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Brands planning to sell NFTs in 2022 face stiff competition and growing holder expectations. Some successful NFT projects, such as World of Women, offer utility-focused NFTs to real-world value holders. Some have partnered with motion designers, musicians or 3D artists to differentiate themselves. Others write stories where NFT has characters and the community votes on their “tours”. Makes some select cartoons to keep the holders busy. Companies and groups have moved beyond traditional financial incentives to attract Web3 developers in today’s tight job market. All of those NFT projects have one thing in common: no legacy brands or valid IPs.
The “why” is clear to crypto art enthusiasts, Discord community leaders, brand strategists and storytellers – brands are not building presence. This key element in creating stickiness has been overlooked by the big consumer brands, drawn by their PR teams, in line with the expectations of NFT Windfalls. But they forget to bring Web3 picks and shovels.
Doing the required NFT homework
Skilled marketers look beyond the hype surrounding NFTs and know that there are more use cases for technology outside of art and collection. Wise marketers are planning an NFT debut by studying how current projects thrive, market, promote themselves, and grow organically without logos or sponsorship money. This strategy-first marketers see Discord Servers as a classroom to absorb how token holders and non-holders interact to help each other. They are also looking for creative and behavioral trends that trigger a specific NFT project to boom.
The second prerequisite is considering which blockchain community fits your project. This is done by joining telegram groups connected to different groups. Etherium, for example, is often used by artists for one-of-a-kind drops or small collections, while scalable offerings such as Polygon and Solana are most commonly adopted by gaming communities.
The crucial consideration is to adopt an ecological impact or blockchain that uses proof-of-work or proof-of-stack consensus. Blockchains such as Solana or Sidechain Polygon offer more eco-friendly transactions due to the technology behind their systems – proof-of-history and proof-of-stack, respectively.
The next “NFT Super Mario Flag” for marketers determines what their target audience knows about NFTs. Customer interviews through forms and live quizzes work well here. This step is necessary before mapping the potential short and long term results of brands using NFTs in their 2022 marketing strategies.
What worked before will not work
I have been on calls where journalists have asked brands what their utility or quantitative value is in their NFTs grant. PR teams will no longer spray NFT Pixie dust on ads to make companies or organizations look like first-movers. Just months ago, a press release was enough to score media coverage. But not now. NFT holders and the media have raised their standards, forcing marketers to increase their offerings.
While the crypto exchange Coinbase has 56 million active user accounts, we are still in the lifeblood phase of adopting the five-step technology created by Everett Rogers. Global media outlets, art magazines, trade publications and analytics companies are rushing to hire new resources to cover Web3 as they look at things like generative NFT artwork more than the Fed. They recognize that NFT has made a point on the timeline of art history. Brands, on the other hand, mostly view the batch of generative art as just a new digital income or innovation, not new channels to tell their big story.
The saying “marketers ruin everything” exists for a reason. When something is good, it doesn’t take long for marketers to show up and get dollars out of it. Most Branded NFT Collections have brought us to this wonderful Uncle-Dooze-Tiktok-Dance-Video Moment. Interesting projects are outliers, such as the adventure-based Louis Vuitton game where 30 NFTs designed by artist Beeple can be found.
NFTs = another form of world creation
At its core, NFT is a show or world ticket or passport. NFTs are a type of digital or virtual asset that can carry any application applied to them. To me, anyone selling NFT makes a world, whether they know it or not. Whether they planned or not.
What brands should learn from rich NFT communities is that NFTs are the New World Web 3 access key. In these worlds, brands add a new dimension to consumer relationships. When marketers realize that NFT is a passport, their one-yes moment comes. This understanding opens up their brand culture and the endless possibilities they can offer customers.
These NFT-advanced worlds should be treated – and created – with the same level of care and attention to detail found in physical stores, websites, concerts, theme parks and movies. As the Apple Store immerses us in the environment, NFTs allow us to establish a new level of connection between the seller and the buyer.
The best fantasy worlds – Marvel, Dungeon and Dragons, Star Wars – are nurtured by stories, shared values and phantoms. Brands have forgotten to tell a strategic story in their hasty NFT release. How can this be when the storytelling is always the starting point for a world of artists, brands and franchises like Guillermo del Toro, Jay-Z, Barbie, The Beatles, SpongeBob Squarepants, James Bond and LEGO?
Portal to success
How brands approach NFTs for promotion, launch and sales will determine if they are worth anything. Evergreen world where their NFTs can access will be the key to gaining the trust of the community that will ultimately lead to sustainable success.
Benjamin Jackandoff (aka B. Earl) is a Marvel writer and partner of Skyview Way Studios.
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