“Market Not Pricing in Metaverse Yet”

The second part of the interview with Swetha Ramachandran for reading.

You can find the first part of the interview here.

Private Banking Journal: Do You Own Your NFT?

Swetha Ramachandran: I bought NFT. But just so I know what I’m talking about.

Have you already sold it?

No, it’s still in my wallet.

Is he bored monkey?

Ramachandran: No, it’s not a fancy NFT. It comes from a company called The Dematerialized, where you can buy NFT with fiat currency instead of cryptocurrency.

If a virtual bag sells for a higher price than a real physical bag, as was the case with Gucci, where do we stand in terms of consumer behavior?

Ramachandran: We are now in uncharted territory. As I mentioned, the Gucci bag sold on Roblox last year was more expensive than the physical version. And that was just a purely digital version. It wasn’t even NFT because you can’t take it outside the Roblox ecosystem. This suggests that younger consumers are increasingly indifferent to these artificial distinctions between physical and virtual. They spend a lot more time online, and much more time playing games than older generations. This shows that the future is very bright for the industry to develop NFTs to attract and grow this new generation of consumers.

Is the Metaverse and NFT phenomenon really priced into stocks, or will this, say, second world be a real game-changer for some stocks?

Ramachandran: I would say we are still at a very early stage. This is the reason why the market is not priced as these companies will be able to take advantage of the Metaverse successfully. Because the luxury goods industry tends to be very conservative. These companies have been around for 150 to 200 years. They don’t want to suddenly turn their business models upside down overnight. What they do, they do slowly. I think the market will take some time to appreciate that.

What companies are currently in a good position in the NFT business?

Ramachandran: It would be easier for me to name companies that don’t exist yet. After all, everyone is trying to get to this zone. However, some companies like Kering, which owns the Gucci and Balenciaga brands, are still a bit off. For example, you have a shadow palette made up of millennials who show you the way forward. Another company that impressed me is Moncler. It’s a small one-product company, but it’s very innovative in the way it approaches the Metaverse.

Can a company like Ferrari unlock entirely new groups of buyers through NFTs or avatars?

Ramachandran: It’s certainly possible to think about how difficult it would be to get a Ferrari in real life. It should be hard to get by default, but if you offer someone a chance to see Testarossa in a paint job that no one else has, maybe you can win over that client. My question to Ferrari is will this dampen the physical brand’s appeal to a Ferrari collector? You have to be very careful how you do this.

What role do influencers play in the luxury sector?

Ramachandran: Big. I think social media is more important today than it was a decade ago. The role of influencers in promoting different brands and categories cannot be underestimated.

Who do you think is the most important influencer?

Ramachandran: In Europe, Chiara Ferragni is a very popular influencer and has many followers. In the States, I would say that the Kardashians are also very popular influencers. China is a really interesting market because the influential economy is huge there. There is Mr. Bag who specializes in bags and handbags, and Austin Lee, Fia, who are digital influencers who focus on the makeup sector. They are all very impressive.

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