Jeff Snyder is the founder and chief inspiration officer at Inspira Marketing Group, a brand experience agency headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., and New York City.
Four Tips to Provide an Exclusive Brand Experience by Using NFTs
As an event planner, you’re in the business of attention. You likely spend your days searching for ways to generate buzz and sustain audience engagement—an increasingly difficult feat in a highly fragmented marketplace. So it makes sense that you and others are looking toward a new trend: non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Unfortunately, interest in the NFT market reached its lowest point in May. Amid the crypto crash of 2022, people are pulling away from digital assets. But that doesn’t mean their value has disappeared. NFTs are inherently unique and exclusive, and they can be used to provide a better brand experience.
A limited-edition digital asset can be the ultimate status symbol. That’s why high-end designer brands have been some of the first companies to leverage NFTs. Gucci, for instance, collaborated with digital accessory shop 10KTF to release 11 “Picture for Proof” NFTs of digital outfits influenced by collections from Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director.
More recently, Japanese video game company Square Enix announced plans to create “story-focused” NFTs for its fans. The company sold off franchises earlier this year for funding to “foster solid IP,” and it appears NFTs will be part of this task.
If you’re also looking to engage audiences with exclusive brand experiences, try utilizing the power of NFTs in your event planning efforts with these four tips:
1. Make sure the NFT fits with the rest of the marketing plan.
Don’t just create an NFT for the sake of it. As with any other marketing campaign, you must consider the consumer experience every step of the way. Take Coca-Cola, for example. Last July, the beverage giant auctioned off its inaugural NFT collection on International Friendship Day. The collection of four multi-sensory NFTs, auctioned as one loot box, reimagined some of Coca-Cola’s most emblematic assets for the virtual world—using the idea of friendship as the connecting factor that kept the NFT launch tied to the overall marketing plan.
2. Start with collectibles you can use for events.
Collectible digital artwork is a great jumping-off point for brands that are interested in NFTs. Many people collect NFTs the same way they collect baseball cards or physical art. For example, hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg collaborated with artist BossLogic to create a comic book-like NFT titled “SUPERCUZZ.” The NFT collection, which dropped in mid-March, features five limited-edition comic book covers of Snoop Dogg as SUPERCUZZ, a self-made crypto-trillionaire from the fictitious Angel City who fights crime by night.
Superhero and Snoop fans alike will flock to this kind of release. But to tap into a wider audience, consider leveraging programmability to make your NFTs more collaborative and exciting. In doing so, you’ll unlock engaging experiences that allow owners to connect with not only your brand, but also one another.
3. Plan collectors’ experiences during events.
NFTs can also help build superfan communities around brands. Several projects, including Bored Ape Yacht Club, are now offering collectors’ experiences. In October 2021, BAYC hosted Ape Fest in New York City, which included an immersive gallery experience, a yacht party, a pop-up merch event and a warehouse party. Celebrities abound at these events, but many Bored Ape holders were most excited to connect with their peers.
4. Reward NFT holders with exclusive content.
In the realm of experiences, NFTs can unlock exclusive content that allows fans to connect directly with their favorite musicians, teams and personalities. So consider offering owner-only experiences, such as exclusive drops or early access to physical products, discounts or content. For example, the Utah Jazz launched virtual locker room NFTs that gave tier-one holders exclusive access to the team’s locker room using an Oculus headset. After the tour, they could attend a 30-minute Q&A with team owner Ryan Smith.
Want to raise funds for charity? Build communities of like-minded fans? The potential for NFTs is limited only by your imagination. Now the only thing left to do is figure out exactly how you will use NFTs in your event marketing strategy.