Understanding the Metaverse: Michael Solomon on Avatars, Brand Engagement, and Consumer Behavior

Ready to delve into the riveting landscape of digital consumer behavior? Join me, Joeri Billast, as we navigate this complex sphere together with our distinguished guest, marketing guru Michael Solomon. Together, we're going to unpack the mystifying realm of avatars within the Metaverse and their implications on marketing. 

Based on Michael's groundbreaking research, we'll explore the symbolic meaning of products and why, particularly amongst teenagers, avatars have become a medium for identity exploration. By the conclusion of our conversation, you'll be fully equipped to leverage this digital revolution to its full potential in your marketing efforts.

Navigating the Metaverse can be challenging, but fear not! We're here to dissect the obstacles that marketers encounter when establishing a connection with consumers within this realm. We'll uncover why guided experiences, the power of gamification, and the allure of rewards are becoming the key influencers for new consumers in the Metaverse. Furthermore, we'll reflect on the intriguing roles of lurkers and delve into the journey a customer embarks on before engaging with a product fully. So, fasten your seatbelts as we catapult into the future of consumer behavior and brand engagement within the Metaverse. You won't want to miss Michael's invaluable insights that could revolutionize your understanding of the digital world.

Harnessing the Power of Web3: Exploring Customer Behavior in the Metaverse

Ever found yourself pondering about the rise of the Metaverse, and its subsequent effects on customer behavior? In the transformative era of Web3, consumer habits and interactions are bound to experience a paradigm shift. In an insightful conversation between Joeri Billast and Michael Solomon, we learn more about this complex tapestry.

The Dawn of the Metaverse

For the uninitiated, the Metaverse is a virtual reality space where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users. It's the next level of the internet, allowing more interactive and immersive experiences.

With the evolution of Web3 technologies, the Metaverse has become a melting pot of fascinating dynamics in customer behavior. As Joeri and Michael discussed, a major transformation in this landscape is the use of avatars, digital representations of users. These avatars can express emotions, thereby adding depth to human interactions in the digital world.

Avatars: Revolutionizing Virtual Interactions

Bringing up the idea of digital representation, Michael, a known consumer behavior expert, opines that the presence of avatars can offer more than just a substitute for physical attendance. It helps create a perception of an audience, which can enhance engagement during webinars or virtual meetings.

However, the challenge arises with the lack of a universal avatar that can be used across different Metaverses. Each Metaverse projects a different representation, creating potential brand image inconsistencies.

Despite these concerns, Michael sees the future favoring the development of common standards, similar to how ecosystems like Apple and Microsoft operate today. Even with political obstacles and different markets, companies are likely to see the value in contributing to a common avatar standard, providing seamless consumer experiences across Metaverses.

Advancing Brands in the Metaverse

So, how should brands navigate this intricate Metaverse and utilize it effectively?

According to Michael, it's crucial for companies to make their virtual environments engaging. Getting customers into a Metaverse is one thing, but keeping them engaged is a different ball game. He suggests that guided experiences, like tours and gamified rewards, can help maintain consumer interest.

Just like any new technology, the Metaverse requires some acclimatization. Brands need to understand that it's a gradual process for consumers to get comfortable with their avatar and interact meaningfully. The traditional AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) model of advertising is still applicable in the virtual world. Brands should focus on building awareness and interest before expecting any significant action from consumers.

The Metaverse: A New Frontier for Customer Engagement

A visit to the Metaverse can be likened to browsing a website. As Joeri puts it, he believes people would spend more time exploring his Metaverse penthouse than they would on his website. The level of engagement can be significantly higher, owing to the interactive and immersive nature of the Metaverse.

However, simply having a presence in the Metaverse, just like on social media or a website, won't guarantee customer engagement. Brands need to provide compelling reasons for consumers to visit their space in the Metaverse. They need to work on it, constantly updating and offering unique, engaging experiences to keep the consumers coming back.

Lessons from the Past, Blueprint for the Future

As we move forward in the era of Web3 and the Metaverse, it's crucial to remember the lessons from the past. Many companies made the mistake of simply having a static website in the early days of the internet, thinking it would be enough. The same lessons apply to the Metaverse as well - a simple presence won't suffice; active engagement is the key.

As Web3 technologies continue to evolve and reshape customer behavior, businesses and marketers need to adapt and innovate. They must find ways to leverage the potential of the Metaverse to offer immersive, engaging experiences that not only draw consumers in but also keep them coming back for more.

As the conversation between Joeri and Michael highlights, we're at the precipice of a significant shift in customer behavior, with the Metaverse playing a pivotal role. To harness the power of Web3, we must dive headfirst into understanding and utilizing this new virtual landscape. The Metaverse is here, and it's changing the game, one avatar at a time.

Michael Solomon

Michael Solomon

KEY HIGHLIGHTS  (see clickable version on www.cmo-stories.com)

[01:35] Tell us about your background, Michael, and what you're currently doing. Start where you want. 

[03:30] What did you find in your research about avatars and how people identify themselves as avatars? 

[09:20] Did you conduct research on how VR headsets, like Apple's expensive headset, are changing people's experiences and consumer behavior in the Metaverse? 

[13:08] How do you see the use of avatars in video calls affecting how people express themselves and perceive others without facial expressions? 

[16:15] Do you see a challenge for brands as the concept of Metaverse evolves with different metaverses, each having its own avatars, and the need for a single consistent avatar across these platforms? 

[17:57] What advice would you give to brands that are entering the Metaverse and want to leverage avatars and consumer behavior? What's the first step they can take to start utilizing this information effectively? 

[25:25] How can people connect with you or follow you to learn more about you and your work, besides the book mentioned earlier? 



"In a Metaverse, you have an avatar, and that avatar expresses emotions. That's an entirely new layer of complexity that we never had before in digital." - Joeri Billast 

"The more and more immersive the environment gets, the more it becomes a real experience, even though you're just sitting behind your computer." - Michael Solomon 

"Brands will have to create their environment in the Metaverse where people can be and will want to be. If you just build it and hope they will come, that won't happen." - Michael Solomon 

"In the Metaverse, you're not just competing with similar brands. You're competing with everything else that consumers can do in their spare time." - Joeri Billast 

"Remember when the internet started, and companies just put a static page on the web? It's not enough to just be there. You have to work it." - Michael Solomon 


Michael's book, "Marketers, Tear Down These Walls!: Liberating the Post-Modern Consumer". 

Michael Solomon's Engage! course

Take advantage of Michael's course through this link and remember to use the discount code for $100 off:
JOERI for the single-payment plan
3PPJOERI for the three-payment plan



LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelsolomon/ 

Email: michael@michaelsolomon.com 

About the author, JoeriBillast

Fractional CMO
Web3 Marketing Strategist
Bestselling Author on Amazon
Host of the Web3 CMO Stories podcast