BY JANINA VINKLERE
The 2-day event NFT Paris grew from just 500 people last year to more than 18 000 people in February 2023. The audience was so diverse —from government officials and the First Lady of France, Brigitte Macron, to senior stakeholders of famous brands and DAOs, to professionals from the art, gaming, and digital fashion industries — the mix and quality of people was mind-blowing. The air was energized, conversations were lively, and everyone was in a good mood for networking.
As a first high-level takeaway, the majority of the visitors say that the NFTs, Web3, and the metaverse have a bright future and large potential. No, NFTs are not dead, the speculative hype is over, and now the focus is on different use cases and applications. Let's unpack a bit more and understand where the enthusiasm is coming from.
Disclaimer: No brand has figured out NFTs or the metaverse better than others. It is important to embark on the Web3 journey now. There is no need to be afraid, one doesn't have to go all in — there are light, medium, and difficult complexity approaches.
1. The founder of POAP studio Lucas Verra was short and to the point with their approach: while POAPs (NFTs) can take many forms, the throughline is that each one creates a story on how holders engage with your brand. NFTs are a tool for any meaningful moment of a brand or community to build a story. POAP is one of the few non-financial applications on the blockchain (no floor price, no Ether, and no gas fees). POAP has gotten much attention from the media, and Lucas quotes VogueBusiness when he says, "Proofs of attendance are Web3's new status symbol."
Lucas believes in tokenizing moments of engagement: be it a private event, metaverse activation, an exclusive VIP dinner or product launch, issuing a POAP or an NFT for the brand's special customer, or a community-building moment, as a way to build brand loyalty and engagement.
NFTs are creating a new paradigm - making moments part of the information on the blockchain and a new CRM. Now (Web2) brands are focused on, for example, name and email parameters, to name a few, as part of their CRM. In Web3, it is different - it is about moments and those can be saved on the blockchain (as NFT/POAP). These moments can be on Twitter Spaces, Instagram, or LinkedIn Live, an event, or in-store. With the help of wallets, one can start exploring where people have been, and what they are interested in.
Think forward: strategy with POAPs
Engage: distribute POAPs
Identify: who is engaging the most, see your largest fans and most loyal customers
Reward: based on the number of POAPs held, provide benefits such as a special invitation, discount, or any other (whatever you as a brand want to deliver).
2. Kimberly Knoller, CMO of unpaired: NFTs offer a direct link to fans that many musicians and brands couldn't own before. NFT can create a new relationship between fans, customers, brands, and creators, enabling recognition and rewarding those fans. Everything around NFTs as loyalty and rewards has potential. NFTs are changing the loyalty game: from being a brand's fan to an ambassador and an asset holder. An asset that has immediate or future value.
3. Liz Suman spoke about Playboy and their community building in the Sandbox metaverse. They saw new engagement forms from their community members and learned them better. Liz claims her favorite project example is related to the IP provided to the community. Rabbitars (Playboy NFT) holders also receive limited commercial access to Playboy IP via the DeRabbitives program, the first time offered to fans in nearly 70 years. Many holders used it and created their own projects and sub-communities. This way, Playboy was respectful of the ethos of Web 3 and PFP (profile picture) project cornerstones.
4. Olivier Moingeon suggests that Web3 can be seen as a new communication channel. It is going to be an addition to the existing digital marketing stack. As a new channel, it offers many new opportunities. It fills the gap between the powerful storytelling that brands (have spent a lot of money to create) have built in the stores and e-commerce.
E-commerce has become a quest for the path to conversion. Brands optimize the path to conversion, allowing customers to check out in 3 steps. The current e-commerce experience is 2D, flat, and has lost the storytelling aspect. Especially for brands with stores, as they lose the storytelling when customers go from store to e-commerce place. NFTs and the metaverse offer an opportunity to fill in this gap and extend brands' e-commerce and storytelling. For the first time, customers can hang out together and create a dialogue with each other and the brand.
Brands think that they have a community, but they don't; these are their followers. In the metaverse, customers can be involved, and brands can co-create with them. In the metaverse, brands can add products, brand discovery experiences, and NFTs as digital assets that can be worn or serve as an access key to a token-gated experience.
Many other speakers highlighted the same: NFTs offer new sales and co-creation dimensions as brands can invite others to co-build products. Then the sales process doesn't start with sales but with co-development.
Some brands have ambitious Web3 and metaverse roadmaps, and they will push the space forward, while others are not yet ready to go from an experimental point of view to testing and implementation.
There is no one secret formula to follow to launch your NFTs initiative. There are tons of ways to integrate NFTs and the metaverse into existing businesses and create new ones. Let's embrace it! The industry is thriving and full of opportunities for brands and creators.
Janina, the founder of Vividly space agency, supports Web3 startups as well as Web2 companies willing to enter the space by starting a Web3 loyalty and rewards program.
She created Vividly space to foster Web3 and metaverse adoption by the masses, especially female founders and entrepreneurs.
She hosts the META4 podcast, where Web3 use cases and the importance of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) aspects are discussed for the new space to flourish.
After 6 years in a corporate environment and 4 years in startups working with digital transformation and innovation projects, her experience helps other entrepreneurs to adopt new and innovative technologies for good.
In 2019 Janina interviewed the CEO of HPE and the CEO of ABB at the ABB customer event with an audience size of over 5000 people.
She has worked directly with the CDO (Chief Digital Officier) of ABB to drive internal innovation of the latest technologies, business models, and community building.
Janina is comfortable working with all different stakeholders, as long as the focus is on sustainable growth and innovation.