The everyday virtual world is coming. Really, it's not a question of if, but when. And with this pending dystopian-flavored future will come the inevitable use of the Metaverse for all things business and commerce. Seriously, if you don't think that the Metaverse won't be pimped out to everyone from Chuck-E-Cheese to Target, then you're kidding yourself. It already is, really.
Still, there has to be some redeeming use for the Metaverse for brands and business, isn't there? We believe so. So for all the attention the virtual world is getting now and in the not-so-distant hellscape of a future, let's just try to imagine what it might mean for the stars of our earthly-based businesses, the avatar CEO. What will happen when they sink their teeth into the Virtual World.
Besides virtual cocktails, custom-made NFT fashion, and crypto-based bank accounts, there really might be a few redeeming use-cases for CEOs and other mucky-muck business types for the virtual world. Let's look at a few of the potential implications that virtual worlds might have on businesses and how "C-Levels" might be adapting to the Metaverse soon.
First, a look at where Avatars are heading.
So what is an avatar in the Metaverse? Or what will it be? The easy description is to think of an avatar as your digital self, an "only in the Metaverse" personification of who you are. There are many creative uses of avatars happening all over the internet today (see NVidia's Avatar Keynote at GTC2021 in November). As motion capture technology gets more accessible and the use of virtual spaces becomes a daily event, all of us, to some degree, will feel the pull to have a virtual personality that can engage with other digital beings.
Outside of brands using avatars for commerce and consumer interaction (see new trends like Avatars as a Service among other use cases), real-time interactions in the Metaverse will result in an explosion of creative uses of avatars for every day interaction (see our favorite Avatar at the moment, Xanadu Blue).
So, as your CEOs are watching CNBC and getting up to speed on how the kids are using Avatars and seeing how big brands, customers, and partners are getting in the game, they may begin feeling the pull of starting their own Metaverse-only persona.
The Use Case(s) for the Avatar CEO
So our thesis is that the Metaverse will continue to evolve and that it will quickly become more and more important for CEOs to have a presence in it. If that turns out to be accurate, here are some primary ways they might make use of their new digital persona to drive their businesses forward:
To connect with customers and partners:
The Metaverse will be a great place to connect with customers and partners, some of which may only be in the Metaverse. By having an Avatar, CEOs can easily communicate with them in real-time, face-to-face in a way that allows communication tools not available in the remote/real-world. The Avatar CEO will be able to demonstrate new products, ask for product feedback and build relationships with new customers and partners like never before. New business opportunities can arise by speaking directly with potential customers and partners in real-time without requiring travel. They'll also have the ability to host events within their Avatar or plan meetups around their products, services, and businesses.
To build relationships with employees:
The Metaverse is also an excellent place for CEOs to build relationships with their employees in a non-threatening and fun way. They can meet with them in virtual rooms, events, and one-on-one interactions in a way that allows for tools that aren't feasible in the real world. With the Metaverse, a CEO will be able to hold virtual office hours with employees worldwide without leaving their desk.
To build brand awareness:
The Metaverse is an excellent platform to grow brand recognition. In the Metaverse, CEOs could network with many people and connect them with the brand on a personal and engaging level by using Avatars. CEOs can create alternative personas based on their meta-selfs vs. the ones they have to portray in the physical world... creating a new extension of the brand and marketing effort beyond what is possible in the physical world.
To stay ahead of the competition:
The Metaverse is a constantly evolving space, and by being active in it, CEOs can stay ahead of the competition as trends in this new channel are formed over time. With the rise of virtual reality and its impact on how business gets done, it will be more critical than ever for CEOs to have a presence in the Metaverse to understand and leverage the power of virtual worlds.
To create new products:
Traditional product providers think primarily in 2D. Their products and services are ideally built for the 2D world. However, as commerce begins to take off in the virtual world, legacy products may have extensions or entirely new brands and capabilities that will stem from the vast creativity the Metaverse will provide. Brands that already own a specific niche or product space will have as much brand equity potential in the Metaverse as they have in the real world. CEOs will need to interact with this community to understand how new virtual trends will affect their long-term product strategy.
To find new talent:
The Metaverse will also be a great place to assess new skillsets and find new talent. An Avatar CEO will connect with the Metaverse to attract new types of talent with skills that are Metaverse ready. Additionally, it may stimulate job growth and skillsets among their existing employee base by inspiring others to investigate and participate in this new media.