About | Conference Topic

Back in 2007, tech mavens and pioneers foretold that the virtual world that consumer, firms, and brands could finally experience through the Web would soon turn into a futuristic all-encompassing digital playground where people will be immersed in an always-on flood of digital information, whether wandering through physical spaces or diving into (Kim, 2021: 141).

Today, this envisioned digital playground is no longer simply a prediction, but an actual reality: the metaverse is here.

A massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds where people can synchronously and persistently socialize, share, and co-create unique experiences (Ball, 2021), the metaverse has already grasped enormous interest and capitals all over the world, generating a multi-billion industry which is expected to reach $678.8 billion by 2030 (Bloomberg, 2022; Bloomberg Intelligence, 2021).

Encompassing and supported by technological components like Artificial Intelligence, the Blockchain, and immersive technologies like Augmented (AR) and Virtual (VR) reality – which have already proved to be able to massively affect and reconfigure brands and brand-related constructs (Pizzi et al. 2020; Puntoni et al. 2021; Mangiò et al. 2022) – the metaverse has the potential to revolutionise brands and brand management as we know them today.
As a matter of fact, global leader brands like Nike, Dolce & Gabbana, Nvidia, Yunday or Coca Cola have already begun to experiment in the metaverse by, for example, issuing Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), setting up immersive Roblox-based showrooms, or creating digital twins realities to extend remote working. 

Yet, what the role of brands actually is in the metaverse, and what effects and implications that branding can exert in this novel context is still to be determined. Acknowledging this, the 16th Global Brand Conference will focus on the topic: Brands and Branding in the Metaverse with the overarching goal of exploring this terra incognita to go beyond its hype and outline its value, opportunities, and risks for brands and practitioners, and to contribute to the further development of the brand management discipline through rigorous research investigating the metaverse and/or topics and phenomena related to its components. 

We invite original research and in-depth conceptual papers addressing the above theme, as well as studies focusing on a broad range of other topics relevant to Brand, Identity, and Corporate Reputation.