Any digitally progressive individual right now should be thinking about what the Metaverse holds in potential and possibilities. Corporate giants, Fortune 500 companies, successful entrepreneurs, billionaires, celebrities and many others have confirmed its inevitability by being a part of this digital progression. Digital branding, PR and marketing strategist Austin Rotter has weighed into the topic and given his thoughts about what the Metaverse is and might mean to the world over the next few years.

Austin Rotter makes reference to tech billionaire Mark Zuckerberg and how he put his whole skin in the game with his company Meta. Mark Zuckerberg has a grand mission in mind, and he’s betting aggressively on the future of the Metaverse. In the same vein, many other tech companies have joined in the race to leverage this once-in-a-generation opportunity by joining as early as possible. Companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Spotify and many others all have interests in the Metaverse.

With all the hype and support that the Metaverse is getting, Austin asks some pertinent questions. “Is the hype real? And why should we all be paying attention to that hype?” He notes that early Metaverse adopters are not all enjoying sunshine and roses, and there are many others who are skeptical about the viability of all that the metaverse entails. However, he adds that the concept of the metaverse is a long game that has not started playing out, and the next few years will indicate where the scale will tilt toward.

From the consumers’ point of view, Austin thinks there is a level of interest and demand.

“Companies are investing millions into the metaverse; so, naturally, there has to be consumer demand to justify and support that level of commitment,” he said. “There is still a long way to go from making the metaverse a staple in the mainstream world, and if I had to guess, we still have at least 5 to 10 years to see if the metaverse will become globally adopted and fully integrated into the world’s daily existence. From a true use case perspective, we haven’t even scratched the surface of what the metaverse is, let alone what it can become and morph into as time passes. If the metaverse can continue to grow consumer demand and live to its potential, it will be a serious digital disruption that will change not just our virtual world, but our everyday lives as we know it forever.”

But even though the metaverse is just starting, there’s a ton of great examples of how brands are using the metaverse. Gucci is the perfect case study. The company recently took a chance on the metaverse just last year by making its products available for purchase on Roblox. The company, in collaboration with Roblox, rolled out its “Gucci Garden Experience” during a two-week period.

By holding the event in the Roblox metaverse, the company was hoping to attract the attention of the Gen Z demographic. And that’s exactly what happened. One exclusive digital Gucci bag sold for 350,000 Robux, or approximately $4,115. While it was only a two-week experiment, Gucci proved that diving headfirst into the metaverse could have a positive impact on its bottom line.

Brands that are stuck in the past will 100% lose market share and revenue to more forward-thinking competitors. With the metaverse market size predicted to reach as much as $800 billion by 2024, it’s mission critical for brands to find new and creative ways to engage a younger audience.

On a final note, Austin Rotter acknowledges the numerous gray areas in the metaverse concept. He recognizes the massive potential yet to be tapped and how scary that is. He also points out how the biggest cheerleaders and the companies supporting the concept do not fully understand it yet and might be selling it short. However, he determines that the next decade will be a major determinant and pointer toward how the metaverse evolves and becomes fully adopted.