Exploring the metaverse — a fantastic opportunity for modern brand-building

Since Facebook’s rebranding to Meta in 2021, the term “metaverse” has emerged and reigns supreme in many media, professional and non-professional alike. Despite Meta’s setbacks in the following years after its rebranding, the metaverse did not lose steam. More than ever, brands are embracing the metaverse and incorporating this new media into their brand-building efforts. Many have achieved success, yet many more saw failures. In this article, we will closely examine some successful examples of brands incorporating the metaverse into their brand-building strategies, the potential benefits of combining the metaverse into brand-building, and how your brand can start safely exploring the metaverse as the next opportunity for accelerated brand growth.


Successful brand-building in the metaverse is exemplified by Nike's Nikeland and Louis Vuitton's Louis: The Game. Nike's Nikeland, built in collaboration with RTKFT, became a manifestation of Nike's brand world in Roblox, drawing millions of visitors and contributing to 26% of Nike's brand revenue. Louis Vuitton's Louis: The Game, an interactive adventure game, engaged players with the brand's history, values, and NFTs, while generating exposure and brand awareness. The metaverse offers benefits such as global reach, creative freedom, and new revenue streams. To implement metaverse benefits, brands should experiment, align metaverse efforts with their identity and values, and continuously evaluate approaches. Monitoring metrics based on goals, such as engagement or revenue, is crucial. Proper brand governance for the metaverse is essential to maintain consistency and prevent off-brand instances. Expertise in the metaverse and dedicated teams are necessary for successful implementation. As the metaverse evolves, brands must decide whether to invest in this medium for brand-building and follow recommended steps to navigate the challenges and opportunities it presents. How brands shape their metaverse strategies will define their future success in this emerging space.

From Nike to Louis Vuitton — a look at various successful brand-building examples in the metaverse

Speaking of successful brand-building examples in the metaverse, one cannot forget to mention Nike and Nikeland, its famed Roblox world built upon the expertise of RTKFT, Nike’s newly acquired metaverse agency. Two months after its initial launch, Nikeland saw about 7 million visitors from 224 countries around the globe. To date, this little experiment from Nike has received over 21 million visitors and has been favorited by over 150,000 gamers, as reported by Roblox.

In essence, Nikeland can be said to be a manifestation of Nike’s brand world, where visitors can interact with fellow Nike advocates, purchase Nike’s branded NFT, and participate in Nike’s organized events, which feature sports celebrities such as LeBron James. Nike’s digital results, whose large part due to Nikeland, now represent 26% of Nike’s brand revenue. Starting as the brand’s first proof of concept for mainstream metaverse commerce, Nikeland has now turned into an inspiration for many other brands, including Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, and more.

In another instance, one can also mention Louis Vuitton’s Louis: The Game, an art-forward adventure game released in August 2021 to celebrate the brand’s 200th anniversary. With an intricate art style derived from Louis Vuitton’s signature designs and well-curated interactive experiences available in multiple languages, Louis: The Game takes players on a journey with Vivienne, the brand’s virtual avatar, through the reimagined journey of Vuitton’s first travel to Paris.

Carefully planned and written, Louis: The Game successfully leads players to explore the brand’s history, philosophy, and values, which can be a challenging task to achieve through other media. Furthermore, with a collectible set of 30 NFTs (some of which were created by the digital artist Beeple) and other digital accessories inspired by the brand’s original collections, Louis: The Game also encourages players to not only interact with the brand but also share their experiences on different social media and platforms, creating immense exposure for the brand as a result. Since its launch, Louis: The Game has been the pioneer and inspiration for other luxury fashion brands, such as Balenciaga and Gucci, to explore games and the metaverse as the next medium for their brand-building efforts.

Understanding the benefits of utilizing the metaverse in branding

Nikeland and Louis: The Game has undoubtedly brought various benefits for Nike and Louis Vuitton.

The first benefit comes from the characteristic of the metaverse. Similar to other digital platforms, such as traditional websites and social media, the metaverse allows brands to cross physical borders easily and reach a broader audience faster, a task that brick-and-mortar brands can find challenging. However, different from traditional websites and social media, the metaverse offers brands a higher degree of creative freedom, allowing them to convey more and in a more efficient manner to the target audience.

In Nike’s case, for example, Roblox provides the brand with virtually unlimited space to establish its storefront, communication square, and playground. This, in turn, allows Nike to create an immersive experience for visitors, enabling the brand to convey its philosophy, vision, and value more effectively. In the long term, this effectiveness will help Nike improve its brand resonance with the target audience more efficiently, something that can be difficult to achieve with traditional media.

