Consumer brands are diving into the Web3 world in multiple ways, empowering consumers to take a more active role in shaping their business.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which first started as an exchange of digital art, have quickly evolved into digital keys that unlock brand communities, utilities, access, and exclusivity. And, consumer brands are leaning into the success of NFTs to reach new audiences and build deeper consumer communities.
To understand how consumer brands are making an impact with NFTs, it’s important to first understand a brief history of how consumers and brands have interacted.
The Evolution of the Consumer-Brand Relationship
With Web1 (the internet), brands created websites, and consumers could learn and understand product and brand information. With Web2 (social media), consumers and brands could interact and exchange dialogue.
And now, with Web3 (specifically NFTs), consumers can be active participants in the brand community and hold stake in some of the projects.
Community-led involvement with brand decision-making opportunities is perhaps the greatest shift we see in the brand-consumer relationship when it comes to NFTs.
Historically, the only way a consumer could actively make brand decisions would be at a formal level, on a board or stock ownership. Now, everyday consumers, through ownership of NFTs, can have significant involvement in brand community activities.
How NFTs Create New Ways for Brands to Engage Consumers
Consumer brands are making an impact with NFTs in several different ways. . . .
The Coachchella music festival launches an NFT collection and marketplace that aims to unlock lifetime Coachella passes, art, prints, photo books, digital collectibles, and more.
The Coachella Keys collection—10 one-of-a-kind NFT keys—offers lifetime VIP digital ticket access to Coachella, as well as other brand experiences and activations.
In 2021, Gucci sold its first NFT, teasing its Aria collection, as an NFT video titled, Proof of Sovereignty: A Curated NFT Sale by Lady PheOnix.
The video was co-directed by Alessandro Michele, Gucci Artistic Director, and sold for $25,000. All proceeds from the sale were donated to UNICEF USA.
This Gucci NFT video supported Gucci’s brand image, showcased a new collection, and raised money for the partnership campaign.
Lacoste launches NFTs that enable holders to co-design apparel with the brand.
The brand’s first NFTs are part of a project called “Undw3,” in which NFT holders will be part of a long-term Lacoste community experience that includes influencing the future of the brand.
Major League Baseball (MLB) partners with Candy Digital to create a collection of NFTs for its consumers rooted in collectable culture.
The collection includes digital baseball cards and stats to create a deeper fan experience and build loyalty to the team and the league.
Burger King’s partnered with NFT trading platform Sweet to create its NFT collection “Keep It Real Meals.” This campaign crossed IRL (in real life) and the Metaverse, integrating six million QR codes into popular Burger King burger and sandwich packaging.
Consumers could scan the QR code to unlock, collect, and trade Burger King NFTs—with a rewards component included.
Once they unlocked the 4th NFT, consumers could get Burger King rewards. For example, a year of free Whopper burgers or a call with a celebrity.
Nike purchases NFT studio RTFKT, a digital fashion-collectible company offering digital sneakers and collectibles, creating crossover collections in the Metaverse and with physical pieces.
Nike’s decision to acquire RTFKT, rather than just partner with them, shows that the company is interested in embracing long-term consumer impact through NFTs, creating a space in the NFT ecosystem, and paving the way as other consumer brands look to Nike’s involvement and relationship with Web3.
NFTs Empower Consumers to Help Define Brands
Consumer brands are using NFTs to open their direct interaction with consumers to promote their brands, tap into new audiences, incentivize consumer engagement, launch product extensions and campaigns, and even sell physical products.
The structure of NFTs as a digital asset with built-in brand utility has created a new opportunity for brands and consumers to engage.
NFTs have challenged consumer brands to think in new and fresh ways: highlighting gamification, tradability, collection, rewards, and incentivization as a thank you for choosing brand X over brand Y.
NFTs can return a level of purchasing power back into the hands of the consumer, and brands are upleveling their offerings to be the selected brand of choice.
Consumer brands using NFTs to grow their impact . . . it’s only the beginning.
License this cover image via Grinbox.