Whether we like it or not, we live in a hybrid world. One where experiences are cemented, recorded and analysed in the digital even if its activity occurred in real life.
Though Covid and lockdown related, this shift to a hybrid life of digital and real experiences was bound to arrive eventually and is unlikely to shift now that the pandemic is officially over.
Take the life of an artist; everything must be recorded and posted online or else, it may as well not have happened.
Say, for example, a developing music artist has a gig and 80 people turn up. This gig is very real, the attendees, the drinks, the speakers, musical instruments and experience all occur in real life at 8pm on Tuesday the 2nd of August. However, if this experience is not recorded and shared by means of TikToks, Reels and Tweets then to the other 10,000 of the artist’s followers (and to the A&R looking into the artist’s activity) it may as well have never happened. 80 vs 10,000 is a big deal and therefore, all experiences must be recorded in order to matter and for its memory to lead to larger experiences to come.
For brands and artists alike, this hybrid world is becoming tricky to navigate. Different platforms require different content – different personalities even! I myself present as a professional copywriter on LinkedIn and a salsa-dancing larger than life music artist on TikTok where my Instagram is my chill ‘artist creating in peace’ side. It becomes hard to know what content will do well on which platform.
Despite this shift into the digital, human nature, as always, remains a priority for brands in this hybrid world. This is because when brands understand and connect with all people in a way that is authentic and relevant, they can build and demonstrate the empathy that we as people want on display.
Therefore, brands that understand the contrasts that we as people display on different platforms and help us to stand out amidst the noisy traffic of Web2 social media and Web3 metaverse to come will be prioritised by the consumer.
At the moment, the idea of the metaverse and a meta-real hybrid world seems scary, meaning that the brands who win on top will be the ones who design for a desired human experience, who respect the pace of this transition essentially. These brands will craft opportunities, not rules and prioritise connection and unification not metaverse capitalism by means of land owning and talk of stocks.
The hybrid world should be another venture where brand and customer can play.