Are you growing a company or business from the ground up? Or pivoting your company into a new line of products or services? If so, proper branding is essential to grow sales and encourage consumer engagement. Branding also builds trust between your business and your target audience, creates a sense of familiarity and stabilizes your image in the public and corporate world.
The ability of your target audience to easily recognize your brand on the shelf or within online marketplaces can be the difference between them purchasing your product or your competitors. This is why more and more companies are turning to non-fungible tokens (NFTs, which are digital pieces of art tied to blockchain technology) to create instant recognition of their brand.
Why is brand awareness so important?
Marketing professionals have long known the importance of creating a memorable brand image when introducing a new company or product to the market. A memorable image engages their target audience, creates excitement around the brand and helps make their brand a household name. However, there is no way to ensure that your logo, mascot, etc. will be recognizable or popular like Mr. Peanut by Planters or the Quaker Oats Man by The Quaker Mill Company.
Those company mascots are instantly recognized by the general public. After representing the brands for over 100 years, they are also some of the most recognizable brand mascots out there! At the same time, there are thousands, if not millions, of mascots that never caught on or were actually hated by the public. These failures caused the companies to go back to the drawing board again and again.
An example of this is Kellogg‘s Honey Smacks cereal. Debuting on the grocery shelves in 1953 as Sugar Smacks with Cliffy the Clown as its mascot, the branding only lasted three years before switching to Smaxey the Seal. Kellogg’s continued to introduce various mascots over the years but none seemed to catch on with consumers until Dig ‘Em Frog in 1972. So, what did Kellogg’s do?
They changed the mascot again in 1986 to Wally the Bear, which actually incited a public outcry to return Dig ’Em Frog. Protests included students on a college campus who staged a day-long demonstration pleading for his return. Kellogg’s listened to their audience and reintroduced Dig’ Em Frog in 1987. However, continually changing the mascot greatly hindered consumer recognition of this specific product. For any company, these actions would hurt sales, lower consumer trust in the product and hinder consumer loyalty.
Your company probably doesn’t have 100 years to become a recognizable brand. Nor do you have the time or funds to continually rebrand your company mascot, logo, name, etc. and that is where an NFT can help.
Related: The 5 Vital Rules of Personal Branding
NFTs are as unique as your brand
NFTs may have started in the digital art world. But, they have now expanded into several digital and physical products/properties such as digital media, virtual goods, digital collectibles and other crypto-assets. These can be bought, sold, exchanged and transacted using blockchain technology.
Blockchain records are unable to be forged because they are maintained by thousands of computers worldwide. Each individual NFT has its own unique digital signature that allows the owner to always prove ownership and validity. NFTs ensure the authenticity of unique properties that can include items such as:
- Limited edition clothing and/or footwear
- Digital collectibles
- Domain names
- Concert tickets
- Parcels of real estate
- High-end products, i.e., jewelry
- And much more
This technology also allows NFT owners to trademark their digital assets, adding value and security to their brand. An example of this would be a clothing company trademarking their NFT logo, thereby protecting them should others try to reproduce or copy their branding.
Related: It Takes a Village: How Blockchain, Crypto and NFTs Ensure Digital Trust
How an NFT can help build your brand recognition
Digital NFTs have been steadily increasing in value and sales over the years. Trading volume has risen by 704 percent between the second and third quarters of 2021.
With these increases also comes an increase in public interest. Some NFT creators such as CryptoPunks, Desperate ApeWives (DAW), Bored Ape Yacht Club, Doodles and more have gained a massive social media presence, making them easily recognized by the general public. More and more celebrities and influencers purchase an NFT that represents them or their brand, which they then subsequently share with their millions of followers.
Some celebrities have even gone as far as creating their own NFTs to represent themselves, their talents and their brands. Snoop Dogg, Grimes and John Cleese are fetching millions in sales combined but more importantly…creating infamous brand recognition.
Corporations and businesses alike were also quick to get involved in the NFT explosion. Their efforts have helped to expand their brand awareness, increase revenue and enhance trust and authenticity in themselves and their products. Many of them are using NFTs to achieve the following:
- Authentication: NFT technology can be used by companies to create an authentication system for their customers. For example, luxury brands can issue individual serial numbers for their products and subsequently use NFTs to provide further authentication services.
- Brand awareness: Both established brands such as Nike and up-and-coming brands such as Bored Breakfast Club are using the exciting world of NFTs to promote brand awareness. In fact, Bored Breakfast Club is a first-of-its-kind NFT project that goes beyond simply shipping coffee. They’re also supplying their members with an exclusive digital experience through the use of 5,000 unique breakfast scenes living as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. This unique approach to branding helps increase their brand awareness through sharing of their NFTs by their consumers on social media.
- New avenues of revenue: Investing in NFT packages allows companies and organizations to expand into new revenue channels that were unavailable until now. For example, a record label may trademark their artists’ branding and NFT images in order to release exclusive digital content to their fan base.
- Brand security: Like all trademarks, an NFT trademark protects the owner from fraudulent copies being used at their expense. With NFTs being one-owner digital assets available only on the blockchain, the authenticity is protected and ownership is easily proven.
Related: How to Realize Your Brand’s Digital Potential With NFT Marketing
In conclusion, your brand should be as unique as you are. Digital NFTs may be the inspiration you are looking for to increase your brand visibility and consumer awareness.