Tag Archives: ecommerce

Branding in the Metaverse

In an average day consumers see thousands of different brands and messages. And all of them want our attention and money! But sometimes it’s too much and we long to escape all the noise. Perhaps a video game will give us that break from brands? Well, actually, no it will not. In fact, the metaverse is rapidly becoming a new platform for building brands and engaging consumers.

Let’s start with the metaverse. The metaverse is any kind of digital immersive experience on the Internet that is persistent, 3D, and virtual and it is not happening in the physical real world – or is it?  The promise of the metaverse gives us opportunity to play, work, connect, and buy. However, there is not just a single, universal metaverse. Instead there are multiple of these playgrounds/worlds and each has its own access, rules, and membership. If this sounds similar to video game settings, it is.

PC games have already created metaverse playboxes where players socialize with others such as Minecraft from Microsoft. Other entries include Roblox which allows players to create and play across numerous worlds. Another is Dencentraland – a 3D virtual world owned by users who create virtual structures and then charge others to visit. For example, Decentraland held an immersive Metaverse Festival for a music event featuring performances by Deadmau5 and others. Snoop Dogg holds private metaverse parties and offers exclusive NFTs.

Many brands are creating immersive branded experiences as well. For example, Nike has filed for patents for virtual goods and the opportunity to build virtual retail environments to sell those goods. Social media also plays a roll with virtual showrooms, fashion shows and dressing rooms. Other companies buy or rent digital space from the platforms. They can rent out digital land that they own to other brands, plus sell NFTs to consumers to build a new revenue stream. Metaverse Group, bought about 313,000 square feet in Decentraland’s fashion district (at a cost of $2.5 million) for a fashion week in March. Decentraland even has its own cryptocurrency for making transactions.

What should brands do to engage in the metaverse? It’s the same marketing principles as real life: Choose target markets, examine competitors, develop new products/services, and above all – be ready to pivot quickly.

After all, the virtual world is an extension of the real world, isn’t it?

Where will you go to play in the metaverse?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Define what the metaverse is for them.
  2. Poll students: List ideas for placing brands in the metaverse.
  3. Consider showing a video about the metaverse: https://youtu.be/99BnZ8js1_k
  4. Have students explore sites such as The Sandbox: https://www.sandbox.game/en/shop/?collections=26 , and Decentraland: https://decentraland.org/
  5. What are the strengths of the metaverse? Weaknesses? Opportunities?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a brand and then develop a marketing plan for expanding into the metaverse.

Source:  Alcantara, A. (3 March 2022). Marketers explore metaverse. Wall Street Journal; Balis. J. (3 January 2022). How brands can enter the metaverse. Harvard Business Review; Gunn., E. (2 February 2022). Building a brand in the metaverse. Fast Company; other news sources.

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What Trends are in Store for us in 2022?

Marketers need to be able to monitor trends with an eye towards predicting what consumers will want next. While it is hard to predict the future, we can examine the current environment with respect to what might happen next.

In its yearly predictions report, international research firm Euromonitor forecasts what consumers will want and need. Companies then can use these predictions to consider the strategies that they might pursue.

Lifestyles in 2021 made radical shifts as populations continued to be impacted by the pandemic. To no one’s surprise, COVID-19 and the Omicron variant continue to be very important to the immediate future.  Marketers and businesses must evolve quickly to keep up with new demands.

Ten  predictions for consumers in 2022 include:

  1. Rethinking the supply chain.
  2. Climate change – a low-carbon world.
  3. Senior citizens and their digital adoptions and usage.
  4. Controlling personal finances.
  5. Prioritizing personal values and individual goals.
  6. The metaverse moves to reality.
  7. Increasing adoption of second-hand and peer-to-peer marketplaces.
  8. City dwellers want advantages of living outside of cities.
  9. The importance of self-care and happiness.
  10. The hybridization of being social.

These trends provide guidance for companies and marketers. Using these, we can gain insight into consumer values and behavior. If 2021 was a year that required us to be adaptable and resilience, then what does 2022 indicate?

What trends will impact you?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. The full Euromonitor report can be accessed at: https://go.euromonitor.com/white-paper-EC-2022-Top-10-Global-Consumer-Trends.html?utm_source=WSJ&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=CT_22_01_18_WP_Top%2010%20GCT%202022%20EN
  2. Discuss the importance of environmental scanning and conducing SWOT analysis.
  3. Show the Euromonitor report to students.
  4. Divide students into teams.
  5. Have each team select one of the top 10 trends and prepare a discussion for the class.
  6. What industries and companies will be most impacted by that trend?
  7. What should marketers do to address the trend?

Source: Alcantara, A-M., (January 17, 2022). Ten trends that will shape the way we shop, eat and live this year, Wall Street Journal; Euromonitor International (January 18, 2022), Top 10 global consumer trends 2022.

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CarBravo – General Motors Introduces its Used-Car Website

Shopping for a used-car is challenging these days. Not only is there a reported shortage of used-cars, but prices have been steadily rising at an estimated rate of 35%, making it hard for consumers to shop for a good used-car at a good price. In addition, there has been an increase in the number of ways – and websites – to shop for a used-car.

To access this rising demand, and to help resell its hundreds of thousands of used-cars, General Motors recently announced a new digital platform named ‘CarBravo’ that will be focused on selling its own used-car inventory.

GM officials stated that there are roughly 400,000 used vehicles available on an ongoing basis and its dealers sell 2.5 million used cars each year. Plus, GM and GM Financial have another 500,000 used cars each year to add to the mix.

According to industry analyst research, the U.S. used car market is more than two times the size of the new car sales. McKinsey estimates that U.S. consumers buy more than 39.4 million used cars each year, at a value of $1.4 billion. And used car sales are growing at a faster rate than new car sales, leading to an expanded market opportunity.

The biggest used car dealers currently are Carvana, CarMax, and Cars.com – all of which use their websites and locations to attract buyers and make it easy to both sell and purchase a used car. Plus, Ford has already entered into the consolidated used car market with its Ford Blue Advantage site.

CarBravo will offer online only purchase, dealership only purchase, and a combination of the two methods. However, one of GM’s biggest strength may be its reach – it has a network of 4,200 dealers across the nation, and those dealers have 400,000 used vehicles in inventory each year.

Where would you shop for a used car?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:  

  1. Poll students: Who has sold a car? Who has bought a used car? What was their experience?
  2. List the places that used cars can be purchased. Who are the direct competitors to GM? Indirect competitors?
  3. Show video discussing the used car market: https://youtu.be/OMHhOdQRXZM
  4. Discuss the purpose of GM’s new business – CarBravo.
  5. Ask students to develop a SWOT analysis for General Motors, focusing on opportunities and threats. What are the main risks and issues?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team compare CarBravo with a competitor.
  7. What are the points of difference?

Source: Brown, L. S. (January 12, 2022). Car and Driver. GM to launch CarBravo, its own used car sales website.; LaReau, J. (January 11, 2022). Detroit Free Press. GM launches massive used car website CarBravo, hopes to take on Carvana.

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