How are Brands using NFTs? Marketing & Beyond
Learn about the latest trends in NFT marketing for brands. Understand how top companies are using non-fungible tokens to drive engagement and increase loyalty.
As the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) continues to grow and evolve, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses and brands to understand the potential benefits and implications of this new technology. NFTs, which are digital assets that are unique and cannot be replicated, have the potential to disrupt traditional business models and open up new opportunities for monetization, marketing, and customer engagement. But, as with any new technology, it's essential to have a thoughtful and strategic approach when incorporating NFTs into your brand or business.
In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the importance of NFTs for brands, and how they are impacting the business world. We will delve into the reasons why NFTs are crucial for brands to understand, and how they can be used to drive growth and engagement. You will learn about the different ways in which brands can incorporate NFTs into their marketing strategies, and see examples of brands that are already utilizing this technology today.
Additionally, we will discuss the future of NFTs for brands and how they are poised to shape the marketing landscape. We will also provide practical tips for developing a successful NFT strategy and for identifying the opportunities where NFTs can create the most value for your brand. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive overview of how NFTs can be used by brands, and what kind of planning and considerations are necessary for a successful implementation.
As the use of NFTs is still in an early stage, it is a unique opportunity for businesses to be among the first in their field to implement this technology, which can give them an edge in their industries. This article aims to be an invaluable resource for businesses and brands as they embark on their NFT journey.
With that being said, let’s dive in!
Why Are Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) Important to Brands?
As established, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are a new form of digital asset that use blockchain technology to prove authenticity and ownership. They allow brands to authenticate, monetize, and promote their digital assets in ways that were not previously possible.
NFTs provide brands with the opportunity for creating limited-edition and scarce versions of digital assets, direct engagement with customers, and new partnership opportunities, making them an important consideration for any brand looking to stay competitive in the digital age.
At a high-level the key reasons NFTs are important to brands include:
- Authenticity and provenance: NFTs provide a tamper-proof and transparent way for brands to verify the authenticity of their digital assets. This is particularly important for luxury and collectible items, where provenance can greatly affect their value.
- Limited edition and scarcity: By creating NFTs, brands can create limited edition versions of their digital assets, increasing their perceived value and creating a sense of scarcity. This can be used to increase brand loyalty, as well as drive sales of related products.
- Direct engagement with consumers: NFTs can be used to enable brands to directly engage with consumers and build a community around their products. This can be done by creating interactive NFTs, social media integrations, access to exclusive events, or through the use of gamification to drive consumer engagement.
- Monetization of digital assets: Brands can also use NFTs to monetize their digital assets in ways that were not previously possible. This includes the sale of unique digital collectibles, limited-edition content, and exclusive experiences or products for NFT holders.
- Partnership opportunities: NFTs also provide brands with new partnership opportunities, such as collaborating with artists, musicians, and other content creators to create exclusive digital assets.
In sum, NFTs are important to brands because they open up new channels and monetization methods that were previously unavailable.
Now that we know why NFTs are important for brands, let's look a bit at how this technology shift has affected traditional/corporate brands.
How NFTs affect Brands
In 2023, NFTs continue to be on the rise as more and more corporations, collectors and retail investors are beginning to adopt this technology. These unique digital assets provide a new way for businesses to engage with consumers, form defined communities, and create new revenue streams.
As NFT ownership and usage has exploded in recent years, it's becoming increasingly clear that this technology is poised to play a significant role in the future of digital commerce.
This adoption rate is reminiscent of the early days of social media, where platforms like Facebook and Instagram went from being a niche idea to becoming a central hub for communication and information sharing.
Just as social media platforms transformed the way we communicate and interact with each other, NFTs are now enabling brands to communicate and engage with consumers in new and innovative ways.
With NFTs, corporations can create unique digital assets, such as limited-edition content, that can be bought, held and collected, providing a new avenue for non-stop, highly strategic brand marketing.
Trust us, as a brand you don’t want to be left out. Not considering NFTs as a brand at this point is like not considering Social Media Marketing in the 2010’s, just a little silly.
But just how are brands using NFTs in their marketing?
How Brands use NFTs in Marketing
NFTs allow brands to create new and engaging experiences for consumers. By leveraging the technology behind NFTs, brands can increase brand awareness and loyalty, build engaged communities, generate interest and demand for new products, and even support social causes.
In this section, we will explore how brands are using NFTs to drive growth, create new revenue streams, and connect with consumers in new ways.
From interactive experiences, to limited-edition digital collectibles, NFTs are proving to be a valuable tool for brands looking to stay ahead of the curve.
Create new brand experiences
NFTs can provide a new dimension to brand storytelling, by giving customers something tangible that represents their experience with your company. By creating unique digital assets that customers can own, brands can create a deeper emotional connection between the consumer and the product.
They also provide a new way for brands to showcase their values, personality and positioning. NFTs can be used as an exclusive reward for customers, a way to celebrate milestones or special moments and even as a way to commemorate a significant event in the company's history, they will become a symbol that represents your brand, customer and unique stories that can be shared and passed along.
