Brands En Masse Will Embrace NFTs And DAOs To Drive Early Product Feedback, Personalization And Customer Loyalty In 2022

One of the 6 Bold 2022 Retail And Retail Predictions I made at the beginning of the year was that “Brands En Masse Will Embrace NFTs And DAOs To Drive Early Product Feedback, Personalization And Customer Loyalty In 2022.” You can read the full analysis below, but I wanted to document the stories throughout the year that support the trend, and there are a lot of them.

2022 Retail NFT Tracker - Calendar Of 2022 Stories About Retail NFTs And DAOs

Full Research: Brands En Masse Will Embrace NFTs And DAOs To Drive Early Product Feedback, Personalization And Customer Loyalty

You’ve heard the stories. Someone bought a pixelated JPEG online and resold it for tens of thousands of dollars. But NFTs are much more than buying and selling JPEGs (and my Web3 friends would be appalled by such a simplification). NFTs are basically a deed to a digital ownership. Ownership of anything. Yes the original art of a JPEG, but also a digital authentication of your physical product, a membership in a community like a customer loyalty program, or an earned perk. Once you think of an NFT as a virtual deed or ticket to an experience, all kinds of new shopper offerings unlock.

And we began to see experimentation in late 2021. Macy’s offered limited edition NFTs to own the artwork for Thanksgiving floats that sold for between $15-300k!!! Nike bought a company that makes virtual NFT products and opened up virtual Nikeland on Roblox, where enthusiasts can buy and discuss virtual goods - a very clever way to gather and measure shopper feedback before products are manufactured. Expect to see lots of brands flood the dominant digital worlds like Roblox with branded goods sold on the open market, and at a much greater price than you might think.

Fred Segal launched Artcade, a “dynamic retail experience” that includes an NFT gallery on digital wall displays, physical and digital products for sale, and a streaming studio. Shoppers can buy NFTs on Coinbase. “The metaverse is going to happen in one way or another,” said Jeff Lotman, the CEO and owner of Fred Segal. “The idea of being involved in having a Fred Segal store in that world makes sense, because we’re always a place showing things that are really cool.” Even Forever21 launched a virtual fashion store in Roblox. This is definitely going mainstream.

But where this gets really interesting is when digital and physical worlds collide. Those who own a CocaCola NFT get a cool-looking branded CocaCola cooler. Fanatics in 2022 will open Candy Digital, a digital marketplace of virtual items licensed by sports leagues. What happens when owning that NFT gets you access to a real world athlete signing event, free spring training access, or early access to tickets for your favorite team?

As retailers look to cater to younger, digital audiences and plug into the multi-trillion dollar cryptocurrency wealth that has been created, will Chanel, Gucci or LVMH give early access to product launches and exclusive in-store events to NFT holders? Answer: yes. NFTs will become status tickets in the physical world and be thought of as much as membership into an exclusive community as much as virtual art or product owner. NFTs will become a loyalty club, but much more exclusive so as to retain value. Consider it Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket of sorts.

And since brand is all about community, in 2022, I predict that we will see a new type of “virtual-first” brand cross-over into physical world goods - and one that shows the escape velocity of the early days of Supreme. Certain NFTs allow you to leverage the artwork to create your own products, like owning the trademark. Bored Ape Yacht Club members are using their Apes to launch beer brands, children’s books, comic books and even clothing. Right now this is the field of experimentation. 2022 is when we see the trend go pro and generate sizable revenues.

Soon we will see this in collective organizations driven by members and perhaps in a new structure called a Distributed Autonomous Organization or DAO, whereby ownership of the company is via NFT and all decisions are made collectively to the owners. Can a world where value is often driven by exclusivity and rarity in access be driven by democratic principles? DAOs are much more than one person - one vote. Members can have outsized ownership stakes based on contribution, leading to both elements of leadership and community driven principles. I predict 2022 will see the year of the first successful 2022 DAO brand.

Digital and physical worlds are colliding. Are you ready? Book a Demo with Raydiant!