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Bring your Avatar into the Real World

— May 25, 2006 — Tech
Representating yourself in a shared virtual reality is a growing phenomenan but could it be a lucrative one? Seems the guys in the UK who set up "Cute litte boys" targeting the gay community think so... Not content with a virtual you - you can now bring your avatar into the real world as a key-ring, a mug, a fridge magnet or maybe a jigsaw......

Implications - The last few years have seen a proliferation in the number of products and online properties that require consumers to behave virtually. FourSquare, the Sims, and Second Life are a few of the games that have exploded in the last few years. Corporations can capitalize on this burgeoning market of consumers by creating games, products or advertising that appeals to a consumer's desire to create an animated, slightly altered version of themselves.
Trend Themes
1. Virtual Avatar Products - Creating tangible products of virtual avatars could be a disruptive innovation opportunity for companies targeting consumers who enjoy virtual representations of themselves.
2. Real-world Representation - Capitalizing on the desire for virtual representations of oneself by offering real-world items featuring these characters, could prove to be a successful business strategy.
3. Virtual Reality Merchandising - Supporting those who enjoy virtual reality with tangible merchandise could be a successful emerging trend that companies can capitalize on.
Industry Implications
1. Gaming Industry - Given the increase of virtual reality gaming and avatar use, companies within the gaming industry could benefit from creating and marketing products that bring these digital characters into the real world.
2. Advertising Industry - Advertising companies could develop campaigns that incorporate the use of avatars in both virtual and real-world settings, providing an avenue for innovative approaches to marketing to their audience.
3. Merchandising Industry - Companies that specialize in merchandise and products have the potential to capitalize on this emerging trend of virtual reality and avatar representation within the real world by producing a wide array of items suitable for purchase and personalization.
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