Embracing falsity through the metaverse: The case of synthetic customer experiences

Maja Golf-Papez*, Jonas Heller, Tim Hilken, Mathew Chylinski, Ko de Ruyter, Debbie I. Keeling, Dominik Mahr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


The metaverse has been heralded as a next frontier for fueling strategic business opportunities. At the same time, recent months have witnessed explosive volatility in the market potential of proposed metaverse offerings. As a result, businesses are struggling to set a meaningful strategic course through an uncharted and rapidly changing landscape. We argue that the success of developing and scaling the metaverse as a vibrant new business ecosystem is largely dependent on the understanding that it is a unified and immersive reality where the physical and synthetic customer experiences seamlessly converge. For this to work, businesses and their customers need to be able to suspend their disbelief that synthetic elements are inherently false. We therefore consider the metaverse as a differentiated experience by exploring the promise and perils of falsity. We discuss how businesses can strategically embrace falsity by harnessing its intended—as well as mitigating its unintended—consequences, as they maneuver through major technological challenges in capturing customer value. We offer a diverse set of examples that illustrate how these strategies translate into managerial actions to competitively succeed in this new reality.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalBusiness Horizons
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)739-749
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • metaverse
  • synthetic customer experience
  • augmented reality
  • virtual reality
  • neuroenhanced reality

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


Dive into the research topics of 'Embracing falsity through the metaverse: The case of synthetic customer experiences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this