More and more brands are turning to digital trends to reach their audience. While many companies are innovating how consumers experience their brand in the metaverse, others are dipping their toes into the uncharted world of NFTs.
Before we dive into the technical terminology, let’s talk about what exactly an NFT is. An NFT is a digital format used by artists and businesses to create all kinds of digital art, including images, GIFs, videos, music, games, and in some cases, virtual lands. Often people think of NFTs as something anyone can have just by downloading the art.
While it is true that art lovers can download artwork, it is important to remember that it is not the NFT itself. That is to say, it is a copy of the NFT, but it is not the original. To demonstrate ownership of an original work of art, owners can view blockchain technology that proves their connection to the artist and the work.
To give a concrete example, owning an NFT is like owning Michelangelo’s David. Although anyone can make an exact copy of it or take pictures of it, there is only one owner. In the case of the famous marble statue, this owner would be the Italian government, which has the corresponding documents necessary to prove its ownership. The same principle applies to NFTs.
Likewise, in the fashion industry, owning original or limited edition pieces is an integral part of what makes big brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry and Hugo Boss as in demand as they are. The next logical step in their marketing strategy would be to dive into NFTs, which promote and exude exclusivity.
To celebrate Louis Vuitton’s 200th anniversary last summer, the iconic brand launched a mobile game app where players could discover its rich history, play mini-games and win the chance to win Louis Vuitton NFTsincluding postcards and avatars.
The luxury fashion house has announced that players who reach a certain number of points will be given the opportunity to participate in a raffle, which will end on August 4 this year. Ten random winners will receive Louis Vuitton NFTs of the game’s main character, Vivienne, the company’s logo fashioned into an adorable mini humanoid figure.
The creation of video games, which offer consumers an intimate and interactive way to engage with the brand’s story and values, also positions the brand in favor of increasingly popular digital platforms and experiences like the Metaverse. Louis Vuitton seems to be taking the digital market and Metaverse by the reins, its marketing strategy paving the way for other fashion houses.
Among the many high fashion brands that have been quick to use NFTs in their marketing strategies, Burberry was one of the first to collaborate with the gaming industry. By partnering with Mythical Games, Burberry created NFTs for Blankos Block Party, an online multiplayer shooter. The NFTs feature a cute human-shark hybrid surrounded by cash and sporting a Burberry logo printed on its fins.
Hugo Boss is another brand that has ventured into the burgeoning world of digital art. Like Burberry, Hugo Boss collaborated with Boss Beauties to create an NFT with the aim of helping marginalized young women succeed in the workplace. The NFT represents a classic white t-shirt, with a confident young woman in the center. The two brands intend to auction the NFT online and with the proceeds fund their Dream like a boss program that will provide young women with the resources to succeed in professional settings.
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As experts, artists, and brands learn more about the Metaverse and the digital marketplace in general, it’s still too early to tell in what direction NFTs will take art and fashion. Either way, it’s safe to say that in the few years that NFTs have been available to the public, they’ve taken the market by storm.
Given the incredible advancements Bitcoin has achieved in less than fifteen years, NFTs seem to be following a similar path, gaining more and more relevance at an accelerating rate. Though they may seem like a wacky idea too difficult and intangible to imagine its practical use, there’s no denying that the new digital format is here to stay. Especially for their invaluable assets for marketing and PR strategies, NFTs have built a tailor-made niche for the fashion industry.