This is an exciting time for brands exploring the almost limitless space afforded by Web3. While most businesses are still weighing up their activation strategy or dipping their toes into the wonderful world of Web3, some brands are storming ahead to deliver activations that are unlike anything seen in the Web2 world. These are the brands that will have an advantage by forming strong communities, investigating new trends, and being able to build on their early forays with better experiences in the future.
We look at some recent Web3 marketing activations and identify the key learnings for businesses keen to test in the space.
Fashion Week and Gucci Garden
The fashion world is built on being the first to embrace something innovative and disruptive, so it’s unsurprising that global brands have jumped at the chance to make their mark in Web3. The first ever Metaverse Fashion Week was hosted last year on the Decentraland blockchain, showcasing virtual-only brands alongside industry stalwarts like Selfridges for an audience of more than 100,000. The event proved so popular that future events have been planned.
Another example of early adoption by the fashion industry was the hugely successful Gucci Garden Experience. Hosted on Roblox (not technically a web2 native platform, but certainly one of the big names in metaverses), the event allowed visitors to ‘absorb’ items in the exhibition, play games and purchase branded items to give their avatars a style-up.
Porsche gets its motor running
When it comes to highly desirable names in luxury motoring, Porsche would be at the top of many people’s minds. So, when they announced an NFT collection it was expected that motoring enthusiasts and NFT collectors would be storming the virtual gates to snap them up. The Porsche 911 NFT – named for its flagship vehicle – consisted of 7,500 NFTs at 0.911 ETH (approx. $1,500 at time of writing) each.
However, the high price point and lack of information on the NFT’s utility resulted in slow sales, so much so that the brand announced it would “cut our supply and stop the mint to move forward with creating the best experience for an exclusive community.”
While initially seen as an unsuccessful launch, sentiment has turned given the brand immediately heeded the concerns of their community and took swift action, revising their roadmap to better demonstrate ongoing utility in the way of exclusive experiences for holders.
With more than 35,000 stores around the world Starbucks knows how to stay ahead of the pack, including exploring Web3 activations. Late last year they launched Starbucks Odyssey to a select group of loyalty rewards customers and staff. Odyssey Journeys is a range of interactive activities where participants earn NFTs (known as Journey Stamps) which can be exchanged for a range of benefits.
The NFT loyalty program is the first of its kind for a coffee chain and is rewarding devoted customers with utility and immersive experiences. Gamification and interactive elements promise to keep members entertained while providing rewards that are only available through Odyssey. Starbucks promises to keep the activation fun for customers, many of whom may be exploring Web3 for the first time.
Interestingly, users don’t need a digital wallet or crypto to participate in the activation, with credit cards being accepted for buying and selling digital collectibles.
Odyssey is being hosted on the Polygon blockchain.
Summary: the keys to successful Web3 marketing activations
- Give the people what they want: Fans and supporters who have an active interest in an event or project succeeding often have invested in it. They are upfront about what they like and all that brands must do is listen and take their opinions onboard. Mostly, they want utility and want to know what utility will be provided by Web3 projects.
- Community is everything. It’s simple – understand what your community wants and expects and you’re more likely to find success in Web3. Web3 natives believe that the best businesses will discover the value of community-led growth, and say community as a business function is on the rise. Businesses who adopt a community-led mindset will benefit.
- Brands need to understand the amazing potential of gamification. Gamification has so many amazing selling points, from strong design to improved customer experience that will up all aspects of your Web3 project.
- Impressive IRL doesn’t necessarily mean impressive in Web3. Just because people flock to buy your offering on Web2 or in IRL doesn’t automatically mean your brand will immediately find the same success in Web3. Really pay attention to your audience insights, find out what your community is really looking for from your brand in a virtual space, and endeavour to utilise Web3 as an extension of your existing marketing activity.
- Early bird gets the worm. Yes, there are still many unknowns in Web3, but everyone is in the same boat. Being an early adopter of the tech will allow you to gather learnings quickly, make a name for yourself in the market and give you a chance to take all your insights and optimise for audience share well before your competitors.