5 November 2021

New trend report: Into the Metaverse

As more of our lives are spent online, it’s becoming harder and harder to distinguish “real” life from life lived digitally. “The smartphone is no longer just a device that we use,” says Daniel Miller, professor of anthropology at University College London. “It’s become the place where we live.”



We’re replicating our routines, interests and obsessions in digital worlds: from picking outfits for our avatars to wear and cars for them to drive to fostering virtual relationships and intimacy; from zoning digital land and constructing virtual homes to meeting friends at the virtual mall; and from hosting holographic meetings to pursuing the allure of a more equitable and inclusive society.

As our habits evolve, we’re outgrowing the bounds of the internet as it was first created—precipitating a new era of digital platforms. And yet, only 38% of global consumers have heard of the metaverse. It’s time to truly define what the metaverse is and establish a roadmap for entry.



The report covers emerging consumer trends and implications for brands and businesses, alongside original research conducted by Wunderman Thompson Data, exclusive interviews with 15 experts, the defining elements of the metaverse, case studies and brand takeaways.




  • 93% of global consumers agree that technology is our future
  • 76% say their everyday lives and activities depend on tech
  • 81% think that a brand’s digital presence is as important as its in-store presence



Virtual Posessions

Consumers are replicating their physical daily habits in the virtual realm—assigning a growing value to digital assets and giving rise to new direct-to-avatar (D2A) business models.

Ryan Mullins, CEO and Founder of Aglet, says "The biggest opportunity for physical goods is virtual goods".



Liminal Spaces

Liminal spaces—blended virtual and physical experiences—are already revolutionizing the culture and art scenes. In future, expect to see similar blurred reality activations in retail spaces, brand hubs and business centers.


"The metaverse is going to become part of our physical lives" - Kerry Murphy, Founder and CEO of digital fashion house The Fabricant.




Bigger than the movie and music industries combined, gaming has become a playground for brands and marketers to connect with an engaged audience.

Keith Stuart, Games Editor at The Guardian agrees by stating that "A lot of the traditional ways of marketing to young people are gone forever. Gaming is where they are".



New Retail Frontiers

Digital-twin stores and augmented shopping experiences are paving the way for the next retail frontier—one that is intuitive, immersive and engaging.




A digital reality that reflects the values and standards of our physical lives is in the making.

"Think about creating a new online society but doing it right from day one" said Daren Tsui, CEO Together Labs.



Source: Wunderman Thompson