The Metapurpose Wars
(An expanded version of our MetaPurpose LinkedIn posts are summarized below)
There's an epic struggle underway to reshape the competitive landscape, and your brand's future hangs in the balance. It's the quest for brand supremacy that delivers value for society. Brands that succeed are poised to resonate deeply with audiences and establish a formidable market presence. Failure puts your brand at risk of fading into irrelevance in a rapidly evolving landscape. Sitting out this challenge on the sidelines or avoiding it altogether with inward-looking 'purpose statements' focused on employee motivation is simply not an option.
However, addressing this challenge has proven to be riddled with obstacles due to a critical mistake made in its early stages, which continues to impact brands today. The narrow definition of 'social value' as support for specific social causes such as environmental protection, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and social consciousness has proven to be a serious misstep. While aligning with these social causes can be successful, it often leads to unforeseen polarization and division, causing backlash and crisis situations. By focusing 'social value' almost entirely on support for social causes, brands overlooked a much broader landscape of opportunities to meet social needs.
Envision for a moment the immense potential of a new future where we transcend these current limitations and integrate a brand's tangible benefits into the very fabric of people's lives. A future where brands and their audiences seamlessly exchange information privately and build deeply personalized relationships that are always connected. In this future, successful brands will become an integral part of stakeholders' lives, extending beyond traditional business and market channels to encompass their neighborhoods, communities, societies, and cultures. There is a seismic technology shift already in motion that will enable this, and it’s gone quietly unnoticed by most—an emerging technology powerhouse called AI-enabled Web3 that will revolutionize brand strategy, ushering in an era of unprecedented change.
Are you intrigued by these possibilities? No?
Maybe you think Web3 is mostly hype. Or perhaps you're one of many who believe its potential is very real but too far in our future to be of concern now.
However, history would advise that such thinking could be a big mistake. Recall the programmable microchip developed in the middle of the last century, the emerging internet just 30 years ago, or even AI technology development during the past decade. The potential of these powerful new technologies was discounted by many...until they found the right mass-adoption approach. They always do, and make no mistake, they always find it much sooner than expected. AI-enabled Web3 technology is no exception, and it's already very close to finding its way into the mainstream.
This year, for example, Web3 business investment is nearing a billion dollars, with over six thousand federal trademark applications being filed. Market growth is already over $30 billion and is expected to accelerate in the next few years. So, buckle your seatbelts because as Web3 becomes enabled by AI, this will not be a gradual evolution of our current marketing system. A radical step change is on the near horizon, and it will render obsolete the way you currently think about your branding strategy.
Let's take a closer look at the potential of AI-enabled Web3 and how it can reshape brand strategy. Early applications are already in play, showcasing the transformative power of this emerging technology:
IKEA customers can visualize furniture and home decor products in their own space before making a purchase.
Nike enhances the shopping experience, allowing customers to virtually try on shoes and apparel from the comfort of their homes.
Sephora customers can virtually try on makeup products.
Warby Parker customers can see how eyeglasses look on their faces before purchasing.
Wayfair enables customers to visualize furniture and home decor items in their own space at scale.
Augmedix, a healthcare startup, enables doctors to wear AR glasses that display patient information, allowing them to focus more on patient care.
Spatial offers a collaborative AR platform that utilizes AI and computer vision to enable remote teams to work together in a shared augmented reality space.
Scope offers an AR-based platform that utilizes AI to provide real-time guidance and support for technicians and workers in the field.
These early applications demonstrate the potential for immersive, interactive brand experiences. However, the technology still lacks a central focus and direction, the missing piece that will propel widespread mass adoption by the business community.
We believe that the killer application for AI-enabled Web3 will be called Brand MetaPurpose. This groundbreaking strategy will redefine brand building, introducing a technology-enabled social structure that blurs the boundaries between brands and stakeholders. It will go beyond today's 'market-driven connections' and instead foster 'shared social engagements' where brands become an integral part of stakeholders' lives that create deeper brand loyalty with a lasting impact.
Now imagine the potential of integrating a brand's tangible benefits into the very fabric of individuals' lives again. Brand MetaPurpose can take you into this next future, and it would be wise to begin work on its development now.
However, at this point, you probably have several questions. And three are likely the most pressing.
What sets "shared social engagements" apart from today's "market-driven connections"? Aren't they essentially the same?
Today's brand communications have been successful on the current Web2 platform. Since Web3 is just the next evolution of this communication platform, why risk changing a winning strategy? Can't we simply continue with our current approach and employ Web3 as a new feature?
Exactly how would a brand go about building these 'shared social engagements' with neighborhoods, communities, societies, and cultures?
These are important questions, and we address them next as we delve deeper into the concept of Brand MetaPurpose and its practical implementation.
Let's start with the first question: What sets MetaPurpose's "shared social engagements" apart from today's "market-driven connections"?
While these concepts may appear very similar at first glance, they are absolutely not the same. Market-driven connections are typically transactional, time-limited, and goal-oriented, with a clear beginning and end. They are the standard practice of today. Brands use them routinely to connect with stakeholders via texts, videos, chats, social media communications, events, and digital advertising. In contrast, "shared social engagements" offer something deeper and more meaningful, and this concept lies at the heart of our Brand MetaPurpose strategy.
Building "shared social engagements" requires a brand activation strategy based on authenticity, reciprocity, shared interests, and unstructured conversations. This is simply not possible with our current Web2 technology. But it is at the very center of our emerging Web3 Augmented Reality world—an AI-enabled immersive realm of shared life experiences. These 'shared social engagements' are the gateway to trusted relationships that will shape the future of branding.
Next, let's deal with the second question: Brand communications have been successful on the current Web2 platform. Since Web3 is an evolution of this communication platform, why risk changing a winning strategy? Can't we simply continue with our current approach and employ Web3 as a new feature?
The answer to this concern can be found by recalling how brand activation strategies leveraged the evolution of Internet technology in the past. It began as Web1, the 'read-only web' that was predominantly static and primarily used by brands for sharing information. It was followed by Web2, the 'connections web' enabling brands and their audiences to collectively share and interact online. We are now on the cusp of the next phase, Web3, the 'relationship web,' which will enable highly personalized, one-on-one, trusted, and transparent experiences between brands and their audiences.
More than past advancements, AI-enabled Web3 technology will bring forth a new era of intense competition for leadership among brands—an era we call the MetaPurpose Wars.
Not preparing to leverage these enhanced Web3 capabilities would be akin to sticking with a 'read-only web' approach to branding when the advantages of the 'connections web' became available. Staying stagnant in the face of evolving technologies is always a losing strategy.
If your interest has been piqued to stay ahead of the curve in this rapidly evolving landscape, let's now discuss the third question: Exactly how would a brand go about building these 'shared social engagements' with neighborhoods, communities, and societies?