6 Best Examples of NFTs and Metaverse Marketing Brand Strategy in 2023
Marketing brand strategy in the metaverse and NFTs explained. What every CMO needs to know about it. Get inspired by six examples in action.
As the digital world evolves, so should your marketing brand strategy. It’s essential to keep up with the trends shaping consumer behavior.
In 2022, the most significant trends are the metaverse and NFTs.
So how can you capitalize on these opportunities and future-proof your strategy?
In this guide, we will explore how the metaverse and NFTs impact marketing brand strategy. You’ll learn why they matter and what to expect.
We’ll also look at some examples of how brands are using NFTs and making an impact in the metaverse.
Let’s get started.
NFTs and the Metaverse Explained
Before we get to the impact and examples, let’s define exactly what these two trends are.
NFT is an abbreviation for non-fungible token. These tokens are digital assets that can be owned, purchased, and sold like any other asset.
Every NFT is unique and cannot be replicated. It has a digital certificate of ownership on the blockchain.
Often an image, gif, or digital item acts as an identifier to represent the unique NFT code.
In simple terms, the metaverse is a virtual space where people can interact. It’s a digital extension of the real world.
That’s the short answer. But the metaverse has the potential to be the biggest evolutionary step of the internet.
At the Connect 2021 conference, Mark Zuckerberg described the metaverse as “a virtual reality construct intended to supplant the internet, merge virtual life with real-life and create endless new playgrounds for everyone — you’re going to able to do almost anything you can imagine.”
How These Technologies Impact Your Marketing Brand Strategy
Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at the impact on marketing brand strategy.
Why should you care?
The metaverse and NFTs are not just a passing trend.
The global metaverse market is expected to be worth over $1.54T in less than 10 years, with a CAGR of 41.7%.
NFTs are predicted to achieve similar growth. By 2030, the global NFT market is expected to reach a value of $300B.
This is a huge step comparable to the rise of the internet or the social media boom of the 2000s.
The metaverse, NFTs, and web 3.0 could revolutionize the buyer’s journey. It will change how people learn more about products, get purchasing inspiration, and buy from brands.
There will be new business models, new ways to engage audiences, and the potential for mass disruption.
6 E xamples of NFTs and Metaverse Brand Strategy Marketing
So how can you reduce digital uncertainty and adapt your branding marketing strategy to incorporate the metaverse and NFTs?
One of the best ways is to see how companies are already achieving success with these technologies and enhancing brand experience.
Here are six examples of how brands are using the metaverse and NFTs for marketing.
1. Sell Digital Products to Avatars
One of the biggest opportunities for brands is to see digital goods in the virtual world.
Many leading brands are already capitalizing on this trend by offering NFTs in the form of collectibles and clothing and accessories for avatars.
In December 2021, Nike announced the acquisition of FTFKT, a digital design studio that produces unique digital goods that avatars can wear in the metaverse.
In May 2021, Gucci partnered with Roblox to create the ‘Gucci Garden Experience’ event on the Roblox platform. Users could try on and purchase Gucci digital goods for a limited period.
After the event, the digital Gucci goods were resold on the Roblox marketplace. A Gucci Dionysus Bag With Bee was sold for $4,115 – more than the real-world retail price of £3,400.
The rise of digital goods and NFTs provides an additional revenue stream for brands.
This direct-to-avatar (D2A) business model could be an important part of marketing brand strategy in the metaverse.
2. Virtual Pop-Up Stores
Virtual pop-up stores are not a new trend. But they could become increasingly important for brand marketing strategy in the metaverse.
Brands can create immersive experiences for consumers to buy real-world and digital products.
Disney is one of the brands to already capitalize on this trend.
In 2020, Disney partnered with fashion brand Coach and NY artist Keith Haring to create a virtual pop-up store to promote a new range of fashion products.
Users could explore the virtual pop-up store and product range. When users clicked on a product, they were directed to the checkout on the Coach e-commerce store.
