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Coty is unveiling its first metaverse space, but customers won’t be able to visit. Launching this autumn, the multinational beauty company’s first metaverse space, Coty Campus, is an internal one, designed for its 11,000 employees to develop skills in frontier tech. 

Created in partnership with metaverse real estate platform Spatial, Coty Campus integrates text and voice chat capabilities, screen- and file-sharing and customisable avatars. It also gamifies global collaboration between employees through what it calls a “phygital reward system”, based on item collection, location exploration and quest fulfilment. The idea is to connect employees worldwide to make collaboration easier, and to augment existing training, recruiting and onboarding processes.

The long-term goal of Coty Campus is to upskill Coty’s workforce as part of the company’s wider push to improve employees’ skills in the digital realm to promote innovation in Coty’s brand portfolio, which includes Burberry, Gucci Beauty and Marc Jacobs. Coty’s innovation and beauty technology team partnered with a taskforce to understand the needs of teams across the organisation, in order to build a space that helps employees to build skills in Web3 and metaverse technologies.

“Coty is committed to being a leader in digital and continues to push the boundaries of innovation,” Coty chief digital officer Jean-Denis Mariani said in a release. “With Coty Campus, we are proud to leverage Spatial’s Web3 and gaming technology on a groundbreaking scale to create new immersive experiences that will provide the most interactive solutions for collaboration and co-creation.”

Amid a proliferation of brands marketing and selling beauty products in the metaverse with outward-facing spaces — popular enough that they can now develop these themselves — Coty’s approach leans into a different metaverse use case: education.

In the past, brands have used metaverse spaces to educate consumers. Clinique’s recent metaverse retail space educates visitors on brand history in a bid to modernise its heritage. Gucci Vault’s October 2022 Sandbox world gamified education about Gucci’s heritage and products. In January 2022, however, Dermalogica launched Natalia, a digital human who supported training for skincare professionals (rather than consumers) worldwide using video and VR simulation. 

“Beauty brands usually invest highly in consumer-facing assets, but we did this because one of our core values is education,” Tabby Zamani, head of global education at Dermalogica, told Vogue Business at the time. 

Beyond this, employee education has largely been the prerogative of Web3-native initiatives. In February 2022, for instance, Fortnite creator Epic Games offered a free course to teach interactive 3D skills to young people interested in digital fashion and the metaverse. Internal education programmes are on the rise. However, these are typically about — not within — the metaverse spaces themselves.

A centralised, dedicated metaverse space for employees of a large conglomerate to come to learn is a first. “Coty is thrilled to be the first beauty company to embark on this kind of project,” Mariani said.

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