Into the Metaverse: will Gen Z buy into the virtual world? | Next Gen Poll

Youth Thinking | 10 Mar 2022


It's the question that's been on every marketers lips for quite some time: should brands enter the Metaverse and is now the time to invest? Our parent company Savanta has released new research that reveals the answers... 

This week, insights published by Tammy Bainbridge (executive in research, insight and consulting at Savanta) were featured in The Drum and revealed how brands can optimise in the virtual world. In this blog, we cover the highlights of the research and add the Gen Z perspective.

The new research analyses the success stories of Gucci and Balenciaga; two luxury fashion brands that collaborated with Roblox and Fortnite respectively, to increase brand sentiment.

According to Savanta's tracking tool BrandVueGucci saw positive buzz hit 25%, a nine-point increase compared with surrounding weekly averages and Balenciaga saw positive buzz rise six points to 21% compared with surrounding weekly averages. 

And these numbers were even greater among Gen Z audiences.  

Awareness and interest in the Metaverse 

According to data from Savanta's consumer tracker, one in two consumers are aware of the Metaverse, but only one in five (21%) really understand what it means. Males are significantly more likely to be aware of and have knowledge about the Metaverse than females (29% vs 14%), perhaps due the popularity of the topic in the male-dominated gaming world.

At YouthSight, we decided to dissect this insight further and found that among Gen Z (16-24s), one in five (20%) were not aware of the Metaverse, but only 2% who weren't aware of it, identified as males. Furthermore, 6% of Gen Z have joined the Metaverse and 23% are planning to join. Again, this figure was much higher among males (64% vs 9%).

Lessons for entering the Metaverse

So, how do brands mimic the successes of Gucci and Balenciaga in the Metaverse?  

Savanta advise three factors you must consider before entering:

  • This is a predominately Gen Z-orientated market. It can also be heavily male-dominated, with significantly more males than females stating that they are aware of the Metaverse; six in ten males report that they game regularly in their free time.
  • Gen Z have very different behaviours and habits to other generations. Ethics have come to play a critical role in their decision-making, with 47% stating that they prefer to buy products from companies they know to be ethical. They're also quick to dismiss brands, with 37% stating that they have boycotted a brand in the past. Does your brand fit this audience?
  • While a lot of brands are trying the Metaverse out through gaming platforms that further enhance the Gen Z skew, there are talks emerging around consumers being able to purchase Metaverse properties and virtual real estate that could help engage older generations.

Get your brand ready for the Metaverse

Though this may be an emerging market full of potential with many opportunities for brands, it’s a tricky landscape to navigate. 

Savanta’s Media team are experts in brand partnerships and leveraging insight to highlight the best opportunities for brands. To speak to one of the team, please get in touch here or contact our specialist youth researchers for more Gen Z insights. 

Related insights - Unlikely Couplings

Collaboration culture has been on the rise for a while - it was accelerated by the pandemic when multiple lockdowns prevented brands from running in-person events.

Companies such as Gucci and Balenciaga managed to offer partnerships that were different, unexpected and creative - and Gen Z loved them! Find out more about how brands can create partnerships to stand out and win over Gen Z by downloading and reading our free insight eBook on the topic.

Copy of eBook - Template (1)  
Read & download the eBook

Unlimited Gen Z data

Interested in getting more regular Gen Z updates? Have you thought about subscribing to State of the Youth Nation (the essential Gen Z insight tracking product)?

Find out what you need to know about Gen Z without commissioning additional research. We've been tracking 16-24s since 2015, with 700+ questions that uncover what young people care about, where they're headed and their digital worlds. 

See what data we have that will change your business...

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