Heritage Vs. Emerging Brands – How to Ensure Successful Web3 Execution
As the use of digital products continues to grow, brands have the chance to foster long-term engagement and brand loyalty through immersive experiences. Legacy and up-and-coming brands may use different strategy approaches to create activations and collections. Matias Marquez, CEO and Co-founder of ethos, led an engaging discussion at the June, 2023 D2 X RICE Conference in Chicago.
As a new brand, Liquid Death has gone straight after fans (customers) through it’s Murder Head Death Club NFT collection, where owners are entitled to VIP benefits like exclusive items, access to VIP events, and special pricing on merch. Says Shahab Shirmohammadi, Liquid Death’s Marketing Strategist, “we’ve experienced and experimented a lot in the space and things that are working for us is to give exclusive VIP access from our holders to our owners, as people want to be associated with the brand”. They have token gated conversations on their discord channel with high level executives. And, merch sells quickly!
Size of the Brand Budget for Successful Web3 Execution
Small brands may feel challenged around budget, but Web3 can be inexpensive. It’s unique, and it’s ok to start slow. As an emerging brand, Beauty Magnet is a startup. They were a “hard no” on NFTs because it sounds too techy, overwhelming, and expensive, or so they thought. Elizabeth Kennedy, CEO, explained that with their subscription model, “they wanted to turn NFTs into a gifting program”. This is not just for large brands, and small companies can “everyone can have a piece of it, and make it their own…I’m excited to be the first in beauty to really tap into this”.
When Puma first started, they started with the “Decentraland fashion week” said Ivan Dashkov, Head of Web3. They had a designer who spearheaded some unique items, including a Puma wedding dress, and they created NFTs to sell. Then, they partnered with a small partner on an NFT project to provide some branded hoodies. “The risk for us was really very low….we let them take the reins”, and it was a good set of stepping stones to get us started in their Web3 journey.
Moving the Needle Internally
Getting approval for Web3 projects is a real challenge and barrier for many. At the beginning of the internet, there was a need for payments and shipping solutions. Shahab says think similarly and “start small, build out a community, the best way may be a free mint, then slowly see what emerging technologies help you to innovate”.
Elizabeth says “I love innovation, that’s the reason I started my company….for me, I want to be ahead of the curve…how can we be different? And, “How can we do that in a way that’s digestible…for me, that’s around awards.” Speak to investors in a way they understand.
For Puma, the advice is to “start small, get results, then broadcast results internally”. Funds are not unlimited, even for a big brand, but for Ivan, he did get lucky, as his “Head of Marketing and CEO have been fully onboard to explore the space”, because they don’t want to miss the next major shift.
Better Practices for Getting to Mass Adoption
The industry has several hurdles, including crypto scams and the flawed UX for users for things as simple as crypto wallets. Educating the masses will be important to provide easy onboarding and adoption. Brands need to ask themselves:
- How can our tech be seamless?
- Are there ways customers can still engage if they don’t have a wallet, or an NFT?
- Does our Web3 project provide short and long-term utility?
- Can AI technology play a role?
- How can brand digital experiences, like mobile gaming, delight the customer?
- Are there ways we can collaborate with others?
- Are we really listening to our community?
To hear more about what Beauty Magnet, Liquid Death, and Puma and doing in the Web 3 space, watch the video here.