Numerous use cases and business imperatives have been outlined for those willing to be the early disruptors shaping the metaverse economy. The truth is many will not have the willpower to be part of this advance party. Much like the early trailblazers in the Age of Digital Innocence or the Age of Digital Giants, those willing to take the leaps and chances will serve as aspirational landmarks on the road into the metaverse.

There are two conversations that today’s Customer Experience (CX) leaders, from marketing to sales to service, need to have: first, what is the metaverse and second, what is our place in the metaverse economy?

In one line, what is the metaverse? It is an infinite domain of shared immersive experiences in which commerce, community and currency co-exist and are co-created. By nature, and by design, the metaverse transcends defined boundaries of “physical” and “digital”. In terms of an experience, the metaverse is where a ride on a stationary bike is a fully immersed and connected experience where riders don’t watch a screen but don goggles to be IN the room with a community. Currency, mined by the power generated by a bike in the physical world, allows riders to tip their instructor and pay for virtual waters for friends.

It could be argued that capacity exists today. But, in the fully realized metaverse, before class starts, riders can stop off at the virtual grocery store, pick up some essentials and before the cooldown of their workout is over, real groceries are delivered to a real front door.

If the metaverse is an ecosystem of shared immersive experiences, what is the role of CX leaders in the metaverse?

A line from a Constellation report just released on the metaverse economy summarizes perfectly:

“Entry into the metaverse should take a purpose driven and brand led approach. Identify areas where the brand has market permission to introduce, participate, and lead.”

In a world in which a brand needs to be willing to bring 50% of a shared experience to the table, what will the purpose, tone and tenor of that approach be? Will brands let down their guard and co-create in the moment? Or will we wrap the same push-centric communications of web 2.0, delivered through VR goggles?

The difference is the metaverse economy won’t just be about the technologies and platforms required to exist within it. The difference will be the participant’s expectations about experiences within an economy where each individual is shaping and creating economies of value and experience around (and about) themselves. Brands won’t “get a break” when the one-way street of push communications is passed off as an experience. The mere presence of digital content won’t pass as an experience. Just calling something the metaverse won't make it so.

So CX leaders beware. You won’t be able to “campaign your way” through the metaverse. If you want to participate in the metaverse economy, start by asking what purpose your brand has and what value your brand can provide. What will your 50% of any shared experience be?