NFT: A Game-Changer for Brands?

The phrase NFT (Non-Fungible Token) has been made the “Word of the Year” by Collins Dictionary as its use rose by 11,000% in 2021. An NFT is a digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, in-game items, videos, digital content, deeds, signatures, investments, and collateral. Even Tweet, Jack Dorsey, auctioned his first tweet (“just setting up my twttr”) for $2.9 million.NFT are generally encoded with cryptos, and have become increasingly popular now though they have been around since 2014.  Digital artists are seeing a new life to buy and sell their digital work online to crypto-audience.

Big brands are experimenting with NFT to engage with their customers by providing new experiences by collectibles- virtual goods, vouchers, recognition, and community development, etc. Brands already ventured into NFT; McDonald’s McNFT, Coca Cola’s Bubble Jacket wearable, Taco’s Token, Mattel’s Hot Wheels ( https://nft.mattelcreations.com/), Berger King’s Real Meal NFT, etc. Customer engagement is happening in a big way through NFT by announcing gifts, awards, collectibles, retweets, discounts, etc.  There will be digital collectibles offered to the customers to unlock NFTs which can lead to awards. Warner Bros launched 1,00,000 NFT of matrix-inspired Avatars with the upcoming release of “The Matrix Resurrections”. Coca-Cola celebrated International Friendship Day by releasing Collectibles under “The Friendship Box NFT”.The friendship cards were designed with  1948 artwork, the metaverse influenced the iteration of the cards added with 3D, Motion, and light features. Coca-Cola Sound Visualiser was interesting to watch and hear and many more experiments and they have donated the money raised to CSR.

NFT technology offers customer experience and increases awareness and affinity of the brand. Brands can now monetize the advertisements to tokens by running multiple times, creating buzz before launching any new products or programs. Many companies that have been crowdsourcing new ideas can now provide rewards to the sources through NFT. There is going to be a change in the media ownership model and various digital platforms are going to act as a mediator between content creator and consumer and the possibility of all getting monetized and this space is going to be creator-centric.

Great British Olympic team released the NFT collection of “Golden Medal Movements” at a right time at Tokyo Olympics which was an avenue for the fans to engage with the games and it is a fantastic way to capture an athletes’ key moments which will also engage the customers to have a piece of this artistic collection of emotional value which is going to be a rare collection and drive premium pricing.

NFT has opened up new avenues to marketers due to its ability to digitize and certify memorabilia and is going to be a huge profit center to engage and provide different experiences to the customers and unleash new avenues of life to the once dormant assets of artists and brands.

Dr. K.G.Hemalatha
DSCE-MBA

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