT train with much less hesitation and much more understanding.
How can you get your brand on the metaverse makeup map?
Creating the so-called digital twins of your products and a virtual try-on are the first and most important steps. For beauty brands, we can say that this has already become a given. It is what your consumers expect.
But in order to go that one step further, you have to be bold and accept new and emerging trends. And right now, these trends revolve around the metaverse, i.e., metaverse makeup.
Branding in the metaverse is essential for businesses that want to attract new customers and engage the existing ones in the digital world. In order to stand out and make a lasting impression on consumers, you must create strong and memorable online identities.
And there are several ways to go about this. To begin with, you can:
Create unique avatars that will represent your brand and function as brand ambassadors in the metaverse
Create and sell your own beauty NFTs
Buy a property in Decentraland, for example, or some other metaverse that fits your goals and products
Create a virtual showroom within the metaverse and organize virtual events
Create your own metaverse through a gaming platform, such as Unreal Engine
The important thing is to start small, test the waters and see what works best for your brand and customers. And, of course, be creative, unique, and don’t be afraid to push the envelope.
Join the metaverse makeup frenzy
As we inch closer to the dawn of a new era in digital engagement and experiences, savvy brands are already mapping out strategies for interacting with consumers and building their presence in virtual worlds.
The beauty metaverse, an amalgamation of beauty AR, virtual reality (VR), and 3D technologies, is quickly becoming THE platform for innovating digital business concepts. It’s paving the way for plenty of unique opportunities for beauty brands to get creative and grow their reach.
So, why not take that first step today! Start growing your brand’s presence in the metaverse and set yourself up for success. At Visage Technology, we can help you explore your options when it comes to beauty tech and get you started with makeup|SDK so that you can create a top-notch virtual try-on. Don’t hesitate to contact us today!
Take the first step
Let us help you get started in the virtual world with our makeup|SDK! We’ll help you create the optimal virtual makeup experience for your app, website, or smart mirror.
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