This study examines virtual worlds as a tool to convey branding principles to students. The authors have integrated the metaverse second life into an undergraduate brand management course, with the aim of narrowing the apparent gap between branding theory and practice. Avatar-based virtual world education is highly interactive and provides a rich experiential environment compared with textbook-based theory and traditional written assignments. Allowing students to experience the practical consequences of theoretically driven branding efforts and activities also enables a simulation of a complete branding experience through role playing. Quantitative and qualitative data collected at the end of the course reveal that second life offers a suitable means to facilitate students’ understanding of theoretical branding concepts and ability to apply the theoretical principles to real-life scenarios. The integration of a virtual world into academic curricula thus suggests a promising method to narrow the classroom gap between branding theory and practice.