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Five utilities to keep your NFT holders super engaged in 2022

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last twelve months, the likelihood is you’ll be well versed in the world of NFTs — the digital assets which had a spectacular run in 2021. You might be a business owner with your own collection — or perhaps you’re a brand manager making major use of NFTs to engage your customers.

But how good are you at flexing your NFT muscles and keeping your audiences super engaged and sticky? The chances are that you’ve already realised that just being a pretty picture is probably not enough for the long-term, and that today’s NFTs need to have more substance in order to keep the interest going.

The answer to creating value — and achieving that all important ‘stickiness’ — lies in utility. Giving your NFTs a real-world, quantifiable value can build customer excitement, create new revenue streams and boost brand loyalty. In fact, many experts suggest that NFTs with utility are crucial to the future success of the space.

Interested? Us too. So, let’s take a look at the five top utilities for NFTs that you can get started with today.

1. Redeemable NFTs

If whisky is your thing, then you might have heard about Ceilidh’s ‘The Rebirth’ party in central Hong Kong recently — which saw the reveal of one of the first ever redeemable digital art and whisky NFT collections in the world.

Visitors found that every NFT was redeemable against a physical bottle of whisky — and, upon redemption, the NFT transformed into an evolved image, allowing for continued ownership or retrade. Ceilidh cleverly used the power of exclusivity too — its campaign not only called for customers to have the NFT, but also to be ‘whitelisted’ by connecting with the firm on social media and joining its mailing list. In doing this, the brand seamlessly combined the best attributes of NFT ownership and trading, along with online and real-life community building mechanisms.

Good stuff!

2. Long-term brand relationships

Clinique NFT

High profile beauty brand Clinique also saw beyond the artwork potential of NFTs when it released one of three editions of ‘Meta Optimist’ at the end of 2021. Building on the idea of a redeemable NFT, Meta Optimist aimed to create long term relationships with Clinique customers. Decade long relationships, in fact.

Indeed, holders of Clinique’s NFTs get a wealth of free products, over the period of ten years, including a 50-year-old lipstick called Almost Black Honey that’s usually out of stock and coveted by beauty aficionados the world over.

As with our whisky friends, Clinique is tying the launch of its first NFT to a social media campaign. NFT holders can enter to win the rare Black Honey lipstick by sharing “stories of optimism” on Instagram, Tiktok and Twitter — and, for further excitement, the winners will be announced on social media by actors Emilia Clarke and Melissa Barrera, Clinique’s brand ambassadors.

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3. Exclusive access to great events

VeeFriends Collection — OpenSea

Entrepreneur and business guru Gary Vaynerchuk (GaryVee on his socials) is well known for being bullish on NFT technology — and he’s usually right on these things.

One of the utilities which Gary is backing is using NFTs as virtual tickets. By buying one of Gary’s NFTs, you get a three year access pass to VeeCon, a multi-day conference focused around business and marketing in the digital space — somewhere that everyone in the industry wants to be.

It’s perhaps no surprise that NFTs are disrupting the ticketing industry. They’re exclusive, collectable, very hard (if not impossible) to be faked — and convenient for both the ticket holder and the event organiser. We expect many more brands to get in on the act over the next 12 months.

4. Wear your wealth

Dolce & Gabbana’s NFT-enabled 2021 Alta Moda

The news that fashion powerhouses like Dolce & Gabbana have recently started experimenting with wearable NFTs is hitting the headlines all over the world. The luxury Milanese fashion house called its new collection “alta moda” (high fashion) and debuted the concept at 2021’s fashion shows.

What’s more, D&G has proved itself particularly savvy by seamlessly combining the real world with the digital. Most recently, as part of its landmark ‘Collezione Genesi’, a combination sale including a jewelled physical crown coupled with a digital NFT version sold for an eye watering $1 million.

Of course, you don’t have to have D&G’s budgets to embark on this utility — wearable NFTs like virtual shirts, sunglasses, jeans, hats, sneakers, and accessories that you can put on your digital avatar can be big business for brands of all sizes.

5. Bonus content for the win

Want to make your NFT holders feel extra special? Why not add bonus, additional, content which can only be accessed by buyers of your NFT? Whether you’re a YouTuber releasing extra videos, or a music artist releasing bonus tracks, you can create a sense of exclusivity through NFT-powered bonus content.

One great example is the Tarantino NFT — which claims to hold the ‘unknown secrets of the cult movie director. With this collection, holders gain access to bonus content, including original, handwritten script pages, new commentary, and details about uncut scenes of the movie Pulp Fiction.

Pulp Fiction — Tarantino

And closely related is the idea of unlockable content — new bonus ‘stuff’ added as time goes on. With unlockable content, NFTs no longer remain static collectibles but become dynamic assets with new, exclusive, rewards keeping customers engaged and loyal to a brand.

So, pretty exciting stuff. But what’s even more exciting is that we’ve barely scratched the surface of NFT utilities. Many experts believe that the Metaverse is going to be one of the future game-changers of the NFT space, as a place to store and appreciate NFT art, trade NFTs, a hub for gaming — and much more. CrowdFunding is another increasingly used utility for new brands too — who can sell an NFT of a product that is yet to be developed, allowing them to gather the financial resources needed to move ahead with the project itself.

But you’ve got to be quick to really benefit from these new trends — waiting around isn’t an option. Like everything else happening in the crypto space, developments are happening at lightning speed, and if you don’t have a close eye on the market — and what the savviest companies are doing in the space — you’re likely to miss something, perhaps even something which will change and reshape the use of NFTs yet again.