NFTs & Digital Strategy

BBT Digital | 10 May 2021

It goes without saying that technology is constantly transforming and evolving around us. One area that has seen particularly concentrated advancement in recent times is blockchain technology. You may have heard of blockchain in relation to cryptocurrency but there’s a new phenomenon making waves in the digital universe; non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs. 

 

What in the NFT is a NFT? 

Before we go down the rabbit hole of non-fungible tokens, let’s swing back for a moment and break down what exactly a fungible token is. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum are fungible tokens because they are digitally secured assets within blockchain which are exchangeable and have similar characteristics to standard currency. For instance, a $10 note is fungible because it could be exchanged for another ten-dollar note, two five-dollar notes or ten one-dollar coins. Essentially, no matter the form of the ten dollars, the value remains the same. 

Conversely, non-fungible means that the value of the commodity is unique unto itself, and is not exchangeable for another commodity of the same value. NFTs are distinct and unique pieces of code which do not have a traditional financial value related to them and they cannot be reproduced. Due to the singularity of each NFT, one cannot be exchanged for another. The end result is that each NFT is a one-of-a-kind digital entity. 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a closer look at how NFTs can become part of your marketing strategy. 

 

NFTs & Branding 

One of the key reasons brands are taking advantage of NFTs is that they can be used to represent a variety of digital files, including graphics, video, and audio. The variable nature of NFTs allows for them to be used to represent a multitude of industries such as software, media, and real estate. 

Due to the significant interest that NFTs have generated, they have opened up novel ways of customer interaction and brand storytelling, two key facets of a successful marketing strategy. 

Through the proper utilisation of NFTs your brand will be able to: 

  • Raise your brand awareness 
  • Produce unique brand experiences
  • Foster meaningful interactions 
  • Generate interest in your products, services, and brand 

To put it frankly, using NFTs in the right way can raise your conversion rate and increase revenue. 

 

NFTs as a Marketing Tool 

Conceptualising how NFTs could play a role in your marketing strategy can be a bit difficult to wrap your head around. Below are examples from creators and companies who have used NFTs effectively: 

 

Nyan Cat 

You may not remember the name, but there’s a good chance you have seen a gif of a cat with a pop tart body soaring through space leaving a rainbow trail in its wake. In 2011, Nyan Cat made its internet debut and went on to become a social media sensation. In February 2021, the gif’s creator, Christopher Torres, sold it as a NFT for 300 ether (the equivalent of $587,000 USD).

The takeaway for brands here is that your clients and customers are willing to pay for a great or memorable experience. You have the opportunity to leverage this by making NFTs out of your ads or digital media. You could create an online event where the NFTs are sold off and use this to your advantage to generate publicity. This will benefit your strategy through increased brand awareness while also introducing your brand to new audiences in the digital space. 

 

Beeple

Despite being fairly unknown in the mainstream art scene, Mike Winkelmann known as Beeple, was thrust into notoriety when he sold a .jpeg image file for 69 million USD in March 2021 as an NFT. He made history, as the digital art file was the very first NFT sold by Christie’s Auction House.

Beeple’s success proves that companies need to be agile in their response to new tech and digital concepts. Taking risks and being an industry disruptor can allow you to outperform your competitors. 

 

Taco Bell  

It’s pretty clear that people prefer to do business with brands that share similar values to them. In 2012, Taco Bell set up the Live Más scholarship as part of their foundation to support the furthering of education and career goals of young people. In 2021, they decided to change up their fundraising strategy and listed 25 taco gif NFTs for sale.

This was a great move for Taco Bell on several fronts; the NFTs received a lot of hype from both mass and social media, it increased brand awareness, and of course, it was all done in the name of a great cause. These are all key facets that can help improve your marketing strategy.

 

Kings of Leon 

The music industry has become increasingly competitive in the digital age, and creating and maintaining a dedicated fanbase is not quite as straightforward as it used to be. However, American rock band Kings of Leon found a way to get around that with the launch of their latest album, When You See Yourself. They became the first band to sell a newly released album in the form of an NFT. They were only available for a limited period making the album NFT a collector’s item.  

This is a great example of a brand actively fostering brand loyalty and demonstrates the power of a limited release.

 

What’s next for NFTs?

You could easily disregard NFTs as the new kids on the digital block whose practical use is still fairly narrow and intangible. Nonetheless, it would appear that people are intrigued and prepared to spend money on them so it is looking like they will be around for a while. 

Similar to the trajectory of blockchain technology, there is a good chance that NFTs could be a key player in the digital landscape for years to come. This is of particular resonance to digital strategists and marketers as NFTs have opened up new paths for engaging with audiences and fostering favourable brand experiences. Keep in mind that some of the technologies that are commonplace today (think social media, mobile phones, wireless internet) seemed like fads and buzzwords when they were first introduced yet we depend on them for so much now. NFTs bring a lot of beneficial features to the table that extend our current technology capabilities. 

NFTs are an excellent way to create memorable experiences for your clients and customers while also being a fantastic way of engaging with your target audience. Despite NFT technology still being relatively new, it is something that companies need to be keeping an eye on, particularly in relation to marketing strategy. 

NFTs are here and they do not seem to be going anywhere.