What Does the Future of the Internet Mean for Brands?

Izzy Hall

Web3, cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, NFT marketplaces, and the metaverse. They’re words we’re seeing more and more in the youth marketing world, but you’d be forgiven for not entirely understanding what they mean. However, you can’t afford to bury your head in the sand forever, as taking note of these trends now will help brands to get ahead of competitors and prepare for the future.

Gen Z has the fastest-growing disposable income, one which is expected to reach $33 trillion over the next decade (Human8), meaning that the opportunities for brands are endless when it comes to the world of Web3. In this blog post, we’ll be sharing what Web3 really is, asking why it’s important for brands, and sharing our top tips for getting involved, supported by takeaways from our recent Youth Marketing Strategy event in New York.

What is Web3 and why is important for brands? 

In essence, Web3 is an umbrella term for the decentralized web, something which enables a more straightforward, fluid, and secure exchange between users and apps. “You’re interacting with the same products, but the data is publicly available”, shared Catty Berragan (Marketing Director at thirdweb) shared at YMS, explaining that the users can have a tangible ownership over the space. “The metaverse gives me the ability to live my life digitally on numerous platforms” Catty said, “and not have to keep starting from scratch”.

In the world of Web3, all platforms, accounts, and preferences are united and interlinked, creating one giant internet profile for users. And it’s a subject that Gen Zers are familiarising themselves with, with 66% of the generation saying they’ve heard of ‘the metaverse’.

virtual reality and the metaverse

So why is this an important topic for youth marketers and brands to understand now? Web3 will help to drive innovation, increase engagement with Gen Z, and secure all-important customer loyalty. In the words of Oliver Yonchev, Co-founder and CEO of Flight Story: “The future winners in business won’t do something that’s effective today, they’ll do something different.”

Understanding Web3: 3 top tips for youth marketers

During the YMS NYC session What Does the Future of the Internet Mean For Brands, our industry experts shared their top takeaways for brands and youth marketers wanting to gain insight into the future of the world wide web.

  1. Motive matters. “Do things with the right motive, learn, be authentic”, shared Oliver (Flight Story), “and occasionally, if you buy a monkey JPEG, you can make a lot of money…!”
  2. Gaming isn’t just for gamers. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the online world is just for a certain type of person – these communities are the perfect audience. “It’s an incredibly engaged, huge population of people who are in these platforms for long periods of time and their attention is heavily focused”, said Daniel James (Founder and CEO at Flight Performance), “so the opportunities for brands are [huge]!”
  3. Acting fast is key. This is a fast-moving industry, and the sooner you hop on board, the more ahead of your competitors you’ll be. “Either you build the experience or you leverage the existing ones that [your] audience have already built”, said Catty (thirdweb).
Two young Gen Z women looking at a phone

What does the future of the internet mean for brands?

Web3 offers new and exciting ways for brands to connect with Gen Z audiences, and will ultimately lead to more creative marketing strategies and engaging campaigns. Acting fast is key: this is a fast-moving industry, and the sooner you hop on board, the more ahead of your competitors you’ll be. 

Nonetheless, no one knows exactly what the future looks like . As Nora Zukauskaite, Global Marketing Director at Lottie London, I Am Proud and Ciaté London, says in a recent Voxburner+ Q&A: “The whole concept of decentralization means that every participant creates, and it is what we create it to be. So there are no defined answers [about] what it’s going to be, because… it really depends on the active community.” The future is uncertain, but it’s exciting!

So there you have it – a crash course in Web3 and some actionable takeaways. However, it’s important to remember that if a Web3 strategy isn’t for you right now, that’s okay! This new virtual world isn’t for everyone and requires a lot of focus, time, and resource, so act wisely and don’t jump on board just for the sake of it…

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