With the evident increase in interest in Web3, NFT and crypto, Lifebuoy has set up a thinktank for strategies to leverage the metaverse for its business and social missions.

Nearly US$41 billion worth of crypto was spent on the NFT marketplaces globally in 2021, according to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. In Asia, the top five markets that have bought NFTs are within Southeast Asia.

It is evident that there is an increased interest in this space. Lifebuoy intends to use this power and interest for good and further scale its mission of improving handwashing habits for all by harnessing new technological power.

Through its social mission programs and communications, Lifebuoy has worked with over 50 partners across more than 30 countries, enabling communities to develop better handwashing habits, improve hygiene and protect against illness.

To ensure that Lifebuoy can continue its purpose to help prevent illness, the brand has recently announced the creation of a Web3 thinktank. The group of advisors will supercharge Lifebuoy’s social mission and create a ‘Betterverse’ – a metaverse for social betterment.

Triveni Rajagopal, Personal Care Digital Transformation Lead, Unilever

“We want to separate the signals from the noise around NFT, crypto and Web 3.0,” said Triveni Rajagopal, Personal Care Digital Transformation Lead, Unilever. “We can only do this by working with experts in this field, who can ensure Lifebuoy’s social mission of improving handwashing behaviors of people around the world will generate significant support. Lifebuoy recognizes the opportunity in this new digital meta world. We are eager to learn from partners, creators, and specialists to create a Betterverse – a place where we can ensure good exists.”

DigiconAsia finds out more about Lifebuoy’s new thinktank and its plans for the Betterverse in an interview with Triveni:

What is Lifebuoy’s perspective of and strategy for leveraging the metaverse for business?

Triveni: It’s early days for Web3 and the metaverse, but we’re excited too.

Lifebuoy recognizes the invaluable opportunity that this new digital meta world offers to communities and businesses alike. We are open and eager to learn from established partners, creators, and specialists within the space to create a Betterverse – a place where we can ensure good exists. Doing good is part of our history and will continue to be part of our future.

We’re working to ensure we play a part in making this evolving arena representative, inclusive and safe for everyone who uses it. But for Lifebuoy, we can continue our mission to inspire positive, healthy behaviors from handwashing to preventative health.

We will continue to use our scale and global profile to help set future-fit foundations for our business and help communities. The metaverse allows us to think of new opportunities to supercharge Lifebuoy’s commitments to make handwashing with soap a daily habit for millions of children around the world. Lastly, it provides new ways to connect with new consumers like never before.

Why has Lifebuoy set up a Web3 thinktank comprising internal and external advisors?

Triveni: We recognize we need experts in this field as we can’t do it alone. We have tremendous brand power and are lucky enough to have met like-minded thought leaders with the same vision as us on Web3.

By working with external experts within the industry, such as David Kwok from Tiny Island, we know we can stay at the edge of digital creativity. Chia Hock Lai is a respected Singaporean leader in Web3 with deep knowledge, and Linda McBain is Chief Digital Officer at our NGO partner, Save The Children, which has been our strongest partner in reaching rural communities.

The thought of bringing together these people to help create a Betterverse was exciting for us. We felt this was a pivotal moment to influence the industry and lead from the front.

Experts help us separate the signals from the noise around NFT, crypto and Web 3.0. Furthermore, collaborative efforts with this specialized group would ensure Lifebuoy’s social mission of improving the handwashing behaviors of people around the world will generate significant support.

What are the key considerations for co-creating a responsible, ethical, safe and secure metaverse?

Triveni: It’s a new era. Digital revolution brings new opportunities and challenges. We’re shaping our approach in Lifebuoy to ensure our brands show up authentically in the metaverse and that people feel safe and valued in our spaces.

I feel that safety is key. The builders are responsible for making sure it’s safe.

One of my duties is to ensure we understand future behaviors in this new environment and be prepared for scenarios.

For example, a consideration would be the hardware. It’s an element we would need to consider, particularly around how we limit cyber-attacks and continue to safeguard brand reputation to stop misinformation.

Another key consideration is picking experts in this field. To do that, our Web3 council of advisors and our agency partners are here to help and advise us.

We have the privilege of working with some great agency partners who are helping the industry learn how to design better algorithms and business models and understand how to intervene.

As an Singapore-based enterprise, how do you think this initiative can help the various societies in the region?

Triveni: Singapore is a key global hub for our business, given it is a bridge to the East and West. We tap into knowledge from the world, but we must ensure a local-first strategy to win. We can’t succeed with consumers unless we have local understanding; this is why we felt it was essential to draw on the talent in this region.

Given Singapore’s position as a leading technology innovation hub, known for its talent and modern infrastructure, the nation functions as a critical gateway for businesses to access the rest of Asia. Furthermore, the Southeast Asian region is becoming a crypto hub. 

Through the thinktank, we would leverage the nation’s growing prominence in creativity in the emerging technology space to accelerate digital adoption in neighboring countries like Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.

The unique digital landscape encompassing Southeast Asia requires a specialized approach to achieving success, and professionals must lead ideation with an in-depth understanding of local barriers and opportunities.