How the Metaverse is shaping your favourite brands
Described as a series of virtual worlds designed to offer a fully immersive digital experience, the Metaverse may seem like a digital playground. However, with industry experts predicting that the Metaverse will be part of the fabric of everyday life within the next decade, businesses would do well to recognise its potential.
With big name brands always looking for new ways to connect with their customer base, it is perhaps no surprise to see some of the world’s biggest names embracing the opportunities presented by an alternative digital reality. In this article, we take a look at how Web3, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Crypto and Blockchain are becoming the norm for some of the globe’s most well-known brands.
Nike takes a ‘sporting chance’ on the Metaverse
Earlier this month, Nike opened an online store and trading platform for virtual sneakers, releasing its own goods on the Swoosh platform, where users will be able to collect and show off their purchases. This is part of the brand’s ongoing investment in the Metaverse with Nike earning nearly $200 million to date from NFT products alone. Last year, it started filing trademarks for virtual goods, opened its own virtual world on Roblox and acquired virtual sneaker creator RTFKT.
Digital products available on Swoosh include various types of tie-ins and may unlock access to physical items, making them available in video games or providing entry to real-life events.
The Metaverse space will also provide brand tie-ins with athletes signed to Nike, equipping them with their own storefronts on the site. Long term it is likely that individual creators may also have the opportunity to co-create products with Nike and earn royalties on their designs.
Despite the recent turbulence in crypto markets, Nike’s move showcases the potential for the Metaverse and blockchain technology to create new revenues streams and ways to connect with consumers.
Formula One races in to next chapter
In October of this year, Formula One filed eight trade mark applications covering cryptocurrency, NFTs, crypto marketplaces, retail stores for virtual goods, cryptocurrency trading and mining and blockchain financial transactions.
Obtaining these trademarks highlights that F1 may wish to play an active role in the growing Web3 ecosystem and may plan to offer retail store services in virtual goods, as well as provide an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of crypto and NFTs.
Its trademark applications cover software for use with cryptocurrency, meta tokens, digital collectibles and NFTs, as well as software for digital currency payment and exchange transactions.
The trademarks also pertain to virtual goods entertainment services, namely downloadable artwork, cryptocurrency, digital collectibles, crypto-collectibles and NFTs for use in online, virtual, augmented and mixed-reality environments.
Taking out a trademark for blockchain financial transactions is particularly interesting as it may indicate plans to integrate digital currency or digital tokens.
Overall, F1’s move is part of a growing trend for expansion into Web3 and virtual goods or services trademarks amongst major brands. In 2022, more than 5,800 trademark applications were filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for NFTs and related technology – over two and a half times more than the 2,087 recorded in 2021. Applications were filed for top brands including Gucci, Nike, Adidas, NewBalance and Hermes.
Welcome to the McMetaverse
In January 2022, the popular fast-food chain filed ten patents to sell virtual goods and drinks as downloadable media files containing NFTs.
McDonald’s also plans to operate a virtual restaurant featuring “virtual and actual food” and included the McCafe brand in the Metaverse trademark application.
The company also plans to organise virtual entertainment events like concerts. These events have become very popular as they eliminate geographical barriers that previously prevented fans from seeing their favourite acts perform; for artists, this vastly reduces the cost of touring.
Further afield in the food sector, bakery and cafe chain Panera Bread also submitted a similar trademark application for a virtual restaurant and cafe chain called Paneraverse.
Forecasts indicate that these trademarks are only set to become more popular as brands fear missing out on the potential gains from having a solid presence in the Metaverse.