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EXCLUSIVE: Estée Lauder Breaks Into the Metaverse

Estée Lauder is the exclusive brand partner of Decentraland's Metaverse Fashion Week, and has created its first NFTs.

One of prestige beauty’s biggest heritage players has set its sights on the metaverse.

Estée Lauder, as the exclusive beauty brand partner of Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week, is debuting its first NFT. Inspired by its hero product, Advanced Night Repair, the brand will be awarding up to 10,000 of them complementarily during the fashion event, which runs from Thursday to March 28.

Users will be able to go inside Advanced Night Repair‘s brown apothecary bottle to receive the wearable NFT, which gives users’ avatars a “glowing, radiant look,” according to a statement from the brand. The NFTs are free and were designed by virtual creator Alex Box.

The effort “marks a pivotal point for Estée Lauder in how we reach and engage new and existing customers in the metaverse,” said Stéphane de La Faverie, group president, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., and global brand president, Estée Lauder and Aerin Beauty, in a statement.

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The brand joins a growing roster of beauty companies capitalizing on the new realm. Last year, Clinique debuted its first NFTs; P&G Beauty also introduced a virtual world, called BeautySphere, to educate consumers on its sustainability measures, earlier this year.

Lauder’s strategy, though, isn’t to coax existing consumers into the metaverse, but rather attract potential customers who are already spending time in virtual realities. “At first, we are really looking for compelling events where we can participate and reach this new consumer,” said Jon Roman, senior vice president of global consumer marketing and online, Estée Lauder. “I don’t think we want to just create something that we have to promote on our own, or drive people to the metaverse. We really want to operate within the metaverse environment to introduce our brand to consumers that are in the metaverse already.”

Although the Advanced Night Repair NFTs are designed to bolster brand awareness, the overarching goal for the brand is to narrow the gap between virtual realities and physical points of sale. “It makes sense to link [the metaverse] to the physical world, and physical products. That would be the ultimate goal,” Roman said. “However, it’s not a one-step process. We realize that it’s about creating excitement, demand and brand love with the metaverse, and then identify new consumers.”

What that may look like, though, is to be determined. “A lot of that is going to depend on how the metaverse develops,” Roman said. “Ultimately, we think it’s going to be a mixed-reality type of universe. You’re not going to have people who live exclusively in the metaverse. There’s going to be a lot of mixing, so we need to figure out how to be ready for that and take advantage of that mixed reality.”

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