Ways your brand could leverage the NFT craze

There have never been so many innovative ways for brands to market themselves. In our last Insights post, we looked at the untapped potential of the metaverse – a virtual world that people can immerse themselves in and connect with other like-minded people anytime and from anywhere. Today, we’re going to look at another fascinating “Web 3.0” tactic marketers can add to their toolbox is NFTs, or non-fungible tokens.

What is an NFT?

An NFT is a one-of-a-kind digital file, usually a piece of digital art or a video but it could also be a song or even virtual real estate. The term “non-fungible” means that its unique and can’t be replaced with something else, like da Vinci’s Mona Lisa on display at the Louvre, while “token” refers to the fact that it is a cryptographic asset that exists on a blockchain and is purchased or traded with a cryptocurrency (usually Ethereum).

Most of the current market for NFTs revolves around the asset’s collectability; as each NFT is a one-of-a-kind digital file with a unique fingerprint on a blockchain, it’s just as tradeable as a mint-condition Wayne Gretzky rookie hockey card or a pair of Nike Dunk SB Low Paris. Popular NFT collections include CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club; both collections feature unique digital files that have traded for millions of dollars.

Global brands and NFTs

Many of the world’s top brands have already jumped in on the NFT craze. Gucci partnered with Superplastic, a leading toy and digital collectible firm, to release ten NFT artworks inspired by Gucci’s signature designs and patterns. Adidas partnered with Bored Ape Yacht Club and others to release 30,000 unique artworks that generated $22 million in sales in just one day. Mattel launched an NFT series inspired by the card game UNO. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut have both released NFTs inspired by their products. While each NFT is unique, one thing all of these brands have in common is that they have an extensive track record of taking successful risks in growing brand awareness.

How can your brand capitalize on the NFT craze?

The value of scarcity
For consumers, the value of NFTs is in their originality and authenticity. People pay a lot more for an original piece of art than they will for a print. Art is often purchased as an investment and NFTs exist in the same way. Its value rests in its scarcity. Does your brand produce something that could be adapted for the NFT space? Nike can create NFT shoes. What could your brand create that would be the Nike shoes equivalent?

Turn an event into a keepsake
In our previous article, we touched upon the idea of hosting an event in the metaverse and offering attendees an NFT or POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol). Let’s say you’re launching a new product line; you could stage a launch event in the metaverse and offer the first X-number of participants an NFT inspired by your new product. Now you have branded digital collectibles that reward customer engagement.

Open a store in the metaverse
Let’s take this NFT concept one step further. Do you already have an online store? If so, perhaps the next logical step is to open a Web 3.0 store in the metaverse. On metaverse platforms like Decentraland and the Sandbox, you can purchase land and open a store to sell items in the form of NFTs.

Once you have a group of people digitally owning a piece of your brand, there are endless opportunities for access and ways for a consumer to enhance their brand experience. In the not-too-distant tomorrow, consumers will want their digital experiences and physical experiences with a brand to become intertwined. For example, if a customer buys a pair of Nike shoes in real life, they’ll naturally want a pair of Nike shoes on their preferred metaverse platform. There’s even an opportunity to generate a new level of brand loyalty by creating an exclusive club for consumers who own your brand’s NFT.

The takeaway

While the Wall Street Journal published an article in May 2022 that reported the NFT market was “collapsing,” contrary data offered by Dune Analytics showed the market is still robust and critics questioned the quality of the data used by WSJ. While the NFT data and analytics gurus lock horns over the medium’s investment potential, there is no ignoring the fact that an NFT campaign would position your brand as forward-thinking and differentiate you from the competition.

Before you dive into the incredible marketing potential of NFTs, the best thing to do is step back and assess what type of NFT campaign makes sense for your brand. Converting big-name-brand physical sneakers into digital sneakers doesn’t require much of a creative leap but what if you’re just a small business or you sell a service instead of a physical product?

One option could be to run a promotion customers can enter for a chance to win an NFT. Another option could be to partner with a successful NFT artist and leverage their popularity while introducing your brand to an entirely new audience. Or how about incorporating NFTs into a customer loyalty program?

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Contact us today and let’s discuss all the ways we can leverage the potential of NFTs to grow your brand.

Angelo Perri

Angelo Perri is the founder and CEO of MHZ Design Communications, a customer engagement agency located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Connect on Linkedin.