Taylor Swift's meticulous online rollout for her new album, Midnights, culminated last night with a "special very chaotic surprise" at 3 a.m. ET. The artist previously revealed the 13 track titles in a TikTok video series called Midnights Mayhem With Me and shared a full release schedule with fans on Instagram. Fans can now listen to the long-awaited album, which was released after weeks of anticipation.
In order to promote her album, Taylor Swift has created a comprehensive virtual universe for her fans to engage with her music and to share and discuss her work. Through her puzzles, secret messages, and clothing, she has created a constantly active online environment of tens of millions of fans who eagerly follow her every move. They went so far as to crash Spotify!
Taylor Swift has been able to cultivate a passionate online fan base through her music and videos, with fans interacting with the star and each other through a variety of digital platforms. While this fan experience is not a full-fledged metaverse, it is similar to the metaverse vision of a shared online experience.
Sometimes completely unexpected cases provide us with an example of how things work. This case prompts us to consider three points:
Let’s dive into this case and allocate what brands can learn from it.
The term "metaverse" is abstract and quite new, so it still has to be defined or may have different meanings depending on the standpoints.
Technically, the metaverse is not only Web3. It is a public blockchain platform that supports several protocols, such as Web3, ERC20, and ERC721. Aside from that, the common tools of Web2, such as PC screens and mobile, are often used to enter the metaverse. It also lets users issue and trade digital assets using the Metaverse Digital Asset Protocol (MAP).
From a cultural point of view, the metaverse can be considered an ecosystem inhabited by a certain community. Taking the case of Tailor Swift as an example, her ecosystem was mostly made up of Web2 elements. Indeed, the community interested in and interoperating with the different platforms was the main component of what we called a “metaverse” here.
Thus, surprisingly, for brands to create a metaverse, building a whole new 3D world with complex technical requirements is unnecessary. Instead, it is more helpful in creating a strong community around the brand. But wait, that wouldn’t be enough, though. Brands are also responsible for developing continuous experiences through the different platforms for the communities, like creating a small universe for them to interact and interoperate. Here is a reminder that interoperation is one of the main traits of the future metaverse.
In order to find the right path for implementing the metaverse in your business, you can ask us for a consultation. LAB51, together with Adello organizes panel discussions and educational events for other companies, and also personal consulting for those who are interested in Web3 and the metaverse.
We see how loyal communities (fan bases) are getting created around celebrities in show business. Brands can use this strategy to implement it in their businesses.
Today, if you want to be successful, you need to build communities and encourage real communication between your brand and your customers. A good way to reach potential customers is to sell through someone who is already well-known in a community or on social media. Influencer and social media marketing is still alive and can be great tools for connecting with consumers on a personal level. Instead of relying solely on mass communication, making people the face of your brand by putting real people at the forefront of your messaging can create trust and loyalty.
Brands can use the opportunity to forefront their business with a representative that can be an influencer who represents a brand. Nikes are not bought from Nike but from Cristiano Ronaldo; jeans and jackets are not sold by Tommy Hilfiger but by Gigi Hadid; and lipsticks and foundations are sold not by Kylie Cosmetics but by Kylie Jenner.
Nevertheless, it is important not to forget that quality marketing requires a holistic approach, and not only social media and influencer marketing.
You would agree that there would be a big difference if Taylor Swift would just drop an album or if she played a game with her fan base, giving them hints about the upcoming songs. That kept the Swifties (fans of Taylor Swift) tensed and excited. Taylor created for them a continuous journey from the announcement to the album release. That made the fans follow the process. The question is: How can the brands learn from this?
We all love games. And if you are aware of the recent trends, gamification is one of them. Gamification can be a very powerful way for brands to connect with their customers and give them rewards. Brands use gamification to encourage customers to interact with their product or service in a fun and exciting way and to reward them for their loyalty. Using things like points, levels, leaderboards, and rewards, brands can get people to act and get involved, build customer loyalty, and connect emotionally with their customers. By leveraging gamification, brands can also capture valuable customer data as customers interact with the game and reveal more about their wants and needs. This zero- and first-party data can then be used to improve the customer experience and personalize future interactions.
It’s amazing how much can be learned from cases from show business. The example with Taylor Swift showed how the latest marketing trends are penetrating different areas and influencing consumers. Stay tuned and observe the world to see what differences it brings today!