Welcome back! For the last several months, we have been hard at work building out PangeaPartners, the consulting arm of our DAO. Through hundreds of conversations with brands and marketing agencies, we’ve learned that there is a healthy mix of curiosity, intrigue, and lack of urgency. Outside of the Web3 space, companies are still operating deliberately, guided by KPI metrics and often quarterly cycles. They have a budget and they spend based on justification through analytics. Likely, their budget was built out in Q4 2021 for 2022 annual planning, and chances are “Metaverse Implementation” was not a line item. However, we have found that these brands and marketing agencies have overestimated the budget and resource allocation to strategize, design, and implement in the Metaverse to set baseline expectations, metrics, and learnings. Enter, PangeaPartners. Indulge us for a moment.
When the synapses of the fragmented proto-metaverse begin to light up and give life to the connected, inter-operable capital “M” Metaverse, the far-reaching economic and social implications will be clear. Virtual, augmented, and mixed-reality worlds will enable robust environments for our First, Second, and Third Places. The new avenues of interoperable e-commerce, marketing, and coworking will transform how businesses engage with customers and build brand-loyal community. Essentially, these new technological capabilities and models of interaction will spawn many new businesses and ways of conducting business.
The brands and companies that are best positioned to benefit from this new paradigm will likely be the ones that accept the inevitability of the Metaverse the earliest… then test, learn, and iterate while providing new value-add to their customers. Organizations must develop strategies to have a meaningful presence in this world, planning for a future where digital identity is as (or more) important than physical identity. The time is now to think big, start small, and scale fast. Ultimately, a meaningful segment of the 200 million businesses on Earth will find themselves at the intersection of physical and virtual worlds, providing customer-centric experiences to augment their physical offerings, leverage the ownership model to provide ongoing value, and ultimately be at the forefront of shaping what may be the biggest paradigm shift since the invention of the Internet.
Some of the largest brands across the globe have already started to experiment with opportunities made available through blockchain technology and the emergence of virtual worlds: Nike acquired the Web3 native digital studio RTFKT to accelerate “Nike’s digital transformation and… serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture”. Disney patented an AR virtual-world simulator to supplement their theme parks and produce “connected park experiences that transcend the physical and digital barrier and unlock new layers of storytelling”. Hyundai partnered with Roblox to host the Hyundai Mobility Adventure, “a collectively shared virtual space in which various users can meet and communicate with one another and experience Hyundai Motor’s mobility offerings in the form of avatars… operating on a metaverse platform, it allows participants to customize their avatars to their preferences and interact with each other in imaginative ways.” Microsoft is exploring enterprise applications, including virtual employee training and team collaboration with avatars and work spaces. Walmart is applying for trademarks to develop “Verse to Store,” “Verse to Curb” and “Verse to Home” offerings and exploring “how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences”. Other use cases such as virtual prototyping in manufacturing and construction are also beginning to crystalize.
Not every company needs to take this larger-than-life approach to begin the journey and stake their flag in the Metaverse. In fact, the Commercially multi-player, brand-composible nature of the Metaverse puts each company in position to work closely across companies and brands with targeted customer overlap to create symbiotic experiences. How does this overlap orchestrate? The blockchain, naturally. The blockchain is the greatest Customer Relationship Management tool of all time. There is a historical trail of activity and behavior that is public and transparent for anyone to leverage. What do they buy, who are they loyal to, where do they go? Further, with help from data partners at WeMeta and our tagged digital properties, PangeaDAO is able to track our client’s land - how many stopped by, how long did they stay, and drum roll… what was in their wallet? Get ready for Venn and Euler diagrams, folks! Through our hundreds of conversations with brands, it’s apparent that not all Brands require their own build and solo experience at this stage… but, there’s no question that every brand needs to start positioning themselves on someone’s land and build. We’ve already begun pairing brands and company experiences.
The Metaverse, crypto, blockchain – buzzwords, no doubt. The unavoidable materialization of self-acclaimed “visionaries” and “experts” have just begun to take over LinkedIn and other social media. There are no experts (unless your name is Cathy Hackl). Full stop. Companies and brands need trusted explorers… Sherpas, if you will… that are not value extractive and feeding off the hype and headlines. KPIs like return-on-investment are not appropriate metrics at this time and therefore do not justify 6-figure consulting fees. Sorry, McKinsey, et al. We at Pangea are intent on growing our expertise through repetition (which began with the launch of Decentraland), all while developing our full stack of vendor infrastructure, sharing lessons learned through Case Studies, and building cooperative synergies across our book of business.
Will it move my KPIs? Yes, but it may not move your KPIs in 2022. But, that doesn’t mean you avoid strategically building a loyal community leveraging Web3 capabilities. The outlook for this technology is more bullish every day, despite the poor market conditions across the board. Apple, Meta, Google, and Microsoft are all preparing hardware and infrastructure for virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. Apple’s AR glasses could impact human social life more than the iPhone did. Microsoft will be introducing the PCs (and HoloLens) across the workforce to mixed reality. And, Meta literally just changed their name to signal their belief in the tech. The hardware itself has taken decades to get where it is now, but the next decade may end with AR contact lenses and AR car windshields. Everything will have a QR code on it. The entire world we see may have layers of content built on top of it. Understanding how your content interacts within these layers will be essential.
The best way for companies to develop an edge and establish a Metaverse strategy is to explore the future of connected experiences across multiple platforms to begin to understand your audience’s familiarity and experience with the technology, how your current brand assets map to Web3, and develop a clear picture of successful design and execution in the Metaverse. Learning about the space and your community, building long-term goals and KPIs, and developing the expertise to build engaging, memorable, and monetizable experiences will come through experimentation and iteration. Sharpening the tools necessary to create memorable, interactive experiences and approach customer engagement in a new manner will not happen overnight.
The Metaverse will also enable new models of multiplayer marketing. Strategic partnerships will be key in activating a multiplayer approach to collaboration across brands. Individual brands may not necessarily need their own land, but the opportunity to organize a community around like-minded brands from an urban-planning perspective will be crucial to create impactful, shared experiences. Beginning to start planning for such a collaborative approach and forging the partnerships necessary to do so will be an incremental process. PangeaPartners will be key connective tissue in this ecosystem, connecting brands within verticals but perhaps more importantly, across verticals. Brands will need access to land and builders, but also access to other synergistic brands to co-create with.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the new tech and the infinite directions you can take. We are your Sherpas! It all starts with a conversation. Reach out to PangeaPartners to open up a line of communication with our Team and begin to establish your Metaverse Strategy!
PangeaPartners offers a full suite of consulting and build-to-suit services to companies looking to establish themselves in the Metaverse and exploring options of reaching new customers and engaging with current ones. This team will work to organize and manage relationships outside of PangeaDAO as it relates to connecting external individuals, companies, and DAOs with both Pangea’s available land holdings, in-house guild of creators, and network of Metaverse builders, infrastructure providers, and brands. Pangea will leverage our community, experience, and research to provide these companies with a singular touchpoint for all their Metaverse related needs. We hope that you will join us.
Follow @pangeaDAO on Twitter to stay informed and join our Discord to participate!