From Grimes to the NBA: Lessons in Improving Your Brand Marketing

5 min read
May 9, 2023 4:57:06 PM

In today's highly competitive market, companies are constantly searching for new and innovative ways to stand out and connect with their customers. Brand marketing is an essential tool for companies to build their reputation, create a unique identity, and differentiate themselves from competitors. But in a landscape where every ‘brand’ is using the same media to grab attention, consumers have become more discerning and selective. 

It’s time to embrace new and innovative technologies and techniques. Like NFTs. 

Non-fungible tokens entered the cultural mainstream in 2021 as a new way of determining ownership of digital property using blockchain technology. As cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether skyrocketed to all-time highs, newly minted crypto millionaires began speculating on NFT digital art. But that’s not all they’re about; they also present a chance for brands to stay ahead of the curve and build a loyal and engaged customer base.

One of the biggest advantages of NFTs is their potential to help businesses build their brand identity and engage with their customers on a deeper level. We're exploring five ways that businesses can leverage NFTs to build their brand identity, using examples from the sports, music, and entertainment industries.

Create Exclusive Access to Experiences

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One of the best examples if the NBA's Top Shot.

One of the most effective ways that businesses can use NFTs to build their brand identity is by offering exclusive access to events and experiences to their customers. By creating an NFT that serves as a ticket to an exclusive event or experience, businesses can create a sense of exclusivity and loyalty among customers, leading to a stronger brand identity. 

For example, take the American National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 'Top Shot'. It's a blockchain-based virtual trading card platform, and it didn't just offer collectibles... but tied all of them to access to footage-based video highlights called 'Moments'. Each has a unique digital serial number that guarantees the authenticity and indicates how rare the Moment is. Moments are the foundation that make up the Top Shot ecosystem. They are highly sought after by basketball fans and collectors, and the platform has generated millions of dollars in sales. By offering these collectible NFTs, NBA Top Shot reinforces the NBA's brand identity as one of the most coveted sports leagues in the world, and the king of sports marketing.

Create Memorabilia 

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Each attendee at the Super Bowl in 2022 got a personalised NFT ticket.

Another way that businesses can use NFTs to build their brand identity is by creating collectible NFTs. Collectible NFTs are becoming increasingly popular among collectors, and businesses can use them as a way to build their brand identity. For example, the American National Football League (NFL) in 2022 started offering each attendee at the Super Bowl a personalised non-fungible token ticket customised with their seat number. With this, not only were they capitalising on the existing culture of sports memorabilia by creating a new collectors’ item to covet, but they were also increasing the hype and interest in buying tickets in the first place.

Reward Loyal Customers 

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Spotify prides itself on being a brand that gives its customers personalised experiences.

Businesses can also use NFTs as a reward for their most loyal customers. By offering NFTs as part of customer loyalty programs, businesses can create a sense of exclusivity and incentivise customers to stay loyal. For example, the popular music streaming platform Spotify has been working on the idea of token-gated playlists for fans. Kingship, a metaverse band signed to Universal Music Group (UMG), said that the streaming company is piloting playlists that could be unlocked through NFTs in certain geographies. What does that mean for fans? It’s proof that their status as fans means access to exclusive content. And by offering this exclusive content, Spotify can reinforce their brand identity as a music platform that values its most loyal fans.

Offer Limited Edition NFTs

Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Ghost Recon Breakpoint was Ubisoft's first foray into NFTs. (Credit: Ubisoft US)

Businesses can also use NFTs to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity among customers. By offering limited edition NFTs, businesses can create a sense of scarcity, which can drive up demand and create a stronger brand identity. For example, in December in 2022, Ubisoft integrated NFTs into its squad shooter game Ghost Recon Breakpoint. In Breakpoint, players could own NFTs called ‘Digits’ that were independent of the game. Because the Digit was a digital asset minted on a blockchain, it was stored in a person’s digital wallet rather than on Ubisoft's servers. If the Digit increased in value by becoming a cult item, or if only a small number were in circulation, the owner could sell it on a third-party marketplace. The idea was to entice players with true ownership of highly sought after and valuable in-game items.

Use NFTs to Tell a Story


Canadian musician Grimes used NFTs to add to the storytelling experience of her album 'Miss Anthropocene'.

Finally, businesses can use NFTs to tell a story about their brand. By creating NFTs that represent the history or values of the brand, businesses can engage customers on a deeper level and reinforce their brand identity. For example, Grimes, a Canadian musician, made 6 million dollars in 2021 selling digital art. But it wasn't just any old art. The highest-selling piece was a one-of-a-kind video called 'Death of the Old' that involved flying cherubs, a cross, a sword, and glowing light that was set to an original song by Grimes. So, not only was it an exclusive song, but it gave the owner a video with its storytelling capability and added context. This piece and many others were a part of Grimes' 'War Nymph' collection, made in collaboration with her brother Mac Boucher. Grimes debuted War Nymph in 2019 and initially used the “digital persona” slash “alternative psyche” to promote her album ‘Miss Anthropocene’. All in all, she created a unique and engaging experience for fans while reinforcing her brand identity as an innovative and boundary-pushing artist.

What’s Our Conclusion?

NFTs offer a unique and engaging way for businesses to build their brand identity and engage with their customers. In a sea of marketers and brand managers trying the same tricks from time-tested manuals, it’s time to bring your business under the spotlight by pushing the envelope of what your brand can do in the first place. With The Blue Marble, you can do that and increase the affinity customers have with your brand, all without needing tech expertise yourself. We leverage the power of Stellar, a carbon-neutral blockchain, to help you create sustainable marketing campaigns that are the perfect, new way to increase retention and brand love. So, what are you waiting for?

Chat with us today. 

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