Commerce is constantly changing and innovating to keep up with the times. Creativity is needed to stay ahead of the competition, especially in crowded markets where the digital age has made it easier than ever before to begin trading.
One of the newest concepts is that of NFTs. They have been around since 2015 but have only just started to come into a wider public consciousness so what are NFTs and how can businesses use them.
A Brief Beginner’s Guide
NFT stands for non-fungible token: Two of those words are in common use but what about that rather obscure term in the middle? The dictionary definition states that fungible relates to something that can be replaced by something of equal value.
So, if we have something that is non-fungible, it cannot be replaced and is completely unique. Businesses have been aware of the power of limited-edition products for some time but, by making something irreplaceable, they are taking the concept to a whole new level.
The Lively Arts
NFTs offer great scope for artists and this is where they are predominantly being used. Musicians are at the forefront of the movement and the band Kings of Leon are generally credited with bringing these tokens to a wider audience.
In March 2021, a number of NFTs were attached to their latest album, When You See Yourself. One-off copies of the release and front row seats to future concerts were among the perks available to a handful of lucky fans.
The potential for the arts sector to harness the power of NFTs is obvious and the Kings of Leon’s example is an easy one to follow. Labels can release one-off vinyl and CD editions while personal services can be offered to fans attending live performances.
Painters, sculptors and authors can also follow this lead. To an extent, some of their work is already unique by its very nature but everyone in the arts world can create a unique product or experience for their fans.
A World of Sport
Any business involved in sport and its associated industries should also be taking a very close look at the potential of the NFT marketplace. The top performing sportsmen and women have many opportunities to release unique items into their fanbase.
It could be a match worn shirt from the NBA finals series or a boot that struck the winning goal in soccer’s World Cup final. That potential is only limited by the imagination of the individual’s PR team and, as long as it’s unique, there is the possibility of producing a one-off product.
Sports clubs can also follow the lead and issue matchday experiences that cannot be replicated. Maybe supporters could even bid for a token that lets them sit in the dugout on matchdays.
Associated companies also have the potential to benefit. Those that sponsor clubs can get involved while betting operators, who provide markets for sporting events, have also seen the potential of NFTs.
The possibilities for account holders at sportsbooks and online casinos is limitless. As well as playing for cash prizes, there can also be the potential of landing a unique product or experience attached to the world’s biggest teams and players.
Across the board, the sports industry has a fantastic opportunity to expand their customer bases thanks to the power of NFT.
Big Names Join In
It’s easy to see how an artist or a famous face can take advantage: They already have public profiles that fit NFTs to perfection but what about the regular world of commerce and industry?
The connection here may not be immediately obvious but it’s all about using the concept and finding anything in your specific industry that could be made unique.
In the case of Taco Bell, the company auctioned off a series of NFT Gifs which attracted huge sums of money. The food chain also allowed all proceeds to go to charity which is another popular way in which to build a profile.
Fashion brands have also released one-off items of clothing while unique logo designs of big brand names have also been auctioned off.
Back in the 9 to 5 World
There’s lots of advice relating to NFTs in business but much of it quotes the big companies. It’s fine to auction off a logo if you are Nike but what if you’re a suburban retailer selling bathrooms who hasn’t made a trade outside of your own region?
It’s clearly not so straightforward but there could be options. If you’re engaged in real estate or property development, is it possible to design and auction a house with unique features that will never be produced again?
The same principle could be applied to the car industry where manufacturers can produce a one-off model that will not be replicated.
As long as a product is developed and released, there is potential for that industry to make it a unique deal and to issue an NFT. While it might not gain as much attention and revenue as the Kings of Leon or Taco Bell, this remains an opportunity for businesses moving forward.
All things are relative and, whether there is international, national or local competition, this is a way of getting an edge over the rest. Think of a unique product or service and it’s perfectly possible to harness the power of those non-fungible tokens.