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Jessica Hulett
Content Manager, Brand @ Yotpo
March 30th, 2022

15 Brands That Are Leading the NFT Revolution

These innovative brands are using NFTs to boost awareness, build community, and promote customer loyalty

Table Of Contents

As you may have noticed, NFTs are having a moment. NFT sales topped a whopping $24.9 billion in 2021, up from just $94.9 million just one year earlier. They’ve been huge for the art world, gaming, and building online communities — like the celeb fave Bored Ape Yacht Club — and we even launched the Fabulous Flamingo Club here at Yotpo. And now, brands are starting to get in on the action, too.

Though NFTs are mostly being used by large corporations and luxury brands right now, some smaller D2C brands are moving into the space as well, and we expect to see that trend continue. From collaborating with artists to release on-brand digital artwork to giving NFTs away as a loyalty perk, the possibilities are endless. Here are some ways that brands are using NFTs to boost awareness, build community, give back, and promote customer loyalty.

Nike

The sneaker brand was an early adopter of NFTs, and they’ve gone all in on the metaverse. They’ve done NFT collaborations with artists and Bored Ape Yacht Club, launched NIKELAND, an immersive 3D world on Roblox, and filed trademarks for virtual goods. They even partnered with the University of Oregon to release limited-edition Air Max 1s as both NFTs and physical sneakers, jumping on the trend of combining metaverse perks with IRL ones. And in December 2021, Nike acquired RTFKT, a leading creator of virtual sneakers, collectibles, and experiences. Nike is sure to roll out some exciting and innovative NFT projects in the year ahead.

Clinique

The beauty brand recently created NFTs dedicated to their most popular products to drive customer loyalty and adoption. Instead of selling the tokens, Clinique held an exclusive giveaway to members of their Smart Rewards loyalty program. Members submitted stories about who brings joy to their lives every day, or how they bring optimism to those around them, on social media with the hashtag #MetaOptimist, and three winners were chosen to receive free products for 10 years along with one of the NFTs.

Mid-Day Squares

Buzzy chocolate brand Mid-Day Squares is taking its beef with one of the world’s biggest chocolate brands to the metaverse. In 2021, Hershey sent the brand a cease and desist letter over the use of the color orange on their product packaging. In response, Mid-Day Squares released a diss track aimed at Hershey’s, and will transform 600 moments from the accompanying music video into NFTs.

OffLimits

OffLimits is a cereal brand that wants to break out of the traditional breakfast mold, so it’s only fitting that they’d be one of the first to explore NFTs. The brand has partnered with a team of artists to create NFTs of their mascots. Token holders will then have the opportunity to collaborate on a box design featuring all of the NFTs, taking the concept of cereal box prizes to a whole new level.

Liquid Death

Edgy water brand Liquid Death has taken its shock-value brand of marketing to NFTs with a collection of 6,666 severed heads and a community dubbed the Murder Head Death Club. The perks associated with the club increase based on how many you own — one gets you access to a private Discord community, tickets to IRL events, and access to exclusive merch, and if you buy 666 NFTs, you get a mysterious award that hasn’t been officially announced.

Coca-Cola

The iconic soda brand recently created and sold a “loot box” containing “multi-sensory, friendship-inspired NFTs.” Housed in a digital vintage Coca-Cola cooler, the box held three branded NFTs — a bubble jacket to be worn in the Decentraland 3D virtual reality platform, a sound visualizer featuring the sounds of a Coca-Cola, and a friendship card with refreshed artwork from 1948. Many brands combine blockchain and IRL perks for NFT holders, and Coca-Cola gave the winning bidder a real-life, fully stocked Coca-Cola refrigerator. The brand donated the more than $575,000 the NFTs fetched to Special Olympics International.

Kia America

Carmaker Kia America launched a series of 10,000 NFTs on Super Bowl weekend, featuring Robo Dog, the star of the brand’s Super Bowl ad. The brand will donate the majority of proceeds to Petfinder Foundation, which helps animals in need find their forever homes. To generate excitement, Kia first gave out 10,000 free Robo Dog Adoption Pass NFTs on a first-come-first-served basis.

Ray-Ban

Showing their support for art and artists, the sunglass brand collaborated with digital artist Oliver Latta to bring their iconic aviators to the metaverse. Proving that volume isn’t required in order to make a splash with NFTs, they sold a single NFT as a charity auction for the Italian Art Trust.

Gucci

Luxury brand Gucci has made several forays into NFTs and the multiverse, with a new collection set to drop later this month. They started with SUPERGUCCI, a collaboration with Superplastic and a series of ultra-limited NFTs co-created by Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele and synthetic artists Janky & Guggimon. Each NFT holder also received an exclusive 8-inch tall white ceramic SUPERGUCCI SuperJanky sculpture, hand-crafted by ceramicists in Italy. Gucci has also purchased virtual real estate in The Sandbox, a metaverse platform whose economy includes NFTs.

Louis Vuitton

To celebrate 200 years in luxury retail, the brand launched a mobile game called Louis: The Game, which explores the world of NFTs in a clever way. Embedded in the game are 30 NFTs designed by the artist Beeple that players can find and “own” within the game, though they can’t be bought or sold on the open market.

BMW

For car enthusiasts everywhere, the brand recently minted 19 recordings of the roar of BMW M engines as NFTs, calling the collection the BMW Museum of Sound. Each one is a one-of-a-kind audio track, done to “immortalize the iconic sound of the M combustion engine” as the brand and industry sets their sights on electric.

Almond Breeze

Though not an official collaboration with the various apes in the metaverse, Almond Breeze is launching 1,000 NFTs — in conjunction with their banana-flavored almond milk — with the stated goal of keeping the popular ape NFT collections hydrated. It’s a really cute marketing idea for the new flavor and it will be super interesting to see how it performs.

Bud Light

To promote the zero-carb beer Bud Light NEXT, the beverage brand released a collection of 12,000+ NFTs that celebrate “innovation, community, and the next generation of creators.” The NFTs feature icons that represent beer, culture, gaming, and more.

Wrangler Jeans

The denim brand recently launched NFTs in collaboration with singer-songwriter Leon Bridges combining fashion, music, the metaverse, and real life. Dubbed the “Mr. Wrangler Icon,” the NFTs are being sold on LTD.INC, a curated NFT platform for brands and creators. Not only will the token holder get an NFT, they’ll also get a VIP pass to a private Leon Bridges performance and a Decentraland metaverse wearable.

Campbell Soup Co

Campbell’s recently used NFTs to celebrate a company milestone. The soup brand marked the redesign of its iconic can labels with a 100-piece NFT collection by artist Sophia Chang called “AmeriCANa: Sophia Chang X Campbell’s.” Proceeds from the sales went to Feeding America, and the brand worked with sustainability platform Aerial to offset the carbon footprint of the NFT. This is a great example of a cocommunicating their values across different marketing channels.

Though NFTs are being used by mostly big names right now, we expect more smaller brands will join the party as the tokens continue to grow in popularity and more consumers learn about the metaverse and cryptocurrency. D2C brands are just starting to explore them for loyalty, giveaways, brand awareness, and building community, and we can’t wait to see all the clever uses they’ll have for marketing in the months and years ahead.

 

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