Matt Maher: “​​I spent $20K in the Metaverse on an NFT – all I got was a pair of shoelaces”

Art Basel 2022 featured a Web3 Playground. This only confirmed what we already know: brands are eager to find out how they approach Web3 and NFTs. A little preview of what brands have in store for the New Year regarding the Metaverse, Web3 and NFT/customer loyalty programs was provided by us.

We can see and hear from major brands that the show was a success. We were intrigued to see what was happening.

However, FTX and collapsing value are signs of the end.

Some argue that the recent fallout from FTX and the collapse of crypto values will cause the nascent economy of digital assets to ebb away. These public issues may scare consumers or brands away, making it difficult for them to even try to create a digital world with high quality products, services and customer engagement.

This isn’t the end, but it’s the beginning of an entirely new approach to the online marketplace. It will allow customers to engage, stay loyal, and take action. Brands are setting an example that will inspire airlines to reimagine frequent flyer miles. Others will offer exclusive, gamified engagements that will leave even the most avid NFT investors baffled.

To help consumers and brands feel confused or left behind by this whole experience, I have broken down some brands to show you what is possible.

1. Starbucks: Massive scale, but Web3?

Starbucks is a great example of a company with a large reach that is trying to make its customers feel welcome. This will eventually lead to a Web3 platform which allows them to offer NFT to more engagements and expand their offerings. Starbucks Odyssey Market, a Web3-based extension to the existing Starbucks Loyalty Program, is a NFT-based Starbucks Odyssey Market.

Members can now participate in “Journeys,” an interactive challenge that allows them to play trivia games and visit virtual coffee farms. They can also earn “Journey Stamps” (NFTs) as well as Odyssey Points through the Polygon network.

Over half of Starbucks’ annual revenue comes from Rewards members ($14.5BN), so the integration of Web3 in their rewards program could be a powerful gauge for consumer adoption, engagement and conversion. Acquired points can be used to redeem for Starbucks merchandise or journeys.

Starbucks is an excellent example of how major brands can bring millions of customers onto the blockchain. It also avoids the NFT stereotypes that clients might have and avoids any aversions they may have. This activation is Web2.5 because it offers a centralized custodial vault and allows customers to pay with credit cards. Nevertheless, the power of blockchain and non-fungibility can transform the way value is communicated between client and brand.

2. Rebecca Minkoff – Educating fans, making them part the design team

Mavion, an NFT brand that is behind Rebecca Minkoff’s handbag collection, bridges customer. Minkoff’s first collection of 55 “Unlockables”, NFTs that offer holders exclusive digital and physical experiences, was launched in July 2022. Five lucky winners received a limited edition bag, an accessory made by Mavion, and two tickets to Minkoff’s fashion week show.

Minkoff launched her October launch with 3,000 NFTs that featured artistic renderings of her bags. Minkoff encouraged users to create multiple NFTs and revealed that a “match” of two NFTs (attached 2) would result in a Rebecca Minkoff bag. You also get a virtual design table with Minkoff’s team, as they finalize the bag’s design.

Minkoff and Mavion dropped their first drop. They realized that customers could benefit from an education boost to help them onboard into the Web3 space. Mavion helped over 2,000 people set up a cryptocurrency wallet in March and onboarded them for free. The brand recently released a series educational Zoom sessions to increase customer engagement and converts via Web3 comfort.

Mavion and Rebecca Minkoff are two great examples of fashion houses working together to empower one another – a platform that equips designers with digital business tools, and an established designer who wants to expand online.

3. Nike/RTFKT: The dreamers and innovators who made it too complicated

RTFKT, which Nike purchased in December 2021 was one of the few Web3 rising stars that has managed to remain relevant and profitable. Their first collaboration with Nike to make an in-real life (IRL) sneaker was a disaster. It was created through a crypto winter and received a lot of backlash from the community.

They were selling and promoting mysterious NFTs from Nike like the MNLTH2 and gifting them to holders. However, it was revealed that these were fakes. Instead, they used virtual shoelaces to ‘forge” IRL sneakers. They also offered a $100 discount to users.

While $100 off sounds great, before the MNLTH2 released its contents, these NFT boxes were receiving offers close to 10ETH through platforms such as OpenSea. OpenSea is the top NFT marketplace. Many owners hoped there was something valuable inside Nike’s first NFT collection. They gave up profits of more than $20,000 to keep a box that turned out to be shoelaces and a coupon code.

RTKFT then announced that the sneakers would only be shipped to the US. RTKFT announced that the sneakers would only be shipped to the US. This was due to two-thirds Nike’s revenue being from outside the US and Web3 being known for its international reach across all time zones. Only 31% of the 19,000 sneakers were purchased between the public and private drops. Before this, nearly every RTFKT release sold out immediately.

We don’t anticipate a slowdown in major brands adopting crypto and Web3 despite the bumpy roads. We don’t see any slowdown, especially when we look at celebrities, fashion houses, and artists jumping on board the NFT train.

About the Author

Matt Maher is a Futurist Speaker and Founder at M7 Innovations. He has guided executive teams at Fortune 100 companies through the ever-changing media and technological landscapes–conceptualizing, presenting, and executing innovative solutions.

Matt is a member of the Glimpse and CHANEL international advisory boards (NASDAQ: VRAR). His thought leadership and award-winning work have been featured in Forbes and Quartz, Men’s Journal and Retail Touchpoints as well as Adweek.

He is an expert in web3, web3, metaverse, artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IoT), as well as voice technology. Formerly, he was VP Innovation at Assembly, AdAge’s 2018 Agency of Year and Director of Content at Interpublic Group’s Initiative. Follow Matt on Twitter and connect with him via LinkedIn. Also, check out his weekly M7 Inspiration Brief which covers three hot topics in just 90 seconds.

Matt Maher’s post “I spent $20K in Metaverse on an NFT, but all I got was a pair o shoelaces” originally appeared on NFT News Today.

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