This blog was originally posted on medium
This story is written for brand owners, whether they are corporates or individuals, from a fan’s point of view.
We all have heard of NFTs and how artists and investors can make a wondrous amount of money by publishing and investing digital contents on the blockchain. Creating and/or investing in NFTs have become such a gold mining phenomenon that virtually everyone with an internet connection and a crypto wallet have tried to list something on NFT marketplaces to see if they can make money.
Hopefully by the time you are reading this story, you have already fulfilled the urge to try to mine NFT gold and have calmed down enough to thinking about how the underlying technology of NFT can be used for real world applications that will last for generations.
Today, we will explore why we think this technology is a perfect tool for brand owners to create a unique engagement experience for your fans.
But before we talk about the how, let us take a dive into the why.
The illustration below is taken from the book PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow by Chip Conley. Pete describes how companies can use this pyramid as a model to build a successfully customer loyalty following. Every level inside the pyramid is a psychological state for a customer, and if a company is successful in leading their customers up the levels, the customers will not only be committed to the brand, but also become evangelists that help to bring in more customers.
- Meeting your customers’ expectations
We will not elaborate here. If you are a company then you should already have the basics down: a product that fits your customers’ basic needs with proper pricing so that you have an adequate customer base that keeps your business afloat.
2. Meeting your customers’ desires
Deliver something more than your fans expect. Most of the time customers have social and belonging needs that can be satisfied by providing great and caring services, or having an engaging fan community. Some customers love to be surprised by a customized experience. Have a great relationship with your customers is a great way for you to listen to their needs and experience on what works.
3. Meeting your fans unrecognized needs
The experience that you provide help your customers find an identify. Tesla customers (like myself) feel like they are advanced and visionary because they drive a good looking and technology advanced car while also contributing to environmental efforts. Apple fans feel like they are stylish rebels of the society because of the way Apple constantly challenges the norm with their well designed products. Think and design long and hard about the vision of your experience for your customers to re-discover themselves, and they will become loyal evangelists to your company.
PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow by Chip Conley
With this in mind, let us bring in crypto tokens and NFTs to power charge your pyramid.
Let us first start by looking at how you can leverage the NFT technology.
NFT, simply put, is a blockchain technology that guarantees a highly secured and highly accessible proof of ownership to a piece of digital file. In the case of a brand, a brand owner can create NFTs that proves the brand authenticity of the NFTs, and let your fans own the NFTs to satisfy their desire to be own part of the brand. We call these branded NFTs. Some examples of brand NFTs are:
- Digital files from brand’s creation journey
Contents that you have written, drawn, or recorded that are highly instrumental to the creation of your brand. These are highly emotionally valuable to your fans to own.
- Digital memberships
Issue memberships for your fans so they feel they are part of your brand community. Design a membership pyramid so that the more engaged the fans are, the higher up in the membership pyramid they can climb. Higher status members get more access to rare contents and experiences.
- Locked contents
Lock secret contents inside a NFT that fans can only access once they own the NFT. The secret contents do not have to be just digital files. They can be VIP ticket to an event, link to a special location, etc.
- Stamp rallies
Collect a specific NFTs to be able to exchange for a rare NFT. Great for a time limited engagement event.
Now comes the question of how a brand owner can reward NFTs to their fans.
First of all, rewarding is a one way ticket and is not the most engaging way to connect with your fans. A brand owner should also provide ways for the fans to be able to exchange for your NFTs.
This is where crypto tokens come into place.
With blockchain technologies maturing, it is now very easy to create your own token. Issue those tokens to your fans or let your fans buy those tokens, and then set your NFTs to be exchangeable with only the tokens that you have created. The concept is called branded tokens.
Your branded NFTs are only exchangeable with branded tokens. So that only true fans of your community will be able to have access. You now not only have an happy community where fans feel they own digital pieces of the brand, but also a circulating economy enabled by your own branded tokens and empowered by your happy fans.
We look forward to hearing about the happy economies that you build. Join our discord server to share your stories with fellow brand owners who want to make a difference and leave their legacies forever on the blockchain.