What Is Web3 And How Is It Impacting Gen Z Marketing?

Izzy Hall

Web3 might still be a bit of a scary subject for many marketers, and that’s totally understandable. From words like metaverse and cryptocurrency to phrases such as private blockchain and NFT marketplace being dropped into conversation, the whole thing can feel a bit overwhelming.

To summarise, Web3 is an umbrella term for the decentralized web, something which allows a more straightforward, fluid, and secure exchange between users and apps. But what does this mean for brands who want to connect with Gen Z and what does the future of this space look like?

What does Gen Z really think about Web3?

Gen Zers aren’t just a generation of digital natives, they’re digital pioneers too. Thanks to this, Web3, the metaverse, blockchain, and the world of NFTs are new, exciting, and game-changing to younger generations. Furthermore, when we consider the fact that Gen Z has the fastest-growing disposable income, which is expected to reach $33 trillion over the next decade, the opportunities for brands are endless.

Gen Z person wearing a headset

Web3 presents marketers with a plethora of opportunities for young consumers, from virtual experiences to a chance to invest in new technologies. This is something that’s particularly important to this generation given their desire for authentic connections and community.

But how does the metaverse compare to the real world for Gen Zers? Joeri Ven den Bergh will be taking to the YMS NYC stage to discuss if the metaverse really is this generation’s new hangout place and if NFTs are all they’re cracked up to be.

How can brands use the metaverse to engage Gen Z audiences?

As discussed, the metaverse presents brands with a number of big opportunities, particularly when it comes to user-generated content. Admittedly, adventures into this virtual world can seem like a costly investment, but trust us, it’ll all be worth it when your Gen Z communities connect, your innovation diversifies, and your customer loyalty skyrockets.

Gen Z person laughing and smiling on phone

And the best part? Any brand for any sector can tap into the metaverse! Here are a few of our favorite examples:

  • Bored & Hungry. This food and drink brand connected real-life experiences with Web 3 by not only incorporating the iconic Bored Ape Yacht Club collection into their branding but also by allowing diners to purchase physical food and drink using cryptocurrency. You can read more about Bored & Hungry in Voxburner+’s Challenger Brands report.
  • Lottie London. In 2022, Gen Z beauty brand Lottie London hosted a metaverse prom party on Decentraland to celebrate the prom season and engage with younger audiences. Partygoers could express themselves through wearables and avatar makeup.
  • Travis Scott x Fortnite. With worldwide lockdowns thanks to COVID-19, the music industry had to adapt quickly to suit their new stay-at-home audiences. Rapper Travis Scott’s 2020 venture into the metaverse completely changed the game, with nearly 28 million people tuning in.

So what’s one key takeaway for those brands wanting to engage Gen Z audiences? Understand your target market and goals. Whether it’s wanting to reach new audiences or experimenting with branding, locking this in will ensure that your venture is streamlined and successful.

What are three exciting things happening in the Web3 space?

From AI to NFT marketplaces, there are a number of interesting and exciting things happening in the Web3 space right now. We caught up with Oliver Yonchev, Co-founder and CEO of Flight Story and host of our YMS NYC panel ‘WTF is Web3: What Does the Future of the Internet Mean For Brands?’, who shared his top three moments:

  1. Tech advances. It’s a nascent space so every week there’s a new frontier and new possibilities! Integrating AI with Web3 platforms is enabling more unique ways of trading crypto and NFTs, but it is also changing the way tools are built. Companies like Thirdweb can use AI to assess how builders are creating apps and then recommend new templates and contracts for future builders.
  1. Adoption. Introduction of the tech in E-commerce and across large ecosystems (social media platforms), with social platforms (access Meta) rolling out ‘digital collectables’, followed by Reddit, Shopify launching ecommerce plugins for web3, and Amazon announcing an NFT marketplace… these are huge moves. 
  2. Clarity and accessibility.  We’re seeing the removal of ‘wWeb3’ lingo from general usage. The industry is less focused on communicating complex technology and more focused on the outcomes.
    The Web3 emergence came from the fringes of the internet, but in order to truly thrive, it needs to solve its communication problem. We’re seeing this more and more.”

What does the future of the metaverse look like?

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. However, we don’t know exactly what the future looks like (although that’s the beauty of it!). As Nora Zukauskaite, Global Marketing Director at Lottie London, I Am Proud and Ciaté London, says in an upcoming 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!”.

Woman texting on mobile out of a club at saturday night.

What we do know is that Web3 will drive innovation, help you engage with young consumers and secure that all-important customer loyalty. NFTs allow users to own a piece of the brand experience, whilst tapping into these engaged communities and blockchain technology will help your innovation skyrocket!

A top tip from us? Acting fast is key (and if you think a Web3 strategy isn’t for you right now, that’s okay too)! This is a fast-moving industry, and the sooner you hop on board, the more ahead of your competitors you’ll be. Better your understanding and charge your strategies by joining us at YMS NYC, where speakers from leading brands including PepsiCo, Dibbs, thirdweb, and Flight Story will be discussing the role of innovation and how you can stay relevant to Gen Z. This panel of industry experts will be chatting about everything from Web3 and NFTs to the metaverse and blockchain networks, asking what you should care about and sharing what the future of the internet means for brands and this younger generation.

Supercharge your marketing strategy and join us at YMS, where we’ll be heading to New York to unite the youth marketing community, share relevant industry news, platform the most inspiring speakers and share the freshest insights.


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