We all know that bitcoin created a buzz in the crypto world in the recent past but in our very fast-moving world, another digital asset is rising and it seems that it is going to stick around for a long time as it has so much to offer. Yes, you’ve guessed right. They’re the “NFTs” (non-fungible tokens).
In this piece, we will be walking you through how brands use NFTs to leverage their businesses by giving real-life examples. But first, if you need more detailed yet comprehensible info, we suggest you visit our previous blog post on NFTs before you continue reading.
NFTs can come in various file types to represent digital items such as art, photos, videos, and audio. They are so versatile, they can be used to represent other forms of creative work like virtual real estate, virtual worlds, fashion, and much more. Some of the brands have already realized the power of NFTs and released their own artwork. Before taking a look at those brands, it will be more insightful to know why brands create NFTs and how they benefit from them.
How can brands use NFTs?
- Integrate their existing goods and services with NFTs and increase brand awareness and affinity
- Create buzz around ownership
- Leverage dedicated fan base
- Allow resale to create a larger market
- Create enthusiasm for the pre-launch of products or events
- Open a new revenue stream by selling products in digital form or selling as side products complementary to the physical ones
Here are some great examples of brands leveraging NFTs:
Taco Bell’s Taco-llectables
Taco Bell released its taco-llectables on the marketplace Rarible, and quickly sold out its first batch. Taco Bell created 5 distinct NFTs, selling them in batches of five. They announced this initiative on Twitter as “Our Spicy Potato Soft Tacos can now love in your hearts, stomachs, and digital wallets.” The company will receive 0.01% of future sales, with all proceeds going to the Taco Bell Foundation, which focuses on helping young people find careers.
Asics Sunrise Red
Asics recently released ASICS SUNRISE RED™ NFT COLLECTION with a purpose of building a future where digital goods inspire physical activity. The company states that with the fast-developing technological advancements, ASICS wants to support a healthy balanced life by building connections between digital and physical activities. The collection features nine digital versions of ASICS footwear products, each offered in a Limited Edition collection with twenty NFTs each and a Gold Edition collection with one NFT each. The proceeds from the auction will be used to create ASICS Digital Goods Artists-in-Residence Program. This program will invest in the next generation of digital shoe artists with each partnership valued up to $250,000 to build beautiful digital products that inspire physical activity. Winning bidders will also be given the opportunity to unlock full 3D models of the shoes which can be used in rendering, animation or even a sporting piece in the wardrobe of avatars.
Fashion is yet another industry intrigued by the NFT bandwagon and there are proponent fashion houses leaning on this subject, believing that NFTs’ scarcity and ability to accrue value can bring digital fashion closer to real fashion.
Louis Vuitton made a collaboration with Riot Games’ League of Legends and created the skin, True Damage Qiyana Prestige Edition, which has the champion’s weapon covered in the iconic Louis Vuitton pattern. It was announced that an NFT skin for Senna, another member of the game, will also be designed.
Not only luxury fashion companies, but also startups in fashion are working on creating NFTs and one such startup is Neuno. Neuno’s CEO Natalie Johnson shared some very insightful words to Vogue Business when she said:
“For example, imagine if somebody bought the iconic J Lo Versace dress on our site. We are working with a social media platform that specialises in filters so the owner will be able to post a photo of themselves ‘wearing’ the dress, and we’re also working with one of Asia’s biggest games, so they’ll also be able to dress their gaming avatar in the dress. The buyer only needs to buy the NFT once and they’ll be able to use it in multiple different ways.”
F1 Delta Time
Disruptive technologies such as VR, AR, XR and many more are mostly first experienced in the gaming sector and grow out to other industries. This is quite natural as the gaming industry is the most convenient medium to test and launch these kinds of revolutionary technologies and similarly NFTs have a major presence in this industry and impact on gamers. One of Animoca Brand products is F1 Delta Time, a block-chain based game licensed by F1 and developed by Animoca Brands. The game consists of different racing game modes as well as collectibles based on NFTs and they include cars, race tracks, tires, drivers, gear and other components, and players are able to buy them as NFTs.
In an auction held in March 2021, the prices of the race cars were mind blowing and evoked the question in everybody’s minds: Why would anybody pay a digital car more than a real one? The motives for asking such a question is totally understandable but owning a race car is a rare opportunity and it is nearly impossible to find a real race car. Besides, the digital ones can be fancier than the real ones so it seems like a valuable asset to invest in.
