By Luke Thimons, Ryan Bopp, and Rick Gardinier12/22/2022

Brunner Metaverse Predictions for 2023

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Well-versed in the topic or not, it is not a secret that the metaverse is quickly becoming a reality. Many see the opportunity to create a digital space individualized for users with endless capabilities. Whether it is through gaming or social platforms, this is a new way for humans to interact. That is why it should come as no surprise that brands such as Nike are hopping on the bandwagon and joining the Metaverse. Nike launched its “Nikeland” a space for users to have an online shopping experience. They took it to the next level when they started to add features and appearances from top celebrities such as Lebron James. The Metaverse is no longer a source of entertainment, it is becoming a lifestyle. We are eager to see what lies ahead for Meta and have asked some experts at Brunner for their opinion on the topic.

Luke Thimons, Senior Channel Marketing Specialist’s Predictions:

“The Metaverse is here to stay. Just like cell phones, there are going to be people who are slower to adopt the concept. But ultimately, if we like it or not, it will be integrated into our day-to-day lives before we know it. Picture this, an online shopping experience where you’re emerged into a world where you can purchase items or products you need in real life. It would be like going to Target or Walmart’s website to place an online order, but instead, it’s a virtual world where you can walk the store, view products on the shelves, talk to virtual associates that can guide you through the experience and place orders delivered to your door.

Could this concept be the new product page on your favorite brand’s website down the road? Could this be a space you create and share with friends where you can drop your favorite brands into a virtual world to explore and shop together? The opportunities seem endless. With the way tech is evolving there are no plans of slowing down. So, buckle up and stay curious.”

Ryan Bopp, Associate Director of Marketing’s Predictions:

“The year is 2023, the crypto bear market is still around. There will be hype around crypto, except ISO 20022 coins are still low. The Metaverse is still talked about in the gaming and crypto circles. But nothing has changed… let’s jump this conversation to 2024. The crypto bull market is back on with bitcoins halving in February. You can’t hear enough about it. Mark Zuckerberg rolls out a real “Meta” verse. It is user-friendly and ties PayPal and Venmo into the payment system, advertisers can use their invoicing to run ads in it and no one has to talk about blockchain or wallet addresses because whether you like Meta or not they know how to take a technical idea and make it available to the masses with an easy-to-use interface.

We will be able to buy Facebook Newsfeed, VR, and Metaverse placements in ads manager and no one will stop talking about it.

I know this is a prediction, but right now the Metaverse is interesting. It’s like the old days of display advertising. Could you imagine calling up individual websites right now and asking each one to place an ad? Well, that is essentially where the Metaverse is now. Can big players buy a property or open a restaurant in the metaverse? Yes, but that is one place, in one mall, in one metaverse. That is not a viable option for most companies to commit to or for advertisers to find enough audience to make it worthwhile. But let’s hope that the future isn’t that far away and when it does, I’ll have a virtual coffee with you to celebrate.”

Rick Gardinier Partner, Innovation & Technology’s Predictions:

“We are very early in what will eventually become the metaverse and there will continue to be a lot of hype, with little substance, for the foreseeable future. Big consumer brands with ‘test and learn’ budgets will undoubtedly experiment with the various elements of the metaverse in 2023.  Loyalty plays based on NFT, digital tokens and in-game sponsorships of entertainment and content are examples of low-risk experiments that we’ll likely see.  Likewise, we’ll continue to see early AR and VR efforts aimed at product education and enhancing the shopping experience. But for the most part, 2023 will feel like 2022 with incremental learnings being gained.

Big brands like Wendy’s or Prada who continue to try to apply an advertising model (big spends on gimmicky experiences) to Meta’s Horizon World will continue to fail.  This approach reminds me of the early branded iPhone app efforts that offered little to no utility (does anyone remember the app that made the phone look like a glass of beer?). There seems to be a big mismatch between Meta’s primary user base, and their vision for an amazing VR-led virtual world. The result seems to be a sea of sad, empty spaces. However, 2023 will bring growth to the decentralized approaches that Web 3.0 promises. VRChat and Decentraland for example have growing user bases where brands can experiment by setting up virtual spaces for their customers to interact with. Given that all of this will remain experimental in 2023, brands that are fixated on applying dollars to proven ROI efforts will fall behind those willing to take a more gradual test-and-learn approach to the metaverse building blocks.”

Will our predictions come to fruition? We will see you this time in 2023, to continue this conversation.