“Epic Games is a service Provider”: Q&A with Timberland Marketing Director Drieke Leenknegt on brand metaverse strategy

Timberland has entered the metaverse. The model launched a multifaceted enterprise final week that included interplay Fortnite Artistic Experiment, Timberland Parkour tracks, in addition to different initiatives to discover the makes use of of digital and augmented actuality know-how within the shoe house.

The activation is the results of a partnership between Timberland, developer Fortnite Epic Video games, and CONCEPTKICKS, a footwear web site based by designer and influencer Daniel Bailey. Particulars of the monetary settlement aren’t accessible. It is not Timberland’s first foray right into a digital house for advertising functions – that honor goes to him TimbsTrailsan interactive expertise the corporate launched in January — but it surely marks the model’s choice to immerse themselves additional into the metaverse, validating the game-driven imaginative and prescient of the idea. Powered by Epic in processing. To additional underscore the connection between the gaming neighborhood and Timberland’s metaverse technique, the model introduced in widespread Twitch operator SypherPK Hassan to advertise the expertise to its followers.

Digiday contacted Timberland CMO Drieke Leenknegt to seek out out extra about why Timberland selected Fortnite as its metaverse platform of alternative — and whether or not the model plans to get into the NFT sport within the foreseeable future.

This interview has been evenly edited and condensed for readability.

Why did Timberland accomplice with Epic Video games for this activation, as an alternative of different metaverse platforms like Roblox or Decentraland?

We have seen this acceleration of digital product creation that has been notably accelerated by COVID, notably inside Timberland. That is central to what we do right this moment, not solely as a result of it has enabled us to drive product and footwear innovation ahead, but it surely has additionally been driving our sustainability agenda after we have a look at the advantages of making digital merchandise.

The best way we have a look at partnerships in Timberland is, if you happen to’re a accomplice, you are collaborating as a result of collectively, you are able to do one thing you may’t do alone. Trying round us, Epic was the proper accomplice, as a result of Epic is greater than what you see from a shopper perspective – Epic is a service supplier with Unreal Engine. They’re the service supplier that enables manufacturers to make use of digitalization from idea to shopper. You need to deliver folks collectively for cross-pollination, to push your self ahead and innovate.

So Timberland thinks the Unreal Engine may develop into the constructing blocks for metaverse?

sure. My friends aren’t right here, however I feel I can converse for all of us, particularly the heads of design. The probabilities that Unreal Engine affords to additional help within the improvement and digitization of the end-to-end go-to-market is astounding, which can also be why we like to accomplice with them.

Epic’s imaginative and prescient of the metaverse differs from some others as a result of there isn’t a Web3 facet to its platform – its imaginative and prescient of the metaverse doesn’t require a blockchain infrastructure. Why did you search to activate a game-inspired metaverse fairly than an activation that features NFT?

We’re a shopper pushed model; This implies we must be within the mindset and lifetime of the patron. And gaming actually grew to become part of their lives, proper? The best way we glance is: Be the place your shopper is, serve the patron wherever they’re, meet their wants and accomplice with them wherever they’re. At this time limit, NFTs aren’t on the agenda, as a result of we’ve not thought-about alternatives or wants for that. However that does not imply it could possibly’t occur. What’s going to determine our partnership with the patron and what they want and what they’re searching for – but additionally as a model, what do we want? The place can we study?

Why did Timberland select gaming influencer SypherPK to advertise this model revitalization?

Throughout the platforms our prospects are in, we need to accomplice with the best folks, whether or not it is gaming, music, leisure or artwork. The best way we have a look at our partnerships with folks like SypherPK is to ensure there may be synergy. The partnership was nice. It was an honor for us to work with him.

That’s the reason this mission is as distinctive because the collaboration. Bringing collectively these game-changing people, industrial designers, Daniel Bailey, Metavision, and the folks of Unreal Engine. It brings all of them collectively to discover and uncover new house and push ourselves. “One plus one equals three” is one thing we at Timberland take very critically after we look not solely at design innovation but additionally at storytelling.

‘Epic Games is a service provider’: A Q&A with Timberland CMO Drieke Leenknegt on the brand’s metaverse strategy