Increase brand awareness and loyalty
With NFTs, brands have the opportunity to create a level of personalization that was not previously possible. The unique nature of NFTs allows brands to create highly targeted digital assets, which can generate greater awareness of the brand and foster loyalty and advocacy among customers.
By creating NFTs that are tailored to specific customer segments or interests, brands can create a deeper emotional connection with their customers and build a community of brand advocates. This level of personalization can result in customers identifying with the brand and being more likely to share their experience and interact with the brand in the future.
Generate interest and demand in new products
Brands can use NFTs to tap into the creativity and interest of their customer base and generate buzz around the brand. NFTs can be used as a tool to open the door for user-generated content, by inviting customers to submit ideas for unique services or digital assets they would like to see or even own.
Crowdfunding campaigns and contests can also be an effective way to use NFTs, by offering them as rewards for those who contribute to a campaign or win a contest that promote new products. NFTs can be used to identify a brand’s most engaged customer group for these interactive experiences, based on their wallet history of interaction with your company’s NFTs campaigns.
By embracing NFTs in this way, brands can generate excitement and engagement with their community.
Support social causes
Consumers today have a strong preference for brands that align with their personal values. One way to showcase your brand's commitment to important causes is by utilizing NFT revenue to support charitable organizations. Additionally, brands can team up with artists, giving them a platform to showcase their talents, and using the exposure and revenue generated by their NFT creations to support them.
8 Examples of Brand NFT Marketing
Corporate brands have been making a big splash in the web3 and NFT space over the last couple of years.
Here are 8 examples of brands who have been leading the pack with their NFT marketing efforts.
RTFKT & Nike
Nike collaborated with RTFKT, a digital fashion startup, to release a limited-edition pair of virtual sneakers as NFTs. The virtual sneakers, called the "CryptoKicks", were based on the iconic Air Jordan 1 and came in three different editions, each with a different level of rarity.
The NFTs were sold in a public auction and went for high prices, even the cheapest edition went for $9,500 Each NFT came with a unique pair of the virtual sneakers that can be used in-game or in virtual experiences.
The partnership between Nike and RTFKT, was a way for the companies to showcase and experiment the potential of NFTs in the fashion and sneaker industry, also to bring exclusive and one of a kind experiences to their customers, fans and collectors. This NFTs offering also served as a way for Nike to tap into a new market of young consumers who are more interested in digital experiences, and also a way for them to create a new revenue stream.
Nike has ultimately gone on to acquire RTFKT as a result of this successful relationship.
Gucci introduced the use of NFTs to promote its fashion collection. They used NFTs to bring a virtual fashion show experience to their customers, creating a limited-edition series of NFTs that unlocked a virtual runway show featuring the latest collection.
By creating this virtual runway show and using NFTs as the key to access it, Gucci was able to offer its customers a unique, exclusive and one-of-a-kind experience and also to create a sense of scarcity and ownership around it, encouraging the customers to collect the NFTs.
Gucci also has also shown interest in how NFTs can be used to authenticate luxury products, as a way of verifying the authenticity and provenance of the products they are selling.
This initiative aligns with Gucci's aim to explore how technology can be used to improve the customer experience and engage with a new generation of consumers.
In March 2021, Time magazine made history by selling a single edition of its cover as an NFT, making it the first major publisher to sell an NFT. The cover in question featured an illustration of The Protester from the 2011 Person of the Year issue.
The NFT was sold in a public auction for $130,000, with the proceeds going to support the First Amendment Defense Fund, which defends freedom of the press.
This was a way for the magazine to showcase the value of the history, legacy and authenticity that the magazine covers have and also to increase the engagement with the buyers and readers. This NFT also served as a way for Time to experiment the use of NFTs in their business and to see the response from the public and potential future applications.
In 2021, Budweiser, the American brewing company, launched a limited-edition series of NFTs to promote its new hard seltzer product. The NFTs featured exclusive digital artwork of the seltzer cans, and came in three different editions, each with a different level of rarity.
To purchase the NFT, Budweiser offered consumers to purchase a pack of their seltzers and redeem the pack with a code which would give them a chance to enter a lottery to get one of the NFTs for free.
By doing this Budweiser not only gave an exclusive and one of a kind experience to the customers and collectors but also a way to promote their new product in a unique way, using the buzz and interest around NFTs as well.
On July 30, 2021, Coca-Cola decided to explore the world of NFTs and introduced an innovative and multisensory friendship-inspired NFT collection. The collection was designed to offer a virtual-world take on Coca-Cola merchandise.
The company created a "loot box" NFT, which was auctioned off to the highest bidder and included four unique NFTs. The winning bid received an NFT experience that included:
- An audio-based NFT that features the sound of Coca-Cola being dispensed from a fountain.
- An access NFT, which grants the holder special privileges and perks
- A digital clothing NFT that allows the owner to dress up their metaverse character
- A physical special-edition Coca-Cola refrigerator
- The NFT drew a winning bid of $575,883.61, and the proceeds from the auction were donated to charity by Coca-Cola.
