The NFT (non-fungible token) space blew up in 2021 and is now worth an estimated USD1 billion per annum and growing. This is not just a bandwagon but a bona fide movement that is capturing the hearts and minds of people across both Asia and the world. That’s why you need to consider NFTs a key part of your marketing strategy.
You can turn any digital asset into an NFT, and that's precisely what companies like Nike and McLaren Racing have done. In 2019, Nike patented a concept known as "CryptoKicks," which are future footwear design blueprints minted as an NFT. Once the NFT was sold, the shoe was produced, and the customer who designed it received the NFT and the shoes, bridging the gap between digital assets and their physical form.
For the McLaren Racing Collective, fans can collect limited edition NFTs representing the parts of an F1 car. The people who collect all the NFTs – which are available in limited quantities – can assemble a whole, virtual F1 car, in doing so winning a 3D collectible of the McLaren Racing MCL35M, as well as the potential to unlock an IRL experience with tickets to a Grand Prix race in 2022.
As a marketer, jumping into the NFT world means thinking differently because NFTs create authentic, creative storytelling opportunities. Of course metrics are still important, but an NFT campaign will bring in a valuable, more engaged audience to your brand storytelling.
NFT marketers also need to make the creators the center of attention and ensure their brands are seen as enablers, not interjectors. Marketers must be NFT enthusiasts to the core. Wearing the clothes doesn't make you part of the movement – you've got to truly believe in this new world.
You also need to build a community, as it will eventually be your most prominent – and primary – channel to interact and get your message across. These communities drive influence, trends, and demand. And they aren’t necessarily on your traditional social media channels; instead, you'll find the NFT community interacting on Twitch and Discord, as well as Reddit, Telegram, and on Twitter.
The elephant in the room is blockchain and the high energy consumption of some blockchain protocols, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. As a marketer, you need to consider and choose more energy-efficient blockchains, like Tezos and its liquid Proof of Stake consensus mechanism.
And finally, the onboarding experience for interacting with your brand on the blockchain must be as seamless and straightforward as possible, and it might require some hand holding. Look at supporting your consumers as part of a brand-building exercise. This can help form a strong bond between your brand and its customers. Your brand may very well be the first experience a customer has with blockchain altogether – so make it a memorable one. Use it to differentiate yourself from market hype, making your NFT brand experience stand out from the noise.
Catch the full course here, and happy learning!