NFTs have become increasingly popular over the last few years, but it was in 2021 that they grew 11,000%, exploding into mainstream adoption. Companies and brands are implementing very creative strategies with NFTs and are utilizing them to provide a new, unique experience for its customers. Now if you’re unfamiliar with NFTs, don’t worry; a recent study has shown only one in four Americans can accurately define what an NFT is. So, what is this technology all about?



An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is a digital asset with a distinct and irreplaceable code for which ownership data is stored on a blockchain. They represent real-word objects like art, music, videos, and tickets, and are generally one of a kind, or at least one of a very limited-release. Essentially, NFTs are like collector’s items, but instead of getting an actual car to store in your garage, the buyer gets a digital file instead. NFTs can have only one owner at a time, and their use of blockchain technology makes it easy to verify ownership and transfer tokens between owners, which can only be bought and sold online with crypto.



What makes NFTs so popular is that the value of the item is determined by the community. The delegation of power goes from the few big companies to the people, which is particularly valuable for creators who have historically relied on third-party platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Spotify, to share their content and gain from it. This puts the power back into the community, allowing them to determine the value and decide what’s popular.



Brands are releasing NFT collectables (limited editions) for a number of great marketing reasons. They’re using them to open up new revenue streams and reach new audiences, to build brand loyalty, to boost their image, or even to raise money for a good cause. In addition to financial gains, many brands are using NFTs in a strategic way to achieve higher campaign results and provide a different and exclusive experience to their customers.


McDonald’s delivered it’s first-ever NFT promotion. The virtual art collection featured the McRib to commemorate the return of the limited-edition McRib to its menu in November. The collection of 10 individual McRib NFTs were only available to those who retweeted the brand’s invitation, generating almost 87,000 retweets. This created excitement about the product’s temporary return and limited availability.


Other companies are using NFTs as a way to provide unique experiences to their customers. Robert Mondavi, a Californian winery, launched the first NFT wine label collection. There are only 1,996 bottles collectible and traceable by blockchain technology. Each NFT of wine retails for $3,500 and has a key to unlock a bottle redemption, creating a fun and exclusive experience for label owners.


To celebrate Pride Month, Coca-Cola launched 136 digital collectibles in June, with the proceeds going to LGBTQIA+ charities. The pride-themed series of NFTs were designed by an LGBTQIA+ advocate, South African fashion designer Rick Minsi.


Breaking down barriers between the physical and digital world has allowed for penetration into markets that were previously intangible for brands. In addition to profits, companies have been achieving effective branding, delivering exclusive experiences with their customers, creating a sense of community, and reaching younger audiences who easily navigate new technologies.

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