Direct to Avatar economy is comingđź‘›

  • The next wave in fashion’s digital foray is being led by brands like RTFKT Studios — a developer of custom sneakers designed for video game enthusiasts. The company offers limited edition custom kicks, along with unique virtual versions for users to try on and unlock special effects.
  • Now an unexpected industry is helping to scale the momentum: Automotive. Elon Musks’ Tesla and luxury automotive brands like Aston Martin, Maserati, and Rolls Royce all have virtual versions of their cars within video games published by tech giants like Tencent (owner of apps like WeChat plus gaming faves like Fortnite and Call of Duty).
  • Why is D2A gaining momentum for luxury brands now?
  • It creates a way to access & engage with younger demographics
  • It provides a more meaningful & impactful way for companies to connect with consumers beyond digital ads & content
  • People are increasingly more interested in self-expression in the virtual world — these brands are leaning into that
  • Brands recognize that consumers are spending more and more time in the metaverse. These brands want to be present in these spaces too
  • This high velocity affinity group wants to engage — D2A creates an opportunity for brands to engage this impactful group and turn them into fans
  • Brands that get in before D2A blows up (and gains mass) will break through and be perceived as culture leaders rather than followers
  • An evolution of customization — D2A collections allow users to fully express themselves in the virtual world, more than they might be comfortable doing with their physical identities
  • D2A is already starting to scale through social media — Users of the popular messaging apps like Snapchat have already adopted avatars and are playing with customization through their own bitmoji selves
  • Mark Zuckerberg declared the metaverse as his next frontier, one that Facebook is preparing to conquer
  • The Uncanny Valley hypothesis predicts that humans will be weirded out by “digi-sapiens” (aka “digital models” — avatars that look like digital versions of humans) — feeling threatened that they are trying to replace our physical identities with digital ones.
  • As “digital models” take the place of physical models and 3D friends replace real world friends, our true selves might be left feeling eerily uncomfortable — and left out in the cold.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Mike Berland

Mike Berland

Momentum Maker, Author of Maximum Momentum, Founder & CEO of Decode_M