What’s On Our Mind in The World of Luxury? The Metaverse!
Now That the Metaverse Hype is Over and the Dust is Settling….
“In one of the most colossal underestimations in business history, Kenneth H. Olsen, then president of Digital Equipment Corporation, announced in 1977 that “there is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” This is a Harvard Business Review quote from an article written in 1997 and a poignant example of how uncertain environments can mess with strategy.
One of the strategies brands employ when faced with ambiguity is called “Reserve the Right To Play”. We are witnessing it now from many best-in-class luxury brands related to the metaverse, web3, and artificial intelligence.
The metaverse buzz reached a definitive peak in the summer of ‘22, only to fall slightly out of favor in the second half. This was in no small part driven by the bust experienced by Meta/Facebook and its metaverse ambitions.
Now that the dust is settling, the reality is more nuanced: it reveals which brands are positioning themselves as true visionaries with an eye on the metaverse as a long-term reality. They are reserving the right to play through small incremental investments in this space, very often through gaming platforms or the creation of NFTs. In doing so, they are ensuring that there will be a future seat at the table when this trend reaches critical mass. Here are some examples of what these brands are doing.
Hennessy is anchoring its presence in the digital space by launching a Web3 platform called ‘H3nsy’, allowing community members to connect, create and collaborate. The brand is leveraging the success of the limited -edition release of H8, an NFT-connected bottle priced at $226,000.
Valentino is entering into a partnership with web3 leader UNXD to create a metaverse space to host one-of-a-kind events, product launches, and stories that merge the physical and digital, while remaining true to the Valentino DNA.
Hublot has unveiled a virtual sports stadium called “Hublot Loves Football Metaverse Stadium”. This is aligned with its positioning as the trusted timekeeper of world football. The 0.62mile long metaverse venue for 90,000 virtual spectators will host sporting, arts, and general community events.
Shiseido, commemorating its 150th anniversary, developed an AI-powered NFT loyalty program in collaboration with web3 design firm Cult. It unveiled a limited collection of 150 NFTs, all created through AI and machine learning, turning text into images.
In line with one of CXG’s earlier takeaways about the metaverse, all these brands are leveraging this technological revolution to deliver unique, engaging customer experiences. They are doing so through targeted experimental investments, always in keeping with their brand’s DNA.