At The WXO, we want to connect the dots across the Experience Economy and across the globe – so each week, we’ll be bringing you our round-up of the experiential stories that we think reveal something interesting, relevant or transferrable about the Experience Economy.
Welcome to Experience Radar 44, where we’re learning how to build a greener metaverse, witnessing Secret Cinema’s longest-ever choreographed fight scene, and solving riddles in an escape game at a historic Bordeaux château.
1. Going Green In The Virtual World
With global warming becoming a worrying reality, today’s switched-on consumers are demanding an eco-friendly approach from brands in both the physical and digital worlds – 71% of people surveyed by Wunderman Thompson who know what the metaverse is say brands need to be thinking about its environmental impact. Brands that are keen to dive into Web3 need to address and counteract the carbon footprint of their digital platforms by using eco-friendly blockchains and balancing their carbon footprint with greener platforms.
Among the big brands setting the right example is fashion house Gucci, which accepts payments from Ripple, a sustainable crypto solution built on the XRP Ledger – the world’s first major global carbon neutral blockchain. It also created an NFT collection with Superplastic, a carbon-neutral digital collectibles creation platform, while competitor Burberry dropped its latest ‘Sharky B’ NFT collection on Blankos Block Party, which doesn’t require any crypto mining. Other eco-friendly blockchains include Tezos, an energy-efficient Proof of Stake blockchain, and EOSIO, which offers carbon-neutral minting.
2. Beauty Brands Dive Into The Metaverse
Make-up in the metaverse may sound like a redundant idea, but big cosmetic brands are keen to have a presence in Web3 and have been coming up with innovative ways to show their true colours in the digital realm. As reported by Frédéric Lefret, CEO of Immersive Talents Agency, beauty brands are seeking to connect with web-savvy Gen Z via the metaverse to co-create their brand universes and recruit a new generation of fans. “For beauty brands, it’s no longer a matter of pushing for customer acquisition via paid media, but of launching a religion for their community,” he says.
According to Lefret, among the big brands smashing it in Web3 are Escada, which created virtual space Fairy Love Land on Roblox with agency Pavillon Noir for the launch of its new scent, Fairy Love, which included a mini game giving visitors access to collectibles. He also name-checked Rook Perfumes, which created the world’s first ‘fragrance DAO’ and 100 ‘Scent of the Metaverse’ NFTs offering holders a bottle of the perfume and a collaboratively designed NFT of the label. Prada is also in on the act, creating digital muse Candy to serve as the face of its new fragrance of the same name.
3. Wine Tourism Is Being Reimagined
While often associated with red trousers and cobweb-filled cellars, the wine industry is waking up to the possibilities of immersive tourism and is harnessing the power of tech to design bespoke, curated experiences for its guests. WXO Founding Member Frances Vieras Blanc recently took part in an hour-long escape game full of riddles and puzzles at Château Castera in the Medoc, where she learnt about the estate’s history in a fun, hands-on way, uncovering secrets to solve the mystery of who betrayed the château’s owner.
At Château Hourtin-Ducasse, Vieras Blanc enjoyed a “multisensory visit” that began at the estate’s outdoor games room and ended with a personalised wine bottle in its tasting room via a picnic among the vines. “Everything on site is recycled, upcycled and/or reused, and they really thought about those visiting with kids,” she says, adding, “Wine tourism is shifting. There’s a growing trend towards a transformation in the way people experience more traditional activities like guided vineyard tours. Estate owners are looking to innovate to stay competitive and profitable by creating more personalised moments.”
4. GOTG Gets Secret Cinema Treatment
The wait is over for Marvel fans as Secret Cinema’s latest offering, a Guardians of the Galaxy immersive experience, has landed in London. As reported by London x London, the epic intergalactic experience includes a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 screening and an all-encompassing journey, where fans will come face-to-face with their favourite Guardians, from Star-Lord and Groot to Rocket and Drax. With tickets starting at £35, the experience, which includes Secret Cinema’s longest-ever choreographed fight scene, is set to run until October in Wembley Park.
Without wanting to give too much away, visitors start their journey in the landscape of Contraxia, where they’ll get to flex their best moves in a dance-off with Star-Lord before strapping themselves in for an adventure with the other Guardians. GOTG Fans will be able to step into the world of the Guardians, battling alongside their on-screen heroes and picking up collectible trinkets along the way to help save the galaxy. The audience will be at the heart of the action with a little help from 112 million pixels, LG OLED display technology, and perspective-bending screens.
5. Samsung Brings Good Vibes To T5
Tech giant Samsung has launched an immersive experience leveraging lift-and-learn technology at Heathrow’s T5 in London. Called In Tune With You, the experience was created in collaboration with global retail technology agency Outform. As reported by Charged Retail, the space aims to create a place for passengers to ‘step outside’ the airport environment, providing “mood-boosting experiences to prepare them for the journey ahead.”
On entering the store, the Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro display uses lift-and-learn technology to enable passengers to try the device and measure their blood oxygen reading, which is then displayed on a digital screen. The apex of the experience is a Galaxy Buds soundscape, where passengers can recharge and immerse themselves in 360-degree sound from a series of audio chambers, switching from ambient sound to the Galaxy Bud’s noise-cancelling capabilities. The space acts as a showcase for Samsung products, including its Galaxy Z series.
6. Venice Immersive Launches XR Extravaganza
The Venice International Film Festival has launched its largest selection of XR projects to date. As reported by Screen Daily, 75 experiences are being showcased on Lazzaretto Vecchio, where 5,000 sqm of space has been dedicated to 360° videos and XR works using headsets, installations, live performances and virtual worlds. Venice Immersive is being billed as “the largest immersive exhibition in the world”. “We need to recognise that immersive is a combination of interactivity, storytelling and user experience,” says co-curator Michel Reilhac.
Among the events taking place at Venice Immersive are Mathias Chelebourg’s Rencontre(s), an interactive and multi-sensory project that features the voice of Marion Cotillard as Coco Chanel and puts participants into the shoes of perfumer Ernest Beaux to retrace the creation of Chanel No. 5 in 1921, and Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom, a VR spin-off game to the hit drama series that features the voice of Cillian Murphy due to hit UK shelves soon. The event will also include a Worlds Gallery of 30 metaverse environments featuring tour guides.
7. Emotional Connection Vital For Brand Loyalty
If you want your customers to stay loyal, you need to forge and emotional connection with them. Harvard Business Review research from hundreds of brands shows that the most effective way to maximise customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers on an emotional level, tapping into their motivations and fulfilling their deep, often unspoken emotional needs, from a desire to feel a sense of belonging, to the need to succeed. According to HBR, emotionally connected customers are “more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers”.
Emotionally connected customers “buy more of your products and services, visit you more often, exhibit less price sensitivity, pay more attention to your communications, follow your advice, and recommend you more”. While customer experience improvement is critical, it’s hard and expensive to execute. “By setting emotional connection as the overarching goal, the ‘true north’ of the customer experience, companies can point their investments in the right direction, execute more effectively, and reap significant financial rewards.”