As crypto has taken mainstage in 2021, the concept of non-fungible tokens (NFT) has exploded onto the scene right with it. Each NFT is a one-of-a-kind token that is verifiably unique through blockchain. The result has been rapidly growing interest and a liquid market to exchange these assets, many of which have appreciated in value. While the hype around NFTs has primarily been focused on the ownership of digital art, leading brands using NFTs to create unique consumer experiences, gather insights from communities in new ways, and drive brand loyalty are already on the rise.

Unique Consumer Experiences and Brand Loyalty

A key goal of digital marketing is to curate experiences for consumers that go beyond the product or service being sold. When these experiences surprise and delight the consumer and provide value to them, the outcome is an increase an in conversion, lifetime value, and the creation of brand advocates.

A key trend in digital marketing in the last several years has been personalization. Personalized messaging paired with personalized product creates a powerful relationship with consumers where they go directly to the brand for the most relevant information and the most tailored offerings.

NFTs offer a new avenue to deliver on both the experiential and personalization promises. NFTs are always one-of-one; a unique asset that that can be exchanged directly from the company to a specific consumer. There’s nothing more personalized than owning a one-of-one asset, with the proof of ownership distributed through a ledger.

There’s opportunity for companies to create NFTs and provide them to consumers in experiential and viral events like contests. For brands with loyal followings, these contests represent opportunities to collect significant first party data as audiences sign up to be considered for the NFTs.

Consumers that collect the NFTs have a unique relationship with the company. Companies can enhance their loyalty programs with unique experiences tailored to those that own the NFTs. In addition, the market for NFTs continues to become more liquid, and consumers can benefit from the financial appreciation of these assets as the brand and company grows.

Brands Using NFTs to Gain Insights from Communities

A key goal for any digital team is to identify actionable insights from consumers in the market and translate it into opportunities for the company. Companies spend a lot of resources building audience databases through email marketing, DTC sales, and other means to target them for promotion, but also to engage with them for testing and learning.

Typically, a company will create a small group from their database and engage specifically with them to try to gain feedback to improve their business. Whether it’s a survey or focus group, these feedback methods usually involve incentivizing the group through direct payments or discounts on future products or services.

In the future, a company could instead promise NFTs in exchange for a consumer’s insights on any test and learn areas including pain points, marketing claims, flavors and scents, promotions, and price. Highly loyal consumers would gain something more unique and personal than a discount code.

A program could be built around the exchange of insights for NFTs. The ownership of these NFTs could also unlock exclusive early releases of products, or experiences that are curated specifically for those owners. Marketing could partner with the NFT owners in novel ways to expand on the relationship between a brand and a representative consumer.

Similarly, a company could incent their communities to create content and generate buzz for a brand. A company could offer NFTs to those that create the best testimonials, reviews of the product, or articles about the company. This creates a flywheel effect as more content is generated as the company releases new NFTs designed around specific aspects of the brand, campaigns, or other special events.

In Summary – NFTs are more than art

NFTs represent an opportunity to provide something unique to consumers in exchange for their insights, all while driving loyalty. Instead of relying on traditional methods to capture consumer insight or drum up excitement for the brand, NFTs create something ownable for the consumers that appreciates as the brand grows.

Companies that lean into the NFT opportunity demonstrate that their brands leverage the latest technologies to create direct consumer relationships, capture first party data, and deliver on the promise of consumer loyalty.

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