This NFT collection was a way for Coca-Cola to tap into the NFT market and showcase the company's creative side and have a positive impact, as well as offering fans of the brand an exclusive and one of a kind experience.
In 2022, Starbucks unveiled its Starbucks Odyssey loyalty program, the first enterprise scale rewards program built on top of blockchain infrastructure.
The Odyssey program is an innovative opportunity for Starbucks loyalty members and partners (employees) in the United States to earn and purchase unique digital collectible assets through its loyalty program.
These digital assets will unlock access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences. Starbucks is among the first companies to successfully incorporate NFTs into its loyalty program at scale, and aims to foster a digital community that enables new ways for the company to engage with its members and partners.
Adidas made its move into the digital realm by introducing its own line of NFTs. The Adidas Originals NFTs were highly sought-after and sold out within minutes of their public release. With the purchase of these NFTs, individuals were not only granted access to exclusive experiences within The Sandbox, but they also had the opportunity to claim exclusive physical merchandise.
As part of this campaign, Adidas offered holders of these NFTs the chance to redeem 4 unique physical products at no additional cost throughout the year 2022. Once a physical product is claimed, the corresponding NFT is destroyed, and in return, the holder is given a replacement NFT with a higher phase number.
Physical NFTs, also referred to as phygital NFTs, are digital tokens tied to real-world assets. They present an exciting opportunity for Adidas. Fans of sneakers and streetwear are no strangers to competing for limited edition drops, often standing in line for hours or even days to get their hands on rare items. Physical NFTs offer a new way to offer these drops and to trade these assets instantly.
The NBA has been one of the first sports leagues to explore the use of NFTs for marketing, by partnering with blockchain platform Dapper Labs to create NBA Top Shot. This is a blockchain-based platform that allows fans to buy, sell, and trade officially licensed, one-of-a-kind, digital collectibles featuring game highlights and iconic moments.
Users can purchase these NFTs as packs, similar to trading cards, or on the open market. Each Top Shot features a video highlight of an NBA player or team, such as a dunk or a three-pointer, along with accompanying statistics, like the player's name, team, and the game details.
This partnership between the NBA and Dapper labs allows fans to engage with the league in new and exciting ways, also creating a new revenue stream for the NBA as NFTs sales generated millions in revenue for the league and for the players whose moments were featured in the Top shots.
It also serves as a way for the NBA to authenticate and protect their copyrighted material, and also to establish a secure and transparent way of buying and selling these digital collectibles, providing a new method for monetizing their content.
As we can see from all the brand examples above, there isn’t a one size fits all strategy for using NFTs as a tool within your brand.
To give you some context we’ll dive into some popular brand strategies in the next section.
5 NFT Strategies to Consider
NFTs can be used to build engaged communities, drive new revenue, and improve loyalty in several ways.
Here are the 5 most common NFT strategies being used today that brands should consider as they explore this new technology.
- Brands can use NFTs as a way to reward customers for their loyalty. By creating a Web3 loyalty program that rewards customers with unique NFTs for repeat purchases or certain milestones, brands can build a community of customers who are invested in the brand.
Social Media Integration
- By integrating NFTs with social media platforms, brands can create interactive experiences for customers. For example, brands can create social media challenges where customers can earn unique NFTs for completing certain tasks. This can help build a community of customers who are active and engaged on social media.
Collectible NFTs & Communities
- NFTs can be used as a way to build a community of collectors. By creating unique digital assets that can be bought, held, and collected, brands can create a community of customers who are invested in the brand and who share a common interest in collecting.
- Brands can use NFTs to create games or challenges that can be completed for rewards. This can create a sense of competition among customers and help build a community of engaged customers who are focused on completing the games or challenges.
- NFTs can be used to provide exclusive access to certain digital assets or experiences. For example, a brand can offer NFTs as part of a VIP program, which can be used to gain access to exclusive events or promotions. This can help build a community of engaged and loyal customers who are invested in the brand.
The Future of NFTs and Corporate Brands
The future of NFTs and corporate brands is going to be one of disruption and innovation. NFTs represent a shift in how companies interact with their customers, creating a direct relationship with consumers, where they can offer exclusive experiences and access to collectible digital assets.
The rise of NFTs will bring new ways of creating value, new revenue streams, and also new ways to protect and authenticate branded content.
Companies that do not adapt to this trend risk being left behind, while those that embrace the use of NFTs will be able to build deeper connections with their customers and communities.
As more companies look to leverage NFTs, the space is going to get increasingly competitive, and those that innovate and stand out will be the ones that reap the benefits.
NFTs are proving to be a valuable tool for brands looking to stay competitive in the digital age. As the use of NFTs has grown, it has become clear that this technology can provide brands with new and innovative ways to engage with customers, create new revenue streams, and increase brand awareness. From interactive experiences and limited-edition digital collectibles, to social media integrations and gamification, NFTs are providing brands with new ways to connect with consumers and create a sense of community around the brand.
As the use of NFTs continues to grow, it will be exciting to see how brands continue to leverage this technology to drive growth and create new opportunities for innovation in the digital world.