WTF is 4th space?

When I was at Columbia Business School I participated in the block week masterclass for the Luxury Education Foundation (LEF).

The Luxury Education Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on nurturing future leaders in the luxury industry and fostering meaningful exchanges between like-minded CEOs, leading executives and high-potential, emerging talent. Established in 2004, LEF partners with Columbia Business School, Parsons School of Design, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to create global, qualitative interdisciplinary programs to ensure future success for members, students, and alumni.

Thanks to reasonable dues I still get to participate in different roundtable discussions. And surprisingly, thanks to the push to remote events, I’m still able to attend speaking events in LA.

Most recently there was a Think Tank discussion on technology in fashion.

I found the conversation so incredibly valuable, and truthfully I haven’t stopped talking about Web3 topics since 2017 in bschool. I think the metaverse conversations are fascinating. Don’t get it twisted though, I don’t understand blockchain, or NFTs. But as a gamer, I can recognize that all of this started in gaming. And like a nerd forward sequel to Devil Wears Prada, the decisions made in publishers offices have trickled down to the fashion industry.

Technology and the pandemic have changed personalization. I think as Web3 evolves the questions we, in the fashion industry should ask ourselves, “how do brands stay relevant in the metaverse?” and “how will marketing change in the metaverse?” As a digital marketer that last one is the million dollar question. It’s the wild west in the metaverse, and whoever can identify strategic priorities first will be the “expert” everyone turns to.

What the metaverse is going to open up is the 4th space, the melding of the physical and digital world. And the investments are there, we’re already seeing brands buying up digital real estate, or acquiring brands that know there way around 4th space, case in point Nike acquiring RTFKT.

What do I think will be the first steps to finding some kind of footing as a marketer in the metaverse. I think the panelists on the LEF Think Tank said it best, psychographics will matter. As the market becomes more global you’re going to need to understand subcultures, what makes the customer tick on a human level. Model and futurist Sinead Bovell said it best, as tech becomes more ubiquitous to our world, it’s the human connection/EQ element that will make you invaluable. I don’t think we all need to dive in understanding behavioral science, but I do think that we’ll need to go beyond campaign execution and start figuring out how to make an emotional connection with the audience.

We’re a social first, digital society, or at least we’re getting there, and I can’t wait to keep learning more, sharing with you all, and diving into how all of this isn’t just impacting the fashion industry, but entertainment, unique partnerships, and all the other little bits.

Like always, if you made it this far, I wanted to share some things I’ve enjoyed around the topic.

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