The beauty of the metaverse is creation and money

Image: Zepeto

There’s been a lot of conversation about the Metaverse and how it could reshape the future of retail. More and more brands are moving into the virtual world with digital clothing and collections in the fashion industry. Earlier in March, the fashion industry even held its first major fashion show, “Metaverse Fashion Week”, earlier in March. The beauty industry is also moving in tandem, even as it catches up with its more established counterpart.

However, therein lies the beauty. While the metaverse remains an evolving space and concept, there are many opportunities for beauty brands to use the virtual world to engage, create and build communities.

The metaverse offers potentially endless ways because it is not limited to the limitations of the physical world such as booking a place or supply chain issues. Metaverse users only need to log in to the respective platforms and then enjoy the content released by the various beauty brands.

More than just a marketing tool, beauty brands shouldn’t fall into the trap of simply jumping on the metaverse bandwagon. There should be an element of storytelling that the brand tries to convey digitally to its consumers. One example is Estée Lauder, who teamed up with Metaverse Fashion Week to release an NFT of her iconic Advanced Night Repair (small brown bottle). The result was a virtual experience where users learned about the brand’s history, ingredients, and how they should feel after using the product in real life.

Estée Lauder in the Metaverse
Image: Estee Lauder

It’s one of the ways brands can use to engage with consumers and extend their reach to those who may not be familiar with the brand. “It’s not age specific; it’s about attracting and engaging with new communities of consumers who are already immersed in the metaverse and want to connect virtually with beauty and fashion brands,” says Jon Roman, Senior Vice President of global marketing at Estée Lauder.

There is potential for more on the metaverse. In addition to engaging with users through branded content, beauty brands that sell cosmetics can take advantage of the virtual space as a training ground for their upcoming launches. These cosmetic brands may first test the waters by releasing a digital version of their products. The concept is similar to the use of augmented reality (AR), where new products can appear either on user avatars or themselves through a filter. Brands like MAC Cosmetics, L’Oreal and Sephora also offer virtual try-ons so consumers can visualize themselves before making the purchase.

Brands can take the narrative even further by mimicking how their products can be applied in real life, which further enhances the interaction between the two parties. The potential of the metaverse is presumably limitless in terms of how users can express themselves through their avatars. Through this third-party platform, more surreal beauty looks can be unlocked, and new areas of inclusivity and self-expression can also be achieved.

Despite all the efforts to improve the customer experience in the metaverse, it is still imperative that these beauty brands also translate the digital aspects into tangible results. Ultimately, revenue must be earned to keep the metaverse running. After going through nearly two years of online Zoom sessions, a common feeling is that the virtual world cannot replace physical encounters.

This is where beauty brands can step in and fill the gap. After gathering enough information through his engagements with users on the metaverse, he can curate custom makeup looks to their liking. Tying together other facets of the metaverse like NFTs, each look can be minted and released in limited quantities for those who have earned their stripes by participating in online events.

The connection to the physical world could be sending consumers the actual products used to create the signature makeup in the metaverse or inviting them to a store where the brand’s professional makeup artists can recreate the looks. As technology advances, the makeup process could even be automated and programmed into a robot. One only has to look back to late fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s Spring 1999 show to see what might happen in the future. Of course, the scale and size of these paint-spraying robots must be miniaturized to be user-friendly.

Looking at the possibilities offered by the metaverse is breathtaking. If beauty brands can play their cards right, the metaverse could not only enrich the experience of its consumers interacting with the brand, but it will also become the new gold mine.

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