Dominique Von Matt is also Chairman of the Board of Jung von Matt (JvM) based in Zurich. The Morrow Ventures store, which I am visiting today, is part of the Jung von Matt network. Physically in Zurich, but also in the Metaverse. The team at Morrow Ventures and Jung von Matt launched a Web3 practice that walks clients through the metaverse – and does the same with me today. To be more specific, we’re going to “Morrowland”, Jung von Matt’s own Metaverse Space. “Morrowland” was built on the space platform. Spatial is a metaverse platform.
More than just a metaverse
This brings us to the first most important point: there is not just one metaverse, but several based on different technologies, as before spatial, Decentralized, Sandbox Where Roblox. Mobile apps are also available from the most popular Metaverse providers. For my trip, I opted for the “beginner” version of Chrome on the desktop, which should suffice for the first few steps without crashing. However, if you want to completely immerse yourself in the virtual world and have the proper motor skills, you will use virtual reality glasses that connect the physical to the virtual world. I find it worth looking at different metaverses and finding out what you like best and which metaverse best suits your brand.
Breathe cheerfulness too: Beat Hürlimann in conversation with Argun Uysal (far left), Nina Bieli and Robert Iken (far right) on the Metaverse.
Robert Iken is co-founder and partner at Morrow Ventures and head of Jung von Matt’s Web3 practice. I wanted to know what the metaverse is for brands. Iken: The question is probably not so much what the metaverse is for, but how a brand can deal with the subject of Web3 as a whole. Web3 can be understood as the latest iteration of the internet, and in addition to metaverses, this also includes topics such as blockchain, NFT, DAOs, and cryptocurrencies. In order to answer the concrete question about the metaverse, we must briefly try again to define the metaverse.
And how do you define the metaverse? Iken: Essentially, the Metaverse is a virtual world where individuals adopt a personalized avatar that allows them to interact in real time with the digital environment, including other users, communities, businesses, events and meetings of all kinds. emerge and monopolize people’s time and attention. And with that, new opportunities for brands to get in touch with younger target groups in particular.
And what characterizes the type of contact? Iken: It’s much more immediate and individual than what we experienced before. And: Technologically, the Metaverse offers the ability to create immersive experiences, which of course can have a huge effect.
It all sounds very theoretical. So how do I specifically position my business in the metaverse? Iken: There are different possibilities. The first thing that comes to mind are virtual stores and company appearances. In other words, virtual showrooms in which customers can interact with the brand. A big market are virtual goods. In 2021 alone, an estimated $100 billion was spent on gaming platforms for virtual goods alone. These virtual expenses present a tremendous opportunity for businesses to generate real money from goods in the virtual world. Other possibilities are product configurators (e.g. cars), virtual events and virtual brand storytelling – this also includes the placement of advertising in the virtual world.
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The first Swiss whiskey relies on NFT
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Robert Iken and Argun Uysal – Uysal is a Venture Architect at Morrow Ventures and my second companion – continue to talk about NFTs as part of my journey through the metaverse. I wanted to know what it was about. Uysal: The abbreviation stands for “non-fungible token” and describes an asset on the Web3 which, thanks to blockchain technology, can be clearly assigned to an owner and is therefore unique. This innovation opens up a whole new world for brands. Use cases such as club memberships, collection and loyalty points, but also products such as digital wearables, which are otherwise only known to the physical world, are suddenly available worldwide and at any time. Brands that understand how to transform their existing assets into the digital world, be it memberships, loyalty programs or items like the cult hat from the former Schweizerische Kreditanstalt, find great success. Not only do they have very high coverage, but they can also take their customers on a journey in a new way. What was previously only transported in one direction via television or Web2 is transformed into a community economy in which all participants participate.
A picture says more than a thousand words: Beat Hürlimann with fellow traveler Argun Uysal (left) as he hesitantly enters Morrowland.