Tilak Mandadi, former executive vice-president of digital at Disney, wrote a LinkedIn post about the metaverse and how the brand planned to capitalize on the opportunity.
As we look to the future, connected park experiences that transcend the physical and digital barrier and unlock new layers of storytelling are a very exciting focus of ours. I call this concept the “theme park metaverse.”Tilak Mandadi, former executive vice-president of digital at Disney
3. Virtual Try-On
The increasing adoption of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology provides an excellent opportunity for brands to create immersive ‘try-on’ experiences for users in the metaverse.
In 2020, Gucci partnered with Snapchat to create buzz around its new range of sneakers. Users could try on up to four pairs of sneakers using Snapchat’s AR capabilities.
If a user liked the product, they could go directly to the checkout page on the Gucci website with a single click.
While the goal was primarily to raise brand awareness, it generated significant sales through the AR app experience campaign.
4. Branded Characters and Locations in the Metaverse
Many brands have successfully entered the metaverse by partnering with games to create native promotional content and branded characters and environments.
This is an effective way to enhance the experience for users, rather than interrupting the flow of the game.
For example, Sentosa Development Corporation partnered with Animal Crossing to create a virtual Sentosa Island during the pandemic. Players could explore the island, visit attractions, and take part in activities from their homes.
Animal Crossing also partnered with Deliveroo to recreate the real-world service in-game. Users could order virtual food and have a virtual Deliveroo driver deliver it to their location in the game.
Players that ordered the virtual food were rewarded with promo offers and discounts to encourage real-world sales.
5. Virtual Influencer Marketing
Annual influencer marketing spend is estimated to reach $15B in 2022.
With the growth of the metaverse, an increasing percentage of marketing budgets are set to be spent on virtual influencers.
Virtual influencers are digital characters that exist in the metaverse and social media platforms.
Currently, the most followed virtual influencer globally is Lu do Magulu. The character was initially created in 2009 to promote iBlogTV for Magazine Luiza.
Lu do Magulu now regularly features as a part of influencer campaigns for Brazilian cosmetics and retail brands.
The virtual influencer has built up a following of over 14M on Facebook, nearly 6M on Instagram, and over 2.5M subscribers on YouTube.
Many celebrities have partnered with brands to create virtual versions of themselves for marketing campaigns. For example, CGI versions of Kendall Jenner and Naomi Campbell were both part of Burberry’s 2021 TB summer monogram collections.
6. Build Brand Awareness With NFTs
In December 2021, Marriott became one of the first travel and hospitality brands to embrace NFTs into its brand marketing strategy.
The company partnered with artists to create three unique travel-themed NFTs and promote its Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program.
Marriott unveiled the NFTs at an event during the Art Basel exhibition. The NFTs were sold at auction after the event. The winning bidders received the NFT and 200,000 Bonvoy points that can be exchanged for hotel stays and travel experiences.
The NFT promotion helped increase awareness around the Bonvoy loyalty program and the Marriott brand.
In a statement, Brian Povinelli, senior vice president of brand, loyalty, and portfolio marketing at Marriott International, spoke about the brand’s vision for the metaverse and NFTs.
We continuously seek opportunities to defy what is conventional and, with our entry in the digital goods space, we are further igniting the transformative power of travel in the virtual world while supporting this growing community of incredibly talented artists.”Brian Povinelli, SVP brand, loyalty & portfolio marketing at Marriott International
How to Future-Proof Your Brand Marketing Strategy
It’s important to note that we are only at the beginning of a new era. The metaverse, NFTs, and other emerging technology trends will shape the digital consumer landscape.
What will your brand strategy look like in 5 years?
Making sure that your brand doesn’t get left behind as consumer habits evolve should be a top priority for every CMO.
You need to keep up with trends and adapt your marketing brand strategy to stay relevant. There’s a huge opportunity for those that move quickly.
All the steps of an audit of your current digital marketing strategy, and how we can help