For the past 6 months, I read, watched and listened to anything I could put my hand on related to corporate NFT. I especially deep dive into 26 specific projects (full list available below). I wanted to understand their drivers, their goals and hopefully learn from the mistakes made by these pioneers. As I was structuring my thoughts I was starting to realize how fragmented the info was and sharing my findings openly just made sense.
To make it digestible I’ve narrow it down to 3 key steps. So, without any further ado, here are the results of my study.
Set #1: Set your goal
Navigating across the whole web3 space could be overwhelming, as it opens up new paradigms and considerations about the digital space. Having a basic understanding of the macro concepts - Blockchain, Crypto currency, NFT, etc - is not easy but ignoring the topic would be an even greater mistake. If you believe a 2 hours private crash course for your executive team will be the right set up for your organization, that’s something we can help you with.
Once this macro understanding is reached, the very first question towards a concrete application would be the goal you will be pursuing. In order to help you with that quest, I’ve identified 3 possibilities that aren’t exclusive from one another.
- Generating PR and making your first step within the web3 world is still the #1 driver for most campaigns I’ve studied. It’s perfectly acceptable to build your first collections only hoping for positive feedback from specialized media or even the mainstream media. In fact, as expressed by the Harvard Business review, it’s probably the best reason, as keeping your expectations low is the best way to move fast and meet your goals.
- Building a new way to engage with your community/audience is the second motivation I’ve came across the most often. It also makes a lot of sense in a world where cookies are scheduled to disappear, relying on third party data is no longer an option. Hence, B2C brands have no other options than to create a direct relationship with their audience and NFT is a great tool for achieving it.
- Creating a new revenue stream is possible yet ambitious. At this stage, I would recommend it only to very large corporations capable of reaching a global audience and with a fine long term game plan.
Set #2: Define your audience
For a long time, I thought this was a binary question: am I targeting my existing community or am I hunting for new adopters? As I was interviewing project creators, I realized that the latter wasn’t really a thing. So far, I am unaware of any business increasing their user base simply thanks to your NFT drop. However, a more nuanced breakdown according to their level of maturity to the whole web3 narrative started to emerge. I’ve crafted 4 persona:
- The curious one: has none or extremely limited knowledge about NFTs but is a great supporter of your brand. As long as it is extremely simple to access, he/she will kindly accept to explore your campaign material. The moment it gets obscure, this persona will drop out. Note she/he is not interested in the blockchain, or in cryptos. She/he wants your stuff regardless of the format/content.
- The rookie: has been writing a couple of articles a month within the mass media. He/she might even have had some interactions with NFTs and/or cryptocurrencies. Even though, he/she still doesn’t understand many things about the blockchain and often feels insecure. This persona is willing to engage and learn as long as there is guidance and support to prevent costly mistakes. Finally, this person values your brand and fancy owning a piece of it.
- The connaisseur definitely owns crypto but maybe no NFT yet. He/she understands the macro concept of blockchain and is not afraid to post transactions on it but advanced concepts like layer 2, bridges, DAOs are not part of her/his vocabulary. FOMO is very present in this person’s decision making and his/her decision to grab one of your NFTs is not only collecting. He/she expects higher utility if not even a speculative value out of it.
- The WAGMI owns all sorts of tokens and firmly believes blockchain is part of the future. This person values the independence of a decentralized system and most often he/she is active on Discord servers. She/he is actively looking for interesting projects to invest in, either for personal (likes the project) or for economic reasons.
The answer to this topic will definitely have an impact on our project design and user experience, things like:
- Traditional web2 registration process or ‘purely wallet connect’?
- If wallet is an option should custodial be an offered option?
- Fiat or crypto payments?
- FAQ required or not?
Step #3: Choosing the right partner
So now, you know what you want to achieve and who is your targeted audience for your NFT project. It is time to face the harsh truth: your organization doesn’t have the skillset to implement and roll out this strategy. You need a partner, but who?
An investor in the space recently told me he hasn't figured out yet if corporates would be most likely to partner with a trusted established agency name or with young native web3 folks. Either way, this space is so new that no one could legitimately claim a multiple year expertise (if that is the case, you should probably run away).
In my opinion, there are 2 underlying questions to consider that may help you to find our best partner:
- Are you looking for marketing support, tech support or both? If you don’t already have a tech DNA, it’s unlikely you will put your hand on a Solidity developer - core language for the whole Ethereum ecosystem - yet alone a whole team. In case you need both marketing and tech support, agencies offering the full skill set are rare and extremely expensive. However, it’s not uncommon for a marketing agency and a technical startup to partner and offer their services as a bundle.
- Ultimately, do you expect to build this expertise internally - at least part of it? If that is the case, you should definitely aim for a local partner, speaking your native language and who is able to meet in person at least a couple times.
Below is a table recapping the different partner and technical decisions made for the 26 projects I’ve deep dive into.
AirGift is an NFT as a service platform enabling businesses to add digital offerings within their user flow and build up their own unique web3 community.