Concretely, in which areas of branding and performance, to achieve which KPIs, can I imagine projects? Iken: The collaboration between RIMOWA (LMVH) and Web3 giants RTFKT (Nike) has shown how this can work. Rimowa released 888 custom-designed suitcases and sold them in the “Oncyber” metaverse. If you visit the Metaverse, you will see how suitcases are made in a fantasy world. The success of the campaign speaks for itself. The 888 suitcases were sold after a few hours and another 2222 as NFT. Within minutes, RIMOWA achieved a turnover of 2.6 million francs and a trading volume of 2.15 million francs on the Opensea NFT trading platform. But far more important than sales is that it made RIMOWA relevant for a whole new target group. The more than 1300 tweets with the #RIMOWAxRTFKT show the commitment of the community and the reach achieved by the project.
Hang out at the Morrowland Bar
You always talk about the importance of community. What sets the community apart from customers as we know them? Uysal: The community in Web3 – and this is the big difference – is made up of incumbents. So owners of different assets. These supports are the new type of consumer and they are brand ambassadors. Wearers identify much more strongly with brands and use them to present themselves individually on social networks, web3 platforms or in games.
And why would people like me who report it and those who have to decide it go to the metaverse now? Iken: Web3 is still in its infancy. This means that there is the possibility of occupying the Metavers as a pioneer. More and more brands and companies are proving that it works and that Web3 or Metaverse are more than just toys. At the same time, it is clear that the Metaverse is a first step towards Web3, but not necessarily the right one for everyone. A well-thought-out strategy, in which clear objectives and an inventory of existing assets and resources are made, usually shows very early on which entry makes sense.
Destination Metaverse: Defeat Hürlimann with VR glasses on the way in “Morrowland” by Jung von Matt
Now that I knew there were multiple metaverses, I was relieved to learn that tours are possible without VR glasses. But there are other things you definitely need to take with you on your first trip. A wallet, for example.
Defeat Hürlimann with Argun Uysal creating the “portfolio”.
Argun Uysal on this: The subject of wallets can be confusing, if only because of the German translation “wallet”. A wallet is more than just a purse. For example, it can contain the office badge, or the fitness card, family photos, the vehicle registration document or the identity card. A wallet is a safe storage place that you take with you and pack useful things in everyday Web3 life: money (cryptocurrencies), access (NFT tokens), stamps (NFT), photo identity card (avatar) or an identity card (ID wallet). And just like in the physical world, there are different wallet providers that differ in their functions, user-friendliness or security. For your journey through the Metaverse, we’ve chosen a wallet from Metamask because it’s not only the most widely used wallet, but it’s also widely accepted.
Robert Iken: “If you want to dive into the metaverse, you have to have an avatar.”
Back to the metaverse, don’t I need an avatar? Iken: Exactly. If you want to dive into the Metaverse, you need to have an avatar. An avatar is an image of a person in a virtual space and can be created by various providers, such as ReadyPlayerMe. You can either create the avatar using a photo of yourself or design the avatar yourself in your likeness. There are virtually no limits to creativity. You can wear different outfits from well-known fashion brands, try on the long-awaited hairstyle or appear in a panda costume. Ideally, you use avatar platforms that work “across apps”, where you can use the avatar you created yourself on different Metaverse platforms.
Argun Uysal explains the dimensions of experience in JvM-Morrowland to Beat Hürlimann.
Now I’ve packed my bags and planned my journey into the metaverse. What might the first steps look like now? Uysal: Once the suitcase is packed and you are on the road with your own avatar, the journey can begin by discovering the different worlds of the Metaverse. As a business, the journey can start with training your own company on Web3 related topics. Nina Biéli is Director of Agency Communications at Jung von Matt. As part of Practice Web 3, it ensures that the offer is made available to the general public. I wanted to know from her how she assessed the current state of discussions on the subject. Bieli: “I agree with Dominique von Matt: the metaverse is on everyone’s lips, concrete knowledge is still distributed very selectively. The ‘fear of missing out’, the so-called FOMO, that is to say the feeling of missing something important here, is at the same time very great. This partly leads to the fact that the construction of knowledge on the subject is dealt with secondarily and is mainly about appear with your own brand in the metaverse as soon as possible Here we put a different emphasis with our Web3 Practice: For us, customer empowerment is important, so that the company itself can decide what has the more meaning.”