A new virtual world based on real cities is offering customers a unique way to interact with brands. But is it just another gimmick or a lucrative avenue in the world of customer experience?
By Chris Middleton
Virtual worlds offer customers and businesses new ways of interracting online, creating innovative brand extensions and sales channels for companies, and giving customers new forms of brand experience – that’s the view of Dr Mirko Caspar, co-founder and CMO of Metaversum, the Berlin-based company behind the development of virtual online environment Twinity.
Unlike the superficially similar Second Life, which many brands and organisations already have a presence in, Twinity aims to model real-world cities as virtual locations that customers can ‘walk around’ in avatar form. Its first virtual city, Berlin, is online and accepting customers and visitors. More cities, including London, are planned.
Mirko Caspar, co-founder and CMO, Metaversum
The company was founded in 2006 by Caspar and Jochen Hummel, CEO. “We believe the next major trend on the internet will be shared experiences with real people,” says Caspar. “The ideal platform for this is a virtual world featuring real cities and real people.”
The company believes that modelling real locations is better for business than the ‘fantasy kingdom’ approach of Second Life. It may attract customers who are unable to visit a real city, but who may still wish to learn more about it and perhaps buy products or services from local businesses.
Caspar explains that enterprises of all sizes and private individuals can purchase pixel-based real estate in these virtual cities and open stores and offices there, which customers can visit online.
Join Twinity: https://aplink.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/join-twinity/