Metaverse

How does Generation Alpha define luxury in Metaverse?

Metaverse is redefining businesses across industries and its implications for the luxury segment from the perspective of Gen Alpha is a matter of great interest among category experts

The metaverse revolution is sweeping through the world and it’s doing it in style. The storm of digitally connected universes is disrupting the industries, causing conventional pecking orders to churn and new systems to establish in the rapidly changing realities of physical and virtual worlds.  

While this metaverse disruption is impacting customers from across generations, the Generation Alpha is the one at the centre of the change. This cohort is characterised by the people born between 2010 and 2025 who are comparatively less amazed with this culmination of physical and virtual worlds. Unlike Baby Boomers (born between 1946 – 1964) and Generation X (born between 1965 – 1979), Generation Alpha finds metaverse more of a natural phenomenon, taking the online worlds to a new level of connectedness. 

What numbers speak? 

The commercial impact of Generation Alpha has been greatly underestimated in our society although now marketers have started waking up to the real potential of this generation. Just have a look at the numbers: Out of the total 8.5 billion population that will inhabit the world by 2030, a whopping 2 billion will belong to the generation Alpha. Further, not only is this generation technically savvy and informed but also aspires for luxury products with higher-order benefits. These people spend more time on the internet than any other generation did in the past and hence, it comes as no surprise that these youngsters are naturally inclined towards metaverse platforms. 

Research has also proven this heightened interest of Generation Alpha in the Metaverse space. The chief executive officer of Trendwolves, Maarten Leyts, emphasises that Gen Alpha has an altogether different perspective of defining luxury in the metaverse. This generation wants luxury not only in terms of features and dimensions but also the way the entire experience is delivered in the virtual space. So what does that mean? It means that brands need to reorient their traditional approach toward luxury and get it aligned with the perspective of Alpha consumers. 

Luxury and Digital Playgrounds 

Remember the launch of the Apple iPad in 2010; it was a watershed moment where many parents perceive the innovation as one of the significant educational tools for children. Fast forward to today and the scenario of online education has completely changed the perspective of classrooms. Today every second, two students enrolled for online education and the Covid-19 pandemic further reinforced the trend – not only of online education but also of digital playgrounds. 

Virtual platforms such as Roblox, Minecraft, and Adopt Me are places where children can get together, meet virtually, and enjoy exclusive performances of various artists. Further, in the Fortnite gaming environment, teenagers can plan to meet virtually and catch Lil Nas X performing virtually on the platform. This is how the next Generation Alpha is defining new dimensions of luxury in the metaverse – exclusivity with a hint of comfort, convenience, and get together.

Luxury in 3D Avatars

And it is not only limited to the gaming and entertainment industry. Just consider the growing popularity of Ready Player Me where visitors can create their virtual 3D avatars with a selfie and then use it in the metaverse platform. The exclusivity of the platform is the luxury factor here and the fact that this virtual avatar can be used in VR Chat and more than 2000 supported apps further enhance its appeal among the target audiences. 

The changing dimensions of opulence here is again manifest here in the form of exclusivity and wide support that feature of uniqueness comes equipped with. The core appeal of such platforms lies in the fact that how much exclusivity, convenience, and connected experience it brings to the life of customers. 

Opulence in Virtual Land and Fashion 

The concept of virtual reality is fast finding favour with Generation Alpha. The leading virtual reality platform Decentral and offers virtual parcels of land and in the last couple of years, the prices of the virtual lands on the metaverse have skyrocketed. Clearly, the luxury and opulence of virtual reality are causing the prices to soar, thereby making the platform an ideal destination for all generations of investors including Generation Alpha. 

Taking the concept of virtual reality, a step further, sneaker verse comes equipped with virtual sneakers and trainers, both are designed exclusively for the virtual worlds. Upmarket brands such as RTFKT studios and Gucci have already started with luxurious offerings specifically designed for Generation Alpha while the likes of Nike, Adidas, and Balenciaga are fast catching up to leverage the growing interest in metaverse.

Conclusion

Generation Alpha has grown with the reality of e-commerce – with everything right from Food to Toys and from clothing to groceries being delivered to their doorsteps since the time they attain the age of discretion. The Generation Alpha is the most enterprising and quite well-versed with the token economy and cryptocurrencies. 

The challenge for luxury brands here is that meeting expectations of such a generation which already holds expertise in the virtual domain is not an easy job to accomplish. It calls for a concerted effort on the part of all the stakeholders in the metaverse industry to redefine business practices to meet the expectations of these young aspirants. The focus must be on providing a holistic experience and covering all aspects that are considered important by this generation including luxury, ambience, opulence, social connection, and exclusivity among others. 

Specifically for luxury brands, the challenge is not only to retain the exclusivity of virtual products but also to endow these offerings with a unique identity that lives truly to the expectations of becoming a phygital entity: a smart combination of physical and digital. The young generation is making extensive efforts to make their personalities unique in both physical and virtual worlds. Therefore, organisations must take notice of this fact to stay relevant in the metaverse for the long term even amidst the fast-changing business scenarios. 

Tushar Gandotra FiEx

The article has been written by Tushar Gandotra, Founder and CEO, FiEx

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