Similarly, in Louis Vuitton’s case, Louis: The Game gave the brand the freedom to incorporate its design style and philosophy in a rich and creative way that may not be able to achieve through physical products or advertisements. At the same time, the game’s settings also allow players to explore the brand’s world from their perspective without hindrance. This, in turn, bolsters players’ understanding of Louis Vuitton as a luxury fashion brand and how it differs from other competitors, vastly improving brand awareness.

Last but not least, the metaverse also brings about financial benefits for brands. As most metaverse applications can be developed to utilize blockchain technologies, with proper integration, the metaverse can also help brands generate a new revenue stream. Nikeland and its collections of Nike-branded NFTs, Coca-Cola and its first NFT auction on OpenSea are some inspiring examples for brand owners and strategists.

How modern brands can revise their brand strategy to implement and utilize the benefits of the metaverse

Through the examples from Nike and Louis Vuitton, it’s clear that brands can reap significant benefits from utilizing the metaverse in their brand-building efforts. The question, then, is how you should revise your brand strategy to incorporate the metaverse.

Needless to say, the metaverse is still in its infancy, and there are not as many studies on this new media form’s best practice. As a result, brands looking to integrate the metaverse into their brand-building efforts need to conduct experiments to find out what approaches work best for them. Remember that despite its success, Nikeland was one of Nike’s many experiments with the metaverse and web3 technology. With the brand’s acquisition of RTFKT, Nike is still in the middle of its experiment journey through the uncharted yet rewarding water. Similarly, if your brand is also looking to the metaverse as your next opportunity, start with small experiments to determine which approach is more suitable. Note that whichever direction you are experimenting with, ensure they always align with your defined brand identity and stay authentic to your brand’s values. If an experiment does not align with your brand’s image, then even if it’s successful, it will not bring about any benefits for your brand (and, in the worst case, such experiments may also damage your brand equity).

When conducting experiments or implementing what you’ve learned from your brand’s experiments into actual applications, ensure that your brand continuously monitors and evaluates your approach. As the metaverse is still evolving and the dynamic of your audience is still changing, it’s possible that what works today may not work tomorrow. Without continuously evaluating your approach, blindly investing may not only waste your brand’s time, money, and efforts but also cost your brand precious opportunities for further growth. To efficiently evaluate if an approach is working for your brand, ensure that your goals for entering the metaverse are well defined and set up various evaluation criteria based on the defined goals. For example, suppose your goal is to improve your brand’s engagement. In that case, metrics such as the number of visitors to your space, the amount of time your visitors spend interacting with your brand, the intensity of your visitors’ interaction, etc. will prove helpful for evaluation. On the other hand, if your goal is to generate a new revenue stream for your brand, sales metrics such as the number of sold assets (such as branded NFTs) and the average sales price will be valuable.

Lastly, ensure that your brand management team is well-prepared for further expansion into the metaverse. Similar to other media and platforms, to succeed in the metaverse, your brand will require proper brand governance to coordinate the brand-building efforts and manage the usage of your brand’s assets. Without sufficient knowledge of the metaverse, its native communities, and trends, and without continuous monitoring and adjustments, it’s only a matter of time before your brand goes off track. This, in turn, will lead to off-brand instances that may severely damage your brand equity. To ensure that your brand management team is well-prepared for the metaverse, try to establish a dedicated brand governance system with individuals of high expertise in the metaverse at the core of it. Define clearly the roles and responsibilities of each role in your metaverse management team. Furthermore, try to adapt your brand’s guidelines to cover the usage and presentation of your brand’s digital assets to reduce the risk of going off-brand.

Some last words

Nike’s Nikeland and Louis Vuitton’s Louis: The Game have offered brand owners and strategists a glimpse of what can be achieved in the metaverse. From improved brand awareness to the possibility of new revenue streams, the potential benefits from the metaverse can be captivating for many. The challenge for brand owners and strategists, then, is to try and implement this new alluring media into their brand-building efforts. Daunting a task it may seem, through this article, we have taken a look at some recommended steps that brand owners and strategists can take today to tackle this new exciting challenge.

As a brand owner or strategist, what are your thoughts? Should modern brands accelerate their investment into the metaverse as a medium for brand-building? And what steps should brands take to cruise safely into this uncharted water?

Published on
January 24, 2023