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We get it! You just wrapped your head around the fact that your brand should be utilizing TikTok better and now you’re expected to become a crypto and NFT savant.
Don’t worry, this post is less about a movement you need to join right now and more a signal in the sky for a movement that you should be aware of in the near future.
As a brand, you are in a constant battle to not only lure new potential customers to buy your product, but you also need to retain and reward your current loyal customers. What good is a brand that is acquiring new customers with ease, only to lose 90% of them post-purchase?
Customer experience (CX) and the creation of brand loyalty are the bedrocks for successful brands when it comes to retention. Most of the brands that are excelling at CX are the DTC and Omnichannel brands you always read about. Whether it is Olipop, OffLimits, Mid-Day Squares, or any other fast-growing consumer brand, they are hyper-focused, nay…obsessed with consumer experience and brand loyalty.
They are hand-writing thank you’s for online purchases, they are updating their consumers at every point of the post-purchase cycle, and they are creating custom limited runs for their super users to potentially get their hands on.
With every brand fighting to provide their customers with the best experience possible and expand on their brand loyalty programs, it is only a matter of time until NFTs become a part of that CX and marketing stack. Before we dive into the why or the how, let’s first start with the what (or maybe the WTF if you are new to this whole NFT thing).
A quick Google search will yield you a description of NFT that sounds something like this, “A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger, called a blockchain, that certifies a digital asset to be unique and therefore not interchangeable. NFTs can be used to represent items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files.” - Wikipedia
Simple right!? Well if you need an even clearer description, I would check out this video which does an amazing job explaining the phenomenon. If you are still a bit confused, maybe Paris Hilton can explain it to you (that’s hot 🔥).
To me, the simplest way to view an NFT in the world of CPG is to hark back to the classic “Share a Coke” campaign. Remember those iconic coke bottles that had names printed on them. Imagine the Coke c-suite meeting for that one…I mean sure, we all love searching through the local gift shop to find miniature license plates with our name on them, so why not a Coke?
Let’s say your name is Tom, and you finally found your name on a Coke bottle. You’re most likely going to buy it or take a picture of it and boom, Coke has done their job. But the issue is that there are probably hundreds of thousands of Tom coke bottles on shelves, which now makes your Tom bottle feel a little less special. What if Coke, instead created an NFT of that same Tom Coke bottle?
They could create an image, upload that image on an NFT marketplace (Opensea is the most well known), get it minted (approved and onto the blockchain), and now that physical Tom Coke bottle is a one-of-a-kind piece of art that you now own and no other Tom in the entire world owns that one bottle.
It is safe to say your probably not losing Tom to Pepsi anytime soon and he is probably sharing and spreading the gospel of Coke with anyone he can, all while showing off his one-of-a-kind bottle that is 100% owned by him and non-replaceable.
If you are a cynic, you’re probably thinking that Tom is an idiot. He most likely just paid way more than he could have for the physical bottle and all he has is essentially a picture of the bottle to show for it. A picture that I could easily screenshot and “own” too. This is all true, but at the end of the day Tom really OWNS the actual digital token or piece of art, and that means something to him and to everyone who maintains the blockchain.
The easiest way to understand this is through art curation. Leon Black owns “The Scream” and paid over $115M to do so. That doesn’t stop the millions of people who buy and frame a print of this in their house nor does it lessen the emotional tie that Leon has to actually owning the painting himself. Human emotions can’t be discounted when understanding NFTs, and actually owning the original versions of something has deep-rooted meaning to all of us.
Hopefully, you have not bailed yet in the search of easier ways to grow your consumer experience and expand your brand loyalty tactics. Now that you hopefully understand what an NFT is and the emotional tie that the owner has to it, we can easily follow those breadcrumbs to how your brand can utilize NFTs.
Your brand is constantly doing giveaways, putting out content, and creating limited or seasonal product extensions. These types of strategies are at the core of what all successful NTF artists and communities do, and you are already doing all of them!
All you have to do is take the plunge and add NFTs into that repertoire.
Here are some examples for NFTs you could run for your brand:
The options are unlimited to how you can creatively use NFTs to grow brand loyalty and your overall consumer experience. I do think there is one major thing that I have not covered, and that is the fact that NFTs are being sold for a lot of money right now.
I mean cartoon apes are going for almost $100M, so if you have created a brand that has a strong following and has the ability to create NFTs that will resonate with that community, you can easily use the process as a way to fund your business as well. If I was running a CPG brand right now, I would be focused on how the sales from our NFT collections could cover our digital marketing and trade spend cost so that it doesn’t eat into our product margins.
To wrap up this post, I just want you and your brand to think outside of the box and creatively when it comes to everything you do. The playbook of old for CPG brands to succeed is now being replaced by a handful of brands that are rethinking the way they can grow and reach more customers. Embrace and be curious about what is new, and don’t be a cynic about things just because you might not be the customer for it.
Remember, cynics get to be right, optimists get to be rich.
Thanks so much for reading my first Substack post. Please subscribe if you are interested in getting weekly posts that are all about the future of CPG and retail.