Part 1: Here’s more about this exciting journey
Since the dawn of time (and the emergence of Mad Men), marketers have always been looking for deeper, more meaningful ways to connect with their audience. The latest kid on the block is NFT. We can deny it or we can accept it – strategize around it, play along and make some profits.
Leading brands of today are cautiously stepping into the Metaverse era, a digital avatar in hand. It has monopolized conversations everywhere. The mystery around the elusive NFTs can range anywhere from how to effectively utilize them in your marketing strategy roulette to how quickly must I adapt. The undeniable truth is this – NFTs while here to stay, are going places.
NFTs: The origin story
Created by Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash in 2014, Non-Fungible Tokens began as a video clip. The clip was registered on a blockchain and sold for $4. These ‘monetized graphics’ on the blockchain were linked to artworks and video clips. Public curiosity and awareness around these tokens reached a fever pitch in 2021 when an old NFT project (dated 2015) was sold for $1.4 million. Within the first few months of 2021, a little over $200 million was spent on non-fungible tokens. This gathered the interest of the art world further propelling its value.
NFTs & Me
The NFT trajectory is not unlike any other disruptive, emerging technology – valued by a small group of eager, early adopters at first, cautiously promoted by celebrities next and soon, an inescapable conversation at every water cooler and dinner party.
The first step is building a careful strategy around the metaverse (an umbrella term that includes all virtual worlds), not necessarily building digital assets. Technology’s greatest gift is enabling a seamless connection. Therefore, it is equally necessary to build a strategy that aligns with your brand vision and not the other way around. Nike was quick to patent a system of CryptoKicks that utilize NFTs to gauge authentic physical sneakers but give a virtual shoe to the customer (who may pay in cryptocurrency). Louis Vuitton created a game that involves searching for NFTs in the metaverse. Real estate, gaming, and even fashion brands have quickly jumped on the digital bandwagon, working to create products that best represent them in the metaverse. Fundraising, ticketing, and community efforts can only be amplified with the help of blockchain technology. Some may even create NFTs as digital merchandising.
Whatever the assets, the strategy must be to embrace the disruption in a way that makes sense to your brand without alienating the hyper-aware customer. Remember, the customer is also seeking a brand that is ultimately in step with their own personal values (such as caring for the environment, being politically aware, and more).
The opportunities in this brave new world are endless and available. I will talk about those in the next part of my blog.
Riya Vatnani is Group Account Director at Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me