Adopting the Avatar: the Core of Consumer Customization

November 22, 2023

According to McKinsey, fashion companies are expected to double their investment in technology by 2023. This statistic was one of many released during 2021's digital assets boom, revealing an important truth: consumers — and especially Gen Z — care deeply about owning their digital identities. In the two years since "NFT Summer," we've learned a lot about the evolution of consumer habits in digitally-native spaces. These insights can help guide the future of how brands operate and consumers engage in virtual environments. 

As a short follow-up to our last blog post on how web3 is driving a return to the internet's golden age of customization, we're sharing some additional thoughts on how you can build for the next wave of consumer adoption. This evolution is already showing signs of incredible value for forward-thinking brands like Gucci, Valentino, L'Oréal, Adidas, Nike, and many more.

1) The metaverse hype of 2021 was an introduction, not an endgame

On the heels of NFTs’ $25 billion year, the metaverse was everywhere. In the years since, we’ve learned a lot about the future of virtual worlds. The technology is still early, and neither Facebook's rebranding to Meta nor Apple’s Vision Pro suggests we’ll be walking the streets in VR headsets anytime soon. 

Rather, the metaverse is simply the next iteration of the internet and how we spend our time online — one supported by technology that enables ownership, customization, and portability of our digital identities. The opportunity for brands to do it right, building seamless end-to-end experiences for self-expression (not mere visitation or speculation), could not be greater. 

2) The avatar is the "personalized atomic unit" of the metaverse

How do we feel like ourselves in the metaverse? It all starts with being able to really see yourself. To do that, you must gain the tools to customize and evolve your digital identity. 

MySpace and Facebook did it with the profile page (status, profile picture, bio, etc), and in the metaverse, it all starts with the avatar. This technology isn’t just a feature; it’s a foundational building block to everything within.  

Consumer Customization is a Massive Web3-Powered Use Case 

From Gucci bags and shopping experiences to avatars dressed head to toe in Valentino, smart brands are giving consumers more customizable ways to flex their tastes, express loyalty, and, ultimately, spend money. These examples show just how powerful underlying web3 technology can be for powering customizable user-owned digital assets. It may just be web3’s next explosive use case. 

Digital Identities Should Be Interoperable, Portable, and Hyper-Customizable  

Consumers (especially Gen Z) can be notoriously fickle when maintaining their online identities. Young people want to be empowered to add things, lose things, move things, and adjust their fits according to their tastes. 

Brands building experiences — and selling digital assets — must prioritize the ability to transfer assets (portability), enable compatibility in multiple environments (interoperability), and continue piquing consumer interest through endless customization options. 

3) Not every brand needs to launch an avatar

Customization in the metaverse isn't a one-size-fits-all approach — and not every brand needs to launch an avatar to give people something to do and share. Maybe it's an avatar, a collaborative co-creation opportunity, or an interactive and editable room you can customize with colorful furniture. In the end, it all boils down to choice. 

4) Brands can (and should) test & learn in virtual spaces

When leveraging next-generation technology, things move fast, and getting it entirely right is often challenging. Brands who understand the value of giving consumers, especially Gen Z, the tools they so clearly want to represent their most authentic selves online shouldn’t be afraid to experiment and explore the best strategies for showing up in the metaverse. 

If you need a helping hand in building customizable consumer experiences using the strongest tools available, contact Mojito to discuss your project requirements and get a demo. 


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