One example is The F1 2020 70th Anniversary Apex Car sold in an auction for 987 thousand REVV, which is approximately $270.000 at the time of the auction. This makes this particular NFT the most expensive vehicle in the F1 Delta Time game. The buyer, who goes by the nickname Kuririn, already put the car up for sale, and they’re asking 3 million REVV. So, if this isn’t a motive to invest in NFT race cars, then what is?
“ Now that they can own them [in-game items], as NFT’s, they have the ability to trade them, sell them, and also a huge incentive to invest further into them, since they actually own them. Because gaming is the largest entertainment medium in the world, with a consumer audience almost as big as the global population, we think that NFT’s are the way to on-board the universe of gamers to blockchain.”Rubby Yung, Animoca Brands CEO
Atari, in collaboration with the crypto brand RTFKT Studios, released a series of digital sneakers that owners can use across multiplayer blockchain games, including Decentraland, The Sandbox, and the upcoming Atari Metaverse. The sneakers can also be tried on using Snapchat or the MetaverseMe App.
As you might guess, RTFKT has quite imaginative other designs. For instance, they created a slipper NFT named Doge Slipper, named after the famous Dogecoin, which seems to be the cutest and coziest slipper you want to get for your avatar. In case you wonder what kind of pieces they design, here’s a link for you. You may end up getting yourself one!
As a matter of fact, among all clothing items, sneakers stand out as a popular category of digital fashion. Even in the real world, there are quite a lot of sneaker fans, following every new trend, making a statement with their sneaker choice, and buying various sneakers as if they could create a wide collection out of it. And this mania doesn’t seem to alter in the digital realm. Digital sneakers hype many sneaker fans and NFT investors, allowing designers so much space to work on to create unique designs.
Putting this as a fact, Nike becomes one of the prominent brands which is aware of the interest in digital sneakers and received a patent for tokenizing them. Whenever a physical shoe is purchased, tokens will be unlocked and a digital copy of the shoe will be generated, collectively representing a CryptoKick. These tokens (basically NFTs) will be assigned to the owner via blockchain technology to verify authenticity and ownership and enable their owners some privileges such as having added control over the digital shoe.
For example, owners will be able to set limits on the number of clones or copies that can be produced. They can also grant rights to third parties who will be able to mix shoe designs. The NFTs will record the information of the “genotype” of that shoe such as its color, design and style so that if wanted, owners will be able to breed their shoes to mix and match different genotypes! If the offspring digital shoe is manufacturable, then the buyer of the original shoe will have a tangible, custom-made pair of shoes. The idea is similar to CryptoKitties, but with a cherry on the top: the opportunity of having a unique pair of brand-new shoes! As these transactions will be secured in the blockchain, the owners will be able to see the ancestral tree of their digital shoe as well. It would be no surprise if sneaker genetic engineers emerged within a couple of years!
Augmented Reality & NFTs
So far we’ve talked about NFTs that we can interact with and see through the screens of computers but this is not the only way NFTs exist. Actually, it’s just the baby steps of NFTs. Mostly due to the lockdowns during the pandemic, artists and digital creators seem to get more creative and push the limits of their imagination. So in 2021, we are introduced to AR NFTs. AR NFTs are unique, interactive 3D visual assets that can be experienced in our real-world environments, which is way cooler than normal NFTs as the owners of AR NFTs get to experience their asset, not only have it as a file on their desktops.
Argentinian designer Andrés Reisinger is among the futuristic designers too. He sold 10 pieces of surrealist furniture in an NFT auction, each can be placed in any metaverse. The 3D models can be used in virtual- and augmented-reality applications as well as development platforms such as Unity and Unreal Engine to create games, animations, and CGI movies. Reisinger is also going to turn selected furniture into real ones and send them to their buyers such as the “Time Table” piece below.
One apparent conclusion from what we’ve discussed is that as augmented reality, virtual reality and avatar economy are trending, NFTs will probably be one of the ways that we will conduct commerce in the metaverse.
This could be the start of a new era for brands — and those that act now can lead the change and prove their capabilities and foresightedness. Those who dismiss it, like social media and the internet were once, are going to regret it later.
How will you know if NFTs are suitable for your brand?
As virtual worlds continue to grow, the opportunities to employ virtual products will expand, more and more consumers and producers will benefit from them. To be prepared for this change and not to lose any chances to make money in this futuristic realm, it is crucial to act now. The metaverse we’re heading has so much to offer for brands, and so do we. As ART Labs: 3D & AR platform for e-commerce, we can help you digitize your products and bring them to life through our 3D and augmented reality solutions. You can contact our professional team for more information.