Whether you want to ride the trend or reserve your place in the metaverse, many brands are launching their NFT in 2022. A path is full of pitfalls. We explain how to avoid them. Hold on to your hats.
Revolution or buzzword, NFTs are everywhere. Not a week goes by without a new player unveiling its project. Some of them are just trying to bounce on the current trend, others want to work on their innovative image, and reach young and engaged communities. But NFTs can also become a key element of a customer experience or even the basis of new and very lucrative digital offers. To convince you, you can read our insights “5 ways to use NFTs in your marketing strategy” and “Why launch your non-fungible token?
But getting into NFTs is not without risk: In early February, the WWF stopped the sale of its “Non-Fungible Animals”, an NFT crypto-art collection featuring endangered species. Despite being put on sale in euros/dollars in order to reach the general public, few editions were sold. Worse, the NGO put an end to the project when it discovered that the Polygon blockchain, derived from Ethereum, posed as many environmental problems as the latter.
A project that despite its interest could be listed among the flops of NFT operations. But even a top brand like Adidas can make mistakes… For example, during the release of its collection “Into The Metaverse”, the brand, also on Ethereum, had not anticipated the network congestion. Some Internet users, trying to “mine” their NFT, paid “gas” fees reaching hundreds of dollars, without receiving the precious token!
If you don’t understand this sentence, don’t panic. We will explain what it is in our glossary, and above all, give you the 5 essential steps to succeed in your NFT operation!
Step 1: Take ownership of the subject
Before jumping in, you need to learn more about how blockchain, cryptocurrencies and NFTs work. “Discussing with your legal department can be useful. The case law around the ownership of assets attached to NFTs is in its infancy,” recalls Julien Terraz, creative director of Razorfish, which tried its hand at NFT greeting cards in 2022.
“Launching one’s NFTs requires having a wallet and the cryptocurrency of the blockchain used. The management of a wallet in a company raises questions, because technically, the person who owns the seed, the private key, owns the wallet,” says Juliette Orain, head of social of the agency. It is necessary to familiarize oneself with this universe in order to find an original idea or at least to be able to exchange with an agency specialized in this field.
“The NFT is becoming more and more mainstream and it is becoming difficult for new entrants to stand out”, says Brahim Abdesslam, co-founder of Younicorns, the Keyrus start-up studio. “You have to succeed in offering brand content that is as interesting as what other creators are offering, and be careful not to miss out on a generational phenomenon.”
Step 2: define the project
An NFT operation is prepared like a classic marketing operation. “You have to ask yourself what your objective is: to create a buzz? Engage your customers? Find new revenues? From there, we will adapt the operational response,” explains Emmanuelle Dubois, CEO of Coinception. “Collectibles are aimed at cryptophiles who have a lot of buying power, and theoretically allow, thanks to royalties on resale, to raise more funds in the long run than auctioning a unique NFT work developed with an artist or influencer. Nevertheless, this strategy allows to get more press coverage and to reach an existing community. Finally, if we want to make the most noise, we will organize a free drop,” she says.
Once the objective and the form of the project are set, the substance must be developed. “What will it be used for? We can imagine the NFT of a sneaker brand that allows you to buy a limited edition pair, or an artist who launches a collection of NFTs allowing access to his concerts, or even backstage…”, explains Maxime Baron, COO of the agency Hash Consulting, citing as an example the PianoKing project of Sofiane Pamart. These elements will be included in the NFT’s smart contract and must therefore be defined before its creation. They will also guide the choice of the blockchain on which it will be issued.
Step 3: Choose the blockchain
Ethereum is the blockchain that gathers the largest community and therefore the most liquidity, but its Proof-of-Work model implies high energy costs and fees for a low number of transactions. “It’s not the most user-friendly,” says Maxime Baron, who cites the alternative “Polygon. A “layer 2”, derived from Ethereum.
There are also other layer 1, infrastructure blockchains like Avalanche, Solana, Tezos, Elrond or Near Protocol, which are very easy to access. They are also less polluting and have lower transaction costs, thanks to the use of Proof-of-Stake. I could go on and on! Some have a more developed ecosystem, with the presence of NFT marketplaces for the secondary market. The choice is going to depend on your objectives.”
At this point, we understand the usefulness of being accompanied. “For me, the important thing is to choose a blockchain with many users and a token that is easy to acquire,” says Brahim Abdesslam. For their part, Julien Terraz and Juliette Orain made the Razorfish greeting cards “on Tezos, because this protocol, of French origin, has a low environmental impact.”
Step 4: Create the community
Beyond your fans, choosing a notorious blockchain ensures you reach a large community, an essential ingredient for your project’s success. “Good marketing is as important as good fundamentals to sell-out your collection. You have to know how to reach the crypto / NFT communities by going for the right channels and relevant influencers depending on the brand’s sector, the infrastructure blockchain used, etc.”, explains Maxime Baron.
For his part, Brahim Abdesslam believes that it is necessary to start communicating at least six months before the launch of a project, via “Discord, Telegram and Twitter, which are the preferred platforms of communities dedicated to NFTs, while bringing on board specialized influencers likely to organize giveaways”, i.e. free distributions of NFTs.
But a well-known brand will more easily attract attention. In mid-November 2021, Adidas distributed a free NFT to Internet users visiting a landing page. For its teasing, the brand then announced in early December that it had acquired a BAYC or LAND in The Sandbox. Mid-December, they launched their Into the Metaverse collection, which sold out in a few days.
Step 5: mint and animate over time
The mint refers to the creation of the NFT in the blockchain. This is a decisive step, which can take the form of a fairlauch, i.e. the creation of the collection before the sale, or a drop, i.e. a free distribution. More often, Internet users “mine” their NFTs themselves. “This minimizes the cost to the brand, as the fee will be paid by the buyer.
This is interesting on Ethereum, where they can represent several tens of dollars. But be careful that they do not exceed the selling price of the NFT!” warns Emmanuelle Dubois. “You need a minimum of fairness, and avoid that a “whale”, a crypto-rich, or a bot gets hold of the whole collection. To do this, you can limit the number of mints per wallet, or perform a KYC authentication. In any case, the team and the servers must be prepared. A crash, and the whole project is called into question,” says Brahim Abdesslam.
Finally, after this stage, don’t forget to continue to animate the community, by offering events or exclusive sales. This is what will give value to your project over time, and will encourage the resale of NFTs on the secondary market, allowing the brand to pocket royalties in the process.
We at Ecomtancyweb have worked with many NFT/ GameFi projects to help them reach their respective goals. We can handle all Marketing aspects needed for your NFT/ GameFi projects to establish a Unique Identity in the Metaverse space with a strong community base supporting your project. If you have dreams to achieve determined goals for your NFT project, Get in touch with us Now!