By Mirko Maccarrone, Director of Web3 at Lightblue
As the world continues to embrace the digital age, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have emerged as a game-changer in the realms of art, collectables, loyalty programs, and events. In this article, we will explore the dos and don'ts for brands venturing into the NFT space, discuss relevant case studies, and delve into the use of NFTs for events, outlining best practices and value for consumers.
DO: develop a clear strategy
Before diving into the NFT market, it’s essential to create a well-defined strategy that outlines the brand’s objectives, target audience, and desired outcomes. This ensures seamless integration of NFTs into the brand’s existing marketing efforts building a direct relationship with your customers.
A notable example is Starbucks, which introduced its first paid collection of 2,000 NFTs called “stamps,” each priced at $100. The less technical term lowered the barrier to entry for users, helping the collection sell out in under 20 minutes. The ‘stamps’ part of the Starbucks membership program, Odyssey, offers new benefits and immersive coffee experiences through gamified activities like games and quizzes. Rewards may include virtual classes, merchandise access, or Starbucks coffee farm trips at higher membership tiers. No crypto wallet or cryptocurrency is needed, making the Starbucks Odyssey experience accessible while strengthening customer loyalty and enhancing brand engagement.
Source: Starbucks Odyssey Market
DON’T: Jump on the bandwagon without research
The NFT market is in its early stages, and not all brands will benefit from adopting this technology. Conduct comprehensive research to determine if NFTs align with your brand’s values and objectives. Brands that have failed to do so often experience financial loss without providing any advantages to their customers.
With an increasing number of brands and events adopting NFTs, it’s crucial for marketing experts across the Middle East to stay ahead of the curve and harness the potential of NFTs to boost consumer engagement and unlock new revenue streams.
A prime example of best practice comes from Arts Dao Fest, a Web3 festival held in Dubai on March 11, 2023, which attracted over 2,500 attendees. The event was organized by Arts Dao, the largest Web3 community in the region, in partnership with Lightblue.
Source: Arts Dao Fest
In collaboration with NFTConnect.ai, an all-in-one event and NFT analytics platform, they created a treasure hunt during the festival. Participants were asked to search for Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) in the form of QR codes scattered throughout the beautiful 25 Hours Hotel in Dubai. Some POAP QR codes were hidden in books, others in the NFT gallery as part of the exhibition, and some at sponsor booths.
Source: POAP hidden in books at the 25 hours hotels in Dubai
ArtsDao | Lightblue | NFTConnect
The experience not only engaged the audience but also fostered friendly competition among them. A digital screen displayed who had collected the most POAP tokens, with the top three collectors winning popular NFTs.
This exceptional customer engagement could not have been achieved and tracked without leveraging Web3 technology, providing the audience with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Source: Instagram @ArtsDao
Here are some additional considerations to help maximize value for attendees and brands alike, unlocking the potential of NFTs for events.
To conclude, the adoption of NFTs for events in the Middle East offers a world of possibilities for event organizers and marketing experts, enabling them to create unique, engaging experiences for their audience while unlocking new revenue streams.
By adhering to best practices and focusing on value creation for consumers, NFTs can help revolutionize the way events are conducted and experienced, setting the stage for a new era of innovation and audience engagement in the Middle East.