Brands are realizing that virtual platforms offer more than just a storefront for pushing products — they’re seeing the potential for spaces to merchandise ideas.
The popular online platform Roblox, which allows users to create and play games, has emerged as an appealing avenue for brands to not just vend products but also curate experiences for users. This shift is a departure from conventional marketing strategies, as brands strive to connect with their audience on a more profound level, nurturing loyalty and drawing in more discerning consumers.
One example of this trend is e.l.f. Cosmetics and e.l.f. SKIN’s venture into Roblox with their experience, e.l.f. UP!. Instead of merely using the platform to sell their products, e.l.f. has taken a step by crafting an immersive journey for users. E.l.f. UP! goes beyond the conventional marketing playbook, offering a dynamic and personalized experience that taps into the aspirations of its audience.
E.l.f. Cosmetics and e.l.f. SKIN’s venture into Roblox aims to take users on a journey, encouraging them to become entrepreneurs and changemakers within the digital landscape.
This move allows the brand to connect with users on a more emotional level, making the experience not just transactional but transformational. The initiative responds to a trend within Generation Z, where 62% either identify as entrepreneurs or express an intent to become one.
Kory Marchisotto, chief marketing officer at e.l.f. Beauty, remarked, “Our community has been urging us to join Roblox. It’s a part of our journey to disrupt norms, shape culture, and connect communities.”
Findings from the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Future of Jobs Report underscore the significance of thinking skills and coding in today’s workplace. Additionally, a study by BazaarVoice disclosed that 88% of Gen Z individuals believe that expressing themselves in immersive spaces has facilitated self-expression in the physical world.
Roblox boasts 66.1 million daily active users (DAUs) and over 214 million monthly active users (MAUs). With these figures, Roblox has transcended its role as merely an entertainment platform and has emerged as an educational hub.
Roblox possesses inherent social features that enable players to engage with one another in a virtual environment. Brands can leverage this characteristic to foster social learning experiences. The platform accommodates the integration of collaborative projects, team-based challenges, and group learning activities.
Considering this, LensCrafters serves as another example, as it has redirected its attention to Roblox, emphasizing education over sales.
Through LensCrafters Eye Odyssey, the company aims to provide an educational approach to promote good eye care practices, simultaneously offering an enjoyable and immersive adventure for the younger generation.
“By engaging with the millions of people on Roblox, we have the capability to highlight our vision care efforts in a very creative way,” said Alfonso Cerullo, president and GM of LensCrafters, North America, in a statement. “This is a unique moment for the brand to reach the younger generation and cultivate a new community through a cool interactive experience.”
On the flip side, Macy’s has introduced a virtual adventure named mstylelab, with a spotlight on its On 34th brand — a label committed to reshaping the conventional approach to women’s clothing fit.
As per a PYMNTS report, Macy’s, via mstylelab, aspires to turn the fashion industry into a nucleus of innovation. This metamorphosis entails the fusion of technology and immersive settings, fostering exploration, self-expression and connectivity.
“Consumers are seeking multiple touch points on multiple platforms to seamlessly integrate immersive virtual experiences into their customer journey. This innovative technology will propel the fashion industry — as well as many others — into its next phase. Reaching consumers where they are and providing new ways for them to shop and interact with one another is vital in order to deepen their relationships with brands,” said Erika Lang, head of Americas at Journee, the company driving the mstylelab initiative.