“Brands are trying to understand their place in the metaverse” – Época Negócios

Merkle’s director of strategy, product experience and innovation Valerie Vacante: “Brands must experience the possibilities now” (Photo: Reproduction/SXSW)

For Valerie Vacante, despite the experiences with digital immersion they are not very new – see existence The Sims or A simple life since the turn of the century – brands must now prepare to deal with an entire generation that grew up with virtual games and a digital shopping experience. In this sense, she claims, it is necessary for every company to know how to experience different platforms which today are identified as the metaverse.

“I don’t think everyone needs to be on Roblox, nor do I think every brand needs to be on Fortnite. The big question that needs to be asked is who you are as a brand,” says the CEO in an interview with BUSINESS season. “Ultimately, all of these initiatives will depend on who your consumers are, how you want to reach them, and what your goals are with that.”

Award-winning innovator Valerie Vacante is the directorMerkel, a global customer experience company that is part of Japan’s Dentsu Group. Vacante also adds the position of Vice President of Innovation Solutions at Dents itself, as well as being the founder of strategy and innovation firm Collabsco and a member of the SXSW Innovation Advisory Board. In the last week she was in Brazil as one of the main names in Sebrae Global Experience.

According to her, her role is to discover cultural trends and the next generation of product innovation, as well as design strategies that influence the way people connect and experience the physical and digital worlds.

Tags before the metaverse

When creating digital shopping or engagement experiences focused on the metaverse, the CEO emphasizes the importance of companies always focusing on tools that are responsive not only to handsets, but also to mobile phones and computers. The idea is that not only users who are already immersed in this world of virtual reality can connect, but all consumers who are connected to the Internet.

“Being more accessible means more people benefit and more people participate. These are the experiences that will win at this moment. One way out of this is to create a virtual space option in broadcast mode, where people can at least participate and see the experience,” he explains.

Valerie points out that many people think that the metaverse is the equivalent of virtual reality, which we will soon live with headsets in virtual worlds: “But no, virtual reality is not a metaverse.”

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At Merkle, the strategy of creating a future without leaving out the consumer can be seen in the resources included in ShopNXT, the digital retail acceleration platform co-created by Valerie. The idea is to help brands create more personalized experiences, with virtual reality features, but also in-store connectivity and physical, physical and digital integration.

One of ShopNXT’s tools is a virtual reality showroom that can be used in retail to sell and display products, as well as for virtual consumer testing, internal team training and presentations. To access the platform, users can log in immersively using a headset or from their computer.

“Now it’s important for brands to start from the basics, experimenting with the possibilities. That’s what we do here,” says Valerie. “Before you invest a large amount of money in any platform, you must first discover that space and understand how it works.”

A future that is useful and integrated

For the executive, the success that fashion and retail giants can have on platforms like Roblox, Decentreland and Fortnite isn’t necessarily replicated for everyone. The way, according to her, is experimentation. “What brands are trying to do is understand their place in the metaverse.”

The key point in this process is that companies can understand what consumers really want and need – and then improve those characteristics. “What happens, especially in tech companies, is that they keep creating and creating and creating and all of a sudden they realize, ‘Look, people only wanted these 5 things and you created 50!'” he explains. “We have to focus on those five things and make them great.”

For the future, what Valerie sees as one of the big challenges in the digital immersion of users, consumers and brands is the integration of different platforms. Today, anyone who uses one of the tools identified as the metaverse — whether it’s Roblox or Meta’s Horizon — must create their own avatar, log in, and access each one.

“For brands, it will be important for us to be able to move between platforms like we do in the physical world, where you choose the clothes you want to wear, take your credit card and go to one store and then another. That does not happen in these areas today. The key is to give people that flexibility.”

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