the five preferred strategies for brands to make their place in the virtual world

The digital universe is not a new concept, and while the fashion industry quickly became interested in it, the presence of sector actors in the digital world has grown at breakneck speed in recent years. . In summary, 2022 will have been the year of digital integration and activations in the meta-verse.

A new report from Fashionbi identifies the different ways brands use this virtual space and the different strategies they put in place to continue offering new experiences to their customers.

Through this report, FashionUnited has highlighted the most popular methods that brands use to get into the metaverse and why they prefer these strategies in the current economic environment.

NFT craze

A non-fungible token (NFT), like a cryptocurrency, exists in the blockchain ecosystem, but it remains unique and may contain additional information. Possession of an NFT, which may be an art object, software or a virtual asset such as a fashion piece, gives its holder exclusive ownership of that asset. It is this element that has made NFTs so popular in the luxury industry because they offer their shopping experience a unique experience.

While brands that have invested in NFTs can thus generate a new revenue stream, buyers are also reaping many additional benefits from owning this new generation of artwork, such as the ability to incorporate it into games online and unlock exclusive experiences.

Fashionbi’s report shows the best-selling NFTs to date, many of which have been sold at auction and then resold through a dedicated marketplace. Dolce & Gabbana topped the charts with “The Doge Crown”. The artwork, originally auctioned, sold for over $ 1.2 million. Among other bestsellers, Gucci’s Supergucci collection sold for $ 83,000, and Givenchy’s NFTs in collaboration with Chito brought in $ 13,000.

Photo: Kollectiff

Popular gaming platforms and virtual worlds

The virtual world offers users many benefits: games, networking, new experiences … Games like Fortnite or Zepeto have already attracted a large number of brands that want to get started with digital merchandising and explore the possibilities that online gaming offers. online, whether it’s online store premises or the launch of other digital assets.

While Animal Crossing (Nintendo) has been a hit with both gamers and retailers during the pandemic, it is Roblox that has particularly excelled by collaborating with brands such as Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger and more recently Clarks. with digital fashion offerings and brand experiences directly related Virtual platform Decentraland also made a name for itself in the fashion industry with the launch of the first Metaverse Fashion Week in March last year. This digital event saw brands and retailers like DKNY, Selfridges and Etro launch in the meta verse for the first time.

Photo: Decentraland, Tommy Hilfiger

Investing in meta verses

Acquisitions and investments in digital companies have also played an important role in the development of brand activations in the metaverse. Nike, for example, acquired the virtual sneaker company Rtfkt in December 2021 after launching its virtual experience on the Roblox platform, which has since had nearly seven million visitors. Diesel has also taken digital platforms by launching its own virtual platform D: verse in March 2022. The site allows visitors to purchase unique NFT versions of the brand’s apparel, as well as physical pieces.

The French luxury group LVMH is investing heavily in startups and digital companies as part of their annual innovation award presented at the Viva Technology conference. This year’s edition of the award includes a list of 21 young startups ranging from 3D product experience to metaverse companies to omnichannel and retail specialists.

Virtual fashion shows

From the year 2020, when the world faced confinement, many brands turned to the virtual world to continue to present their collections and maintain a link to their customers. The GCDS brand led the way by presenting a virtual fashion show. Shortly afterwards, the Museum of Other Realities (MOR), a virtual art center, presented The Fabric of Reality, an immersive experience produced by RYOT. Now, virtual reality (VR) fashion shows have become more common, with shows hosted via the Second Life platform, powered by Jonathan Simkhai, and Crypto Fashion Week, which has launched several NFT drops and hosted panel discussions. Expert in the digital world.

As brands invest more and more in the digital space, physical fashion shows are also beginning to integrate the metaverse into their collections. For the spring-summer 2022 season, Paris Fashion Week has integrated NFTs into its offering, which is delivered to accredited guests so they can access exclusive content and augmented reality experiences. During London Fashion Week in February 2022, Roksanda in particular showed off the latest silhouette from its collection as a limited edition of NFT that shoppers could try virtually.

Photo: Perry Ellis America, Decentraland

The virtual store: an experience

Along with virtual runways and digital artwork, many brands have also tested new online retail experiences. Often located in the aforementioned virtual hubs, these new retail locations allow players to browse, purchase and wear branded goods through their personal avatars, bringing a brand’s products to life in the digital world. Selfridges was one of the first to adopt this strategy with the launch of its own augmented reality department store on the Decentraland platform. This immersive experience, based on the Birmingham store, hosted various art exhibitions and various events in collaboration with brands such as Paco Rabanne.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.com. It was translated and edited in French by Maxime Der Nahabédian.

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