"The way everybody in business needs a Social Media account to be relevant in 2021, is the same way in 2025 that everybody is going to need an NFT strategy".
'What, wait, hold on a second, an NFT strategy, NFT WTF! We just nailed Linkedin!'
I hear you! So what is this latest and greatest thing coming out of the tech world, promising to transform businesses or leave us behind if we don't adopt it!!?
Well NFT's might not be as crazy as they sound and they could surpass social media as a viral and low-cost way of marketing your business... probably.
NFT - New Fad Trending?
So what is an NFT, (Non-Fungible Token)? Well, in its most basic form it's an entry on a blockchain, think cryptocurrency but for art. At least this is how it has started. An NFT is proof of ownership via a 'smart contract' that is recorded on a blockchain. Stating that you own a piece of digital art or video or in fact anything digital... even a tweet!
Famously in March 2021, Jack Dorsey sold the first-ever tweet as an NFT for a staggering 2.9 million dollars! To be clear he didn't even sell the rights to the tweet, or stock in Twitter, he just sold the blockchain record or Non-Fungible Token which gave nothing more than bragging rights of 'ownership'... for nearly $3m!
Think of NFTs as digital deeds in a virtual world. You can buy digital art from any of the new marketplaces that are popping up such as https://rarible.com/ and store them in your digital wallet as a collectible! With the blockchain providing providence relating to ownership and authenticity.
Because of Blockchain technology, there is a complete public history of ownership, reselling, and usage of the NFT. The contract is as much part of the 'object' as the object itself. Solving the age-old problem of paying resale royalties to the creators in-perpetuity, as the contract is bound to the art.
But this is where we must leave the present and turn to futurists like Gary Vaynerchuk to see how this digital equivalent of collecting sports cards, art, or even postage stamps could become your newest marketing initiative.
The answer lies in the Smart Contracts. A Smart Contrat is a set of rules that you create that are associated with the ownership of the 'collectible' you own. For instance, a sports card may also contain a ticket to attend a sporting event, or it may grant you a 20% discount for life at the team's online store.
The NFT flex!
It's a belief in the NFT community that as we move into a more augmented reality (pun intended) we will be able to display our NFT's publically in the same way we share our photos on Instagram or our videos on YouTube.
They will become part of our online identity, where we will adorn brands and badges in the same way that we wear a Nike logon on our trainers, or how we 'like and follow' our local restaurant on Facebook for all to see. We will fill our public wallets with NFTs displaying our taste in art, season tickets, signed photographs, VIP memberships, or the video clip of Michael Jordan wearing a pair of trainers that we just bought.
This is where the new marketing opportunity comes in, especially for consumer brands.
Instead of buying an invisible VIP membership for your favorite food delivery company, you could own a digital 3d golden kangaroo statue that not only adorns your public wallet for all to see but also acts as your discount voucher ensuring your priority service and discounts.
For brands and marketers, they can issue as many NFT's as they want, for instance, a new campaign for a fizzy drink promotion could issue 10,000 NFTs of an original music clip from a famous singer which includes a discount offer for the drink. As visitors check out the wallet they play the clip and the drinks brand is promoted, for free.
If you think this sounds crazy, how many times have you seen somebody buy a car, a dress, luggage, or a t-shirt just for the brand name?
Look how millennials customize their Instagram pages with color schemes or gamers pay for upgrades to virtual avatars for new clothing or modifications.
Online image now matters to consumers just as much as owning physical brands!
Dawn of the Digital Wallet
Ok, this may seem a little sci-fi right now, but the rapid adoption of NFT's can not be ignored, recently an NFT was sold at Christie’s for $69 million!
But one step at a time. Digital wallets will be part of all our futures even if we don't store NFTs in them. They are used now for a variety of reasons such as storing: cryptocurrency, loyalty cards, and important documents due to their safety and convenience.
It's early days for NFT's but there are a couple of steps you can take to prepare yourself for the Digital Wallet revolution right now:
- Download the Folio Wallet - This is a great starting point for moving your plastic cards and identity documents into a digital format and getting familiar with a digital wallet. The Folio wallet rates 4.9 out of 5 on the Apple store and the perfect way to see how wallets can work for you. http://folio.id
- Visit an NFT marketplace and browse digital art for yourself https://opensea.io/ or https://superrare.co/ are good places to start.
- Stay up to date as the market develops, at Folio, we will bring you news on how digital identity and mobile wallets are shaping our lives and workplace. https://www.linkedin.com/company/folioltd/