How Your Brand Should Use NFTs - Deepstash

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Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are going mainstream

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are going mainstream

While mass-market players and luxury brands are launching NFT collections, many consumers still try to understand the 2021 NFT world of Bored Apes and CryptoPunks. The usability of blockchain technology is still in its infancy and not consumer-friendly.

However, NFTs are not a passing fad. On the contrary, NFTs has the potential to be the killer app of Web3. The interesting thing about NFTs is the tech they run on. It reveals their broader promise as a vehicle by which brands can reclaim ownership of their digital consumer relationships.

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Early days: From collectibles to digital product-line extensions

NFTs seem intertwined with digital collectables. Many brands' first step into the NFT waters is to launch their own collections.

But a first step isn't a strategy. In the dot-com era, successful brands didn't stop after buying a domain name and posting a website. Similarly, brands need to ask what to do next.

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Extending product lines into digital worlds

Extending product lines into digital worlds

Companies in the media business can use NFTs to create a new class of media assets. For example, NBA's TopShot shows this kind of product line expansion. Likewise, apparel companies can envision digital versions of their physical clothing and accessories. For example, Ralph Lauren sells branded digital apparel in virtual worlds like Zepeto.

These projects port a current product line into the metaverse, expanding how consumers engage with and experience the brands.

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The real promise: NFTs as the basis for a multifaceted digital consumer connection

The real promise: NFTs as the basis for a multifaceted digital consumer connection

  • NFT is not exclusively for collectables or creating digital assets for virtual avatars. Looking forward, NFTs could be the central digital touchpoint between brands and their consumers that is controlled by the brand itself.
  • The underlying technology of NFTs could identify a unique experience or physical-world object, for example, the fact that you attended an event.
  • NFTs could allow us to showcase our non-digital lives in our digital spaces more expansively.
  • The blockchain-based tokens of authenticity could revolutionise secondary markets for physical items.

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Brands’ path towards an NFT future

It took some time for established companies to figure out how to use Web1 to make meaningful connections between the Internet channel and their existing businesses. Walmart only started to actively sell online in 2000, six years after Amazon's founding.

Web3 is developing more slowly as a commercial technological infrastructure and will take a few years to realise. However, it's vital for brands to ensure they don't fall behind.

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Start with smart digital collectibles

Start with smart digital collectibles

The immediate NFT mindset will centre around digital collectables. It is important to engineer the right tradeoffs between availability and exclusivity when creating an NFT collection. However, making your NFT collection too abundant can seem that it has low value.

Brands can also leverage the programmability of NFTs to make them more engaging and collaborative. For example, Gap has gamified its NFTs collection by allowing several common NFTs to be combined into fewer limited ones.

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Tie your NFT collection to your brand and core product

Tie your NFT collection to your brand and core product

Most brands don't want to remain in the business of creating and selling digital art. Connecting your NFT collection to your brand identity is essential.

You can start to strengthen NFT connections with your products or services. Give away a physical product tied to a digital NFT collectable. For example, when Coach launched an NFT collection featuring the art of animals from its holiday promotions, it promised a custom Coach bag to each NFT holder.

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Experiment with authenticity and a view of the future

Trial, error and observing what succeeds and fails will help brands figure out what works for them.

The true impact on NFTs will unfold gradually, so there's room to figure the space out. Your eventual audience will be your existing and future customers.

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