NFTs: The next significant (brand) direction?
Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but could it be that too many innovative ideas are met with everyday skepticism?
Take blockchain, for example: a system for recording blocks of information that are digitally initialed – like a unique fingerprint – making it difficult or impossible to change, hack or cheat the system.
Despite considerable scepticism, the distributed ledger technology behind blockchain has already powered important steps forward: from enhancing personal identity security and securing medical data to supply chain monitoring and beyond. And what’s further down the road?
Well, there’s a chance blockchain could also fundamentally change the way we consume experiences – including art, fashion, music, and film. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), in particular, are interchangeable, one-of-a-kind digital assets linked to physical entities. They can be bought and sold like any other piece of property, even if – breaking with traditions stretching back thousands of years – they have no tangible form of their own.
These digital trading cards are already changing hands for significant amounts of money. An animated Gif of Nyan Cat – a 2011 meme of a flying pop-tart cat – sold for over $500,000, while Christie’s sale of an NFT by digital artist Beeple for $69m set a new record for digital art.
So, NFTs are clearly up and coming… But what’s in it for brands? Above all, the rise of NFTs underlines that technology is shifting how we value and appreciate consumer goods. While we all have basic needs that need fulfilling (food, shelter, etc.), humans will always crave (and therefore value) newness and innovation.
The advanced technology that enables new forms of digital ownership also ensures scarcity and uniqueness. These too are strong drivers of emotional connection; people want what others can’t have. If things are scarce or in short order, they are inherently tipping the supply-demand balance in favour of the owner.
As experience creators, brands across industries should pay careful attention to the opportunities surrounding NFTs, as well as the factors that make them so attractive to people around the world. Indeed, as with all emerging technologies, surely there is no better moment than now to explore the possibilities of NFT’s to add value for your audiences.
Need further inspiration? Watch Nike shaking up the sneaker world or the NBA introducing NFT Top Shot tokens… With such exciting brands getting involved in this space, ‘NFTs’ may soon stand for Non Forgettable Trading!