Businesses continue to capitalize on digital currencies and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, in some interesting ways. Consider Burger King, which recently launched a clever virtual game incorporating NFTs as game pieces. Or TikTok, which has debuted an NFT collectible series featuring creators like Lil Nas X. How might your business tap into this technology?

The News

Burger King became one of the latest high-profile brands to capitalize on NTFs. The restaurant chain’s NFT strategy is notable because it shows how a business can create fan engagement and loyalty with the technology. As reported in Restaurant Dive, the burger chain is reimagining the ways in which a brand might incorporate NFTs into its marketing plan. Two words describe Burger King’s strategy: consumer experience. Guests purchasing a Burger King Keep It Real Meal can scan a QR code on their Keep It Real Meal box in order to receive one of three possible NFT game pieces. Once they’ve collected the full set, they can access a fourth NFT, a reward that might be a 3D digital collectible or even free Whopper sandwiches for a year. Burger King partnered with NFT marketplace Sweet on the campaign; as Sweet founder and CEO Tom Mizzone notes, “We’re taking more of an enterprise solutions-based approach to NFTs.”

Why the News Matters

These kinds of brand activations of NFTs have caused more businesses to take a closer look at how to use them. In addition, businesses are still learning about NFTs and how they differ from digital currencies.

If digital currencies (and commodities) represent a brave new world, part of capitalizing on the inherent opportunity is understanding exactly what that world is all about. For starters, an NFT is a unique digital asset representing real-world commodities such as music, art, memes, or fashion. (There’s a lot of press about digital art right now, but really, NFTs can take many forms.) NFTs can be bought and sold with digital currencies, which are only available in digital or electronic form (as opposed to a physical bill or coin). As NDTV explains, “digital currency is the electronic form of real-world money.” Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency: one protected by encryption.

NFTs are building blocks of the metaverse, which refers to the immersive worlds, like Fortnite, where people live and play with virtual goods using virtual currencies. We recently blogged about the metaverse here, and its rise in parallel with accelerated use of cryptocurrencies and NFTs. During the pandemic, life in the metaverse got an additional boost, as a stay-at-home economy made virtual interactions not only the norm, but mandatory. The upshot to this new paradigm? People are making real money creating and selling virtual goods.

Many brands besides Burger King are already capitalizing on the NFT phenomenon. For example, TikTok has also embraced NFTs in creative ways. As reported in The Drum, TikTok Top Moments is offering custom content from platform stars like Lil Nas X and Curtis Roach; each creator will give fans a chance to purchase said content in the form of an NFT celebrating the cultural impact that creator represents. All proceeds go directly to the creators and NFT artists. Nick Tran, the global head of marketing at TikTok, sees the initiative as a fresh way to honor and reward platform creators. Tran says, “As the creator economy continues to grow, we’re continually looking for new and differentiated ways to support our creators. Now fans can own a moment on TikTok that helped shape the internet . . . We’re excited to see how our community and NFT communities engage with some of the internet’s most beloved cultural milestones.”

For the Kellogg’s-owned Pringles brand, a limited-edition flavor called CryptoCrisp might look good enough to eat, but it’s meant to be enjoyed as a “virtual flavor”—er, visual collectable/NFT. Fifty “packages” were auctioned off, all starting at the price of a “real” Pringles can.

Meanwhile, MGA Entertainment bridged the virtual and physical worlds with a campaign focused on the brand’s popular Bratz franchise. The children’s toy manufacturer minted a series of “NFT dolls”: collectible cards, representing the Bratz world, that made their debut last December. The cards stood alone as collectibles, but the rarest one, called “Shimmerin,” could be redeemed for an actual physical doll.

What does all this mean?

The headline is this: as the above examples illustrate, NFTs are now being used by major businesses. This isn’t an ephemeral trend. NFTs are in fact a present-day reality.

And knowledge is power. The fact that NFTs are hot means it’s important to understand why you might want to use them. For example, NFTs could be your access point to the fast-growing metaverse.

Finally, NFTs also represent a fresh way to connect with your audience—and demonstrate that your brand is not only relevant, but tuned in to consumer interests and attitudes.

Contact Moonshot

We suggest treating NFTs like voice assistants or ambient technologies such as virtual reality: first understand how they might meet a business objective such as building customer loyalty. To learn how Moonshot might help your business adopt NFTs, contact Moonshot.