Businesses can promote themselves in many ways online, from using search ads or Google ads to social media platforms. NFTs are among the newest promotion tools for businesses keen on enjoying unique competitive advantages today.
What are NFTs?
But let’s first start with the basics. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are a special application of blockchain technology, the same one used by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. NFTs are simply distinct and irreplaceable records on blockchain used to give ownership of digital and physical assets like photos, videos, audio, artwork, etc. They can be created by any owner of a digital or physical asset and can also be traded (bought/sold). Before NFTs, it was hard for owners of digital assets to claim ownership and benefit directly without relying on third-party platforms.
While NFTs don’t stop people from sharing or copying digital assets like pictures online, it is easier to trace the ownership of any digital asset today if an NFT exists. NFTs are non-fungible (meaning they are one-of-a-kind assets) that are unique and can’t be exchanged or traded (at equivalency) with any other NFT. In summary, NFTs offer public proof of ownership. They make “everything” priceable, ownable and traceable.
For this reason, NFTs can’t be ignored. As of 2021, the NFT industry was valued at approximately $15.5 billion globally, with projections showing that the industry will be worth approximately $122.4 billion by 2028. Now, let’s see how brands have been using NFTs in their marketing strategy.
How are brands using NFTs in their marketing strategy?
NFTs have been around since 2015 but started gaining popularity in 2017 after the announcement of Ethereum improvement projects. Since then, many global companies have used NFTs in one way or another.
Here are the main ways in which brands have been using NFTs in the last 5 years, and how you can do the same:
Many notable global brands have established NFT-related partnerships. Our biggest notable example is Adidas, which established partnerships with popular NFTs like Bored Ape, GMoney, and Punk Comics and made over $43 million in 2021; but they aren’t the only brand that has forged NFT partnerships for marketing purposes.
Renowned music festival Coachella has also forged NFT partnerships, the most famous one being with FTX US. The partnership helped Coachella build Coachella Collectibles NFTs, the first-ever opportunity of its kind for Coachella fans to get lifetime festival passes, access to unique on-site experiences, and digital collectibles.
Other festivals like Lollapalooza have also partnered to create NFT experiences, in this case with Bored Ape Yacht-Club to release NFT badges known as POAPs (proof of attendance protocol) meant to offer attendance, participation, and offer virtual memorabilia to festival attendees.
Any business can forge NFT-related partnerships to design unique NFTs meant to create a buzz around product/service promotions. Your typical young avid customer today is keen on new technology like NFTs and is likely to participate in promotions because they’ll expand their NFT collection while buying goods or services.
2. Event tickets
If your company is involved in events, that is another way to use NFTs in marketing. As we’ve mentioned, NFTs have notable advantages in events like festivals. Since NFTs are unique and irreplaceable codes, their application is perfect for all events requiring attendees to have tickets.
Besides being a collectible item that fans will cherish, NFT tickets have also proven to attract more curiosity than regular ones, increasing event ticket sales immensely. Many notable brands including the NFL have begun issuing NFT tickets. In the Coachella case mentioned above, NFT tickets are now available for those who wish to get lifetime access and other Coachella incentives.
Regular brands in the event space can do the same. Designing your own NFT tickets and ensuring ticket holders get incentives like VIP access, discounts, and/or lifetime memberships to future events or brand-related content, can boost your event ticket sales immensely.
3. Digital merchandise
Many brands have also used NFTs to issue digital merchandise. This application is prevalent in the fashion industry. High fashion has gone virtual with platforms like Decentraland already leading the way with a completely virtual fashion show on Fashion Week. Notable brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, Paco Rabanne, and Forever 21 were part of the Metaverse Fashion Week which boosted fan engagement and set a new precedent for fashion shows, including selling NFTs clothing and accessories from participating brands.
Taco Bell has also put out NFTs to celebrate unique milestones like its recent menu change to potatoes. The fast-food chain is among the first in its niche to use NFTs for marketing.
We’ve also seen brands selling exclusive merchandise using NFTs, a decision that offers customers unique experiences. A perfect example of exclusive NFT merchandise can be explored in Robert Mondavi’s collectible wine bottles offering, powered by NFTs. The Californian winery has 1996 bottle collectibles traceable using blockchain. Each wine NFT retails for $3,500, totaling $6.9 million worth of NFT wine collectibles that are unlocked using a key.
You can do the same for your brand. Any brand in any niche can launch its own digital merchandise to celebrate unique milestones like product launches, anniversaries, special editions, etc. Such exclusive NFT merchandise can be a great avenue for boosting customer loyalty as customers search for and cherish collectibles.
Brands that do business, as well as participate in worthy causes, build a good brand reputation in a direct and indirect way. Charity work can therefore be a good cause and marketing strategy at the same time.
Some brands have chosen to do corporate social responsibility work or charity using NFTs. There are new opportunities for charities to raise money for a variety of social movements and causes. Brands like MAC Cosmetics have led on this front with collectible NFTs meant to raise funds to support the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Nonprofits, on the other hand, haven’t been left behind. Many have sold NFT collections to raise funds for different causes. For instance, in 2021, UNICEF launched a large NFT collection (composed of 1000 NFTs) to mark its 75th anniversary and raise funds for boosting internet access for students globally. Other non-profits like Hope for Haiti have also used NFTs to raise money. They partnered with FXG in 2021 to raise funds for earthquake victims in Haiti.
Your company can also use NFTs in charity work. Instead of traditional fundraising efforts, you can design and sell a special NFT collection which proceeds will go to different causes you support.
NFTs have the unique ability to offer exclusive experiences to clients, thereby creating loyal communities, and bringing younger clientele on board. It’s clear some major brands have caught on to the world of possibilities that NFTs bring to the online world, and we have been closely following this new incursion. As experts in this industry, we are well aware that digital marketing is an ever-changing world, and our company has always been at the forefront of it.
As you pursue other traditionally effective online marketing strategies, through social media, paid advertising, and the creation of consistent, quality content, to create and solidify your audience, it can’t hurt to learn how other huge brands have incorporated new technology into their marketing strategies. It is always good to know what is going on in the world around us so we can continue to evolve and grow our own businesses.
Contact us to learn more about how to best market your business online and take advantage of all the available strategies we have right now. We are experts in creating tailored-made, efficient ways to build your online audience and grow your business to achieve its fullest potential. Book your free consultation and see everything we can do for you.