NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have swept through culture quickly and in unexpected ways. From Steph Curry utilizing an NFT to make his Twitter profile that of the #BAYC character, to entire communities springing up around art set NFTs, including Bored Ape Yacht Club and ArtBlocks, NFTs have captured our imagination and created an estimated $100 million economy. It's clear NFTs are enabling creators to find a direct connection with their audience and get paid, which has led to emerging communities and, of course, status. NFTs are already a hit with consumers, but what if they show the way forward for brands too?
How brands can build community
NFTs are being used by artists and decentralized organizations to collaborate within their communities. Yet, brands are underutilizing the power of NFTs as a tool for collaboration and community building. NFTs unlock an ability to self-assemble and manage. Early examples include the One-Per-Day Nouns NFTs, which show how a small group of creators built an algorithmically generated set of characters and hit on a unique distribution mechanism—each would be auctioned, with a new auction starting as the last ended. The characters have a quirky wit to them, and this, plus the unusual distribution mechanism, led to intense interest and engagement. Each auction winner owns both the Noun and a share in the DAO that controls the project.
The project amassed a treasury of more than $32 million and the Noun owners have voted to give some of that back—they are building a skate park. The collaboration goes even further—every Noun is in the public domain and the project includes a Noun playground. This means others are remixing and building their own Noun derivative. This decentralized collaboration makes each original Noun more valuable by broadening the base of awareness of the project. This kind of collaborative play has huge implications for brands.