NFTs (the famous Non-Fungible Tokens) are a reality that cannot be ignored anymore—and it seems like pioneering brands are learning this more and more.
Even though some people are still getting to grips with the concept (if you don’t fully understand what an NFT is, don’t feel like an alien: polls show that one in four Americans don’t either), the fact is that this technology is in meteoric rise (in 2021, NFTs grew by 11,000%). And some brands are adopting very creative strategies with it—and generating results just as meteoric for themselves.
Coachella, Super Bowl, Adidas, Dolce & Gabanna and MAC are just some of the many examples of brands and companies that used NFTs in a strategic way to achieve higher results in its campaigns and provide a different and unique experience for it customers.
In this article, we’ll explore more of these examples, and show you how brands have been using NFTs, what results they are having and what insights can you absorb for your brand—using, or not, this news tech.
Just to remember… What are NFTs again?
NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, are unique, distinct and irreplaceable codes registered by the blockchain system, the same technology used in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
If you want to explore more about the topic, I highly recommend you to read this article. Now, let’s explore how NFT has been used by brands as part of their strategy!
Coachella Music & Arts Festival and the NFT Blooming Flower
If you’re one of those people who, like me, likes a good music festival, then you’ve probably noticed that the big hype this April was the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. This is a festival popularly known for its duration, held over two full weekends, and for the wide variety of artists from all over the world.
This year, in addition to the great attractions and guest artists, a specific attraction caught the attention of the participating public: the NFTs. The festival offered all paying participants an NFT digital image of a flower that bloomed on the two Fridays of the festival.
Coachella 2022 also brought other technologies, like metaverse and cashless payment, to mix up in-person experiences with virtual marketing, and it became a good example of the importance of engagement Marketing in the post-pandemic era.
NFTs as event tickets
As you saw on the previous example, NFTs offer advantages for the entertainment market today, such as concerts, cinema and sports as they are unique, distinct and irreplaceable codes.
One of the gains that brands can have is the generation of a collectible item for fans, such as a ticket. From matchboxes to luxury cars, the collectibles market moves billions of dollars annually and arouses the curiosity of people from around the world. Some companies realized the attraction of their consumers towards collectibles from their brands and decided to join the passion of collectors of physical items to the world of NFTs.
In order to provide the experience of collecting tickets from their consumers, some brands have already decided to launch their tickets in a fully digital version. This is the case of the NFL franchise, which decided to turn tickets from its biggest annual event, the Super Bowl, into collectible NFTs.
Brazilian soccer club Vasco da Gama recently partnered with Block4 (a Brazilian company specializing in the creation of NFT collectibles) to issue NFT tickets for the team’s fans.
In the entertainment universe, the AMC cinema chain distributed 86,000 NFTs to those who bought tickets for the movie Spider-Man: No Way Home. In the case of the Coachella festival, NFTs were launched that guarantee lifetime access to the event. This was only possible thanks to blockchain technology.
Using NFT and blockchain technology for ticketing, brands and consumers benefit from security against counterfeiting of the items sold. With blockchain, a unique code is generated on the ticket and this code is easily verified by event organizers, and can even be created as a non-transferable and locked code for resale. This proves the ticket’s authenticity and verifies that it is being sold by a legitimate organizer, thus preventing ticket counterfeiting and providing traceability of the ticket for fraud control.
NFTs as digital merchandise
Companies in the fashion industry are riding high on the NFT hype. Last March, the virtual platform Decentraland held its first fashion show, creating a completely virtual and immersive Fashion Week. Brands such as Dolce & Gabanna, Tommy Hilfiger, Forever 21 and Paco Rabanne walked the runway at fashion week, and the platform generated fan engagement, opened new precedents for fashion shows and ways of approaching the public. In addition to the experience of participating in a fashion show, the event also sold NFTs of clothing and accessories from the brands present in the shows.
NFTs as exclusivity
Some companies have been using NFTs as a way to provide unique experiences to their customers. This is the case of the Californian winery Robert Mondavi, which decided to launch the first wine label sold by NFT in the world. There are only 1996 bottles collectible and traceable by blockchain technology.
Each NFT of wine retails for $3,500 and has a key to unlock a bottle redemption. That would be a potential revenue of $6.9 million dollars. Not bad, huh?
NFTs as a fundraiser
Some brands are also known for their performance in social responsibility. NFT’s have opened up new opportunities for them to change the way they raise money for these social movements they support. MAC Cosmetics, for example, will sell collectible NFTs to raise funds to support organizations in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
NFTs open up new opportunities not only for brands but also for nonprofits. The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) started the sale of a collection of 1000 NFT’s to raise funds for the promotion of internet access for students in schools around the world. Hope for Haiti in partnership with FXG announced the launch of NFT’s to raise money for victims of an earthquake in Haiti.
What results are brands having with NFTs?
Hype or not, NFTs have been moving in high volumes since 2021, when $25 billion dollars were transacted, breaking the record since their creation.
Attentive brands have jumped on the NFT hype and are cashing in on it. Adidas, for example, moved approximately 43 million dollars in NFTs in a partnership with Bored Ape Yacht Club, Punks Comics and GMoney.
In addition to financial gains, brands have been achieving branding results with their customers, delivering exclusive experiences to customers, creating a sense of community and bringing younger audiences tuned into new technologies more easily. Breaking down barriers between the physical and digital universe has provided a series of penetrations into markets that were previously unimaginable for brands, such as the gaming and entertainment market, and even visibility in social impact actions.
If you want to start investing in NFTs for your brand, begin with your branding and digital marketing strategy. Define exactly what you expect with this new strategy. Do you hope to increase the reach of your audience? Strengthen the spirit of community? Engage fans in your brand? Support social causes?
Remember that strategy comes before tactics. Another important point to highlight is to understand if your audience engages with this new trend. Only then will you be able to delight your audience and increase your brand recognition.