When it comes to successful marketing in the metaverse, VBG (Virtual Brand Group) is a leader in the industry. Specializing in developing impactful metaverse brands to complement real-life companies, VBG seems to have found a lucrative niche to exploit. As many companies are looking to stake a claim within the metaverse, having a branding expert is important in learning how to best use the virtual space. VBG provides customized marketing and branding plans for any company looking to better understand how to use the metaverse to work for them. According to the company’s CEO Justin Hochberg, their most recent marketing campaign for Forever 21 brought in over $2.3 million in earned media, in 353 articles making it the most robust Roblox launch of 2021. This came, in part due to the “Infinite Loop Marketing” strategy.
“Infinite Loop Marketing”, trademarked by VBG, is a way to drive consumers from the metaverse to real-life and back to the metaverse, all while making purchases. As Hochberg explains, it connects physical stores with the metaverse and e-commerce using item codes. “Imagine you’re in the Forever 21 metaverse shopping experience,” he said, “and you purchase an item. That item gives you a code. That code can be used in a physical store or e-commerce store for Forever 21. When you use that code, that generates another code that brings you back into our metaverse store.” This new code, clarified Hochberg, could unlock a new game or scavenger hunt. As per the name, the marketing strategy uses these codes to drive consumers into infinite loops of interacting with the brand, including purchasing items and spending time in virtual and real-life locations.
This strategy takes advantage of a specific aspect of the metaverse: that individuals can be in virtual reality and real-life at the same time. Having a brand that can cross over and do both increases the amount of time a consumer interacts with that brand. Hochberg said that VBG is hoping to roll out a new metaverse-real life package for Forever 21 to sell, so individuals can buy clothes for them and their avatar, which allows them to wear matching outfits (aka “Twin with your Avatar”, a prominent trend on TikTok) This also takes advantage of the “two-places-at-once” aspect of metaverse users. As many metaverse users join the metaverse for fun experiences or to escape every day, having familiar brands within the virtual world can be welcoming.
“Infinite Loop Marketing” not only drives up brand exposure, but generates a ton of data, Hochberg and the VBG team can analyze users’ decisions based on the item codes they used, and where they traveled in the metaverse. This allows them to update and adjust products and the experience in real-time, constantly optimizing the consumer’s experience. As Hochberg explained: “The data we collect is vastly more than any e-commerce or social media because the metaverse is a 3D environment. Imagine you went into a store and you were wearing a motion capture suit like they when filming Marvel movies. From there we could know not just who bought what, or the foot traffic, but we could also see where people were looking and what items you were looking at.” As the best marketing strategies take advantage of consumer data, VBG is looking forward to seeing what experiences they can customize based on their results.
Hochberg and his team have even been able to help the Roblox platform by sharing their data. “Our game is really successful, because of the age of our players. One of the key Roblox strategic initiatives is to age up the average player,” Hochberg stated. “Roblox has typically been thought of as a younger platform, even though that’s not really true. Our average player is 18+, which is the highest skewing of any of brand experience, which is exactly where Roblox wants to be.” Hochberg added that this influx of older users not only benefitted Forever 21 but Roblox as a whole platform.
From its recent partnership with Forever 21, VBG hopes to use large amounts of data to perfect its marketing strategies. “We have a series of proprietary spatial analytic tools that we put into each experience that creates a tsunami of data,” said Hochberg. “Which is yet to even be understood what that will lead to. That’s very exciting to us.”