March 13, 2022 03:10 PM
From Taco Bell to Marriott and many more, brands are increasingly using NFTs to strengthen their relationship with existing customers, and bring in newer ones
The term ‘marketing’ is synonymous with ‘change’, and so is the marketing industry. Over the years, marketers have seen waves of change, experienced freshness of ideas, and evolved with multiple trends, tech transformations, and, of course, global changes. Years ago, when social media and its exponential potential entered the marketing industry, it was fully optimised by marketers. Today’s social media marketing presence for each and every brand that exists, is proof.
Today we are also seeing another marketing trend in its infancy which is expected to become a revolution in the years to come. Brands have already started optimising the marketing benefits of this trend, and soon others are set to catch on. The buzzword is ‘NFTs’, which is a craze not only for the finance-savvy but also for the curious masses.
The Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a digital asset that can be traded, just like cryptocurrency, but with a catch. While cryptocurrency such as Bitcoins can be traded with another Bitcoin at an equal worth, one cannot trade an NFT at equivalency just as is the case with a diamond. No two diamonds are alike, and of the same value. The same goes for NFTs. Each NFT comes with a digital certificate of ownership that makes it unique. You may have an NFT of a taco just like your peer, but still, the value of the two would be different and unique, with a different worth.
These unique crypto assets are bought and sold using blockchain, which is a novel technology that stores and secures data.
NFTs can bring a revolution in the marketing world because they can help brands gain awareness, and interest from their customers; they can encourage better engagement with their customers, and; they can help create a better user experience, and brand presence.
Here’s how marketers can do the above by creatively optimising the growing buzz and potential of these digital tokens.
Building Brand Identity:
For the last few years, a strong social media presence has played a massive role in building a brand, and establishing its identity. The coming decade is set to rely on NFTs for the same purpose. Brands will create these digital collectables to create a community by infusing into them their values, visions, identity, etc. They will be gifted and sold to their target audience to create a brand presence that will create a long-lasting impact.
These assets will also help brands offer something to their loyalists, forging a stronger value for their products.
For example, Hot Wheels can create a digital vintage car that can be used for gaming. The iconic ‘Nike Air Jordon 1’ sneaker can be used in a digital wardrobe, and a Marvel action figure can be sold with every McDonald’s ‘Happy Meal’ as an NFT.
The use of NFTs as a marketing tool has already been tried and tested successfully by global market tycoons such as Coca-Cola, Taco Bell, and Marriott—brands can now readily deepen their customer relationship and unlock newer and creative vaults of more revenue.
While in March 2021 Taco Bell listed its brand-centric themed NFTs for customers to purchase, Marriot created three NFTs that conveyed travel stories and experiences to promote the Marriott Bonvoy travel programme. The three assets were unveiled at an event with three lucky attendees winning each of them along with a hefty number of Bonvoy points.
Going forward, brands will increasingly use the value of NFTs to strengthen their relationship with existing customers, and bring in newer ones. By selling, rewarding, and gifting their themed NFTs, marketers can unleash a new horizon with creative campaigns and strategies. All these tactics will further expedite the curiosity of the masses, leverage its value among the existing users, and create a whole new path among millennials.
In fact, market giants can also use it to guard and maintain their authenticity among a stream of knock-offs. With unique identifiers and digital certificates of ownership serving as serial numbers of sorts, brands can use NFTs for their products as a way to protect their brand’s image, and authenticity.
The Final Takeaway:
Marketing does not follow any set rules. Newer trends keep unrolling, opportunities for untapped creativity keep flowing, and revolutionary marketing tools keep surfacing. So, are NFTs long-term marketing tools? One can never tell, but for the near future, they certainly are the hook that unveils a sea of growth.