January 15, 2023 – 06:00
Web 3.0 is already a reality for many retailers, especially when it comes to fashion. The Fabricant brand has sold $9,500 worth of digital dresses and is collaborating with brands like Adidas, Puma and Tommy Hilfiger to bring the products into the metaverse. In June 2021, Gucci sold a digital bag for $4,000 on Roblox. The price is higher than physical bags.
The involvement of these brands in the virtual universe is not limited to sales. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Gucci held an exhibition in Florence, but created a virtual segment on Roblox for those consumers who couldn’t physically attend. The virtual space had no roof and included butterflies circling the rooms, which is often not available in a physical attraction. Tommy Hilfiger promoted the sales convention, which is normally held in person, on an immersive platform, where the company’s new campaigns were presented.
Gamification and experience: what are brands doing in the metaverse?
The movement is not limited to international brands. Havaianas, for example, created an interactive map with games and missions to present its licensed products with the game Fortnite. In 2021, Renner created a branded physical store within the game Fortnite, by Epic Games, and from that first movement, he launched a collection for the metaverse, presented physical collections in the metaverse, and had elements in the metaverse as inspiration for the collections.
Another example of a Web 3.0 venture not directly related to the metaverse is the universe of NFTs (an acronym for non-fungible tokens. Nike, for example, launched a collection of 20,000 sneakers in NFT in April of this year. The Nike Dunk Genesis Cryptokicks collection has units sold for up to US$449,000 (about R$2.2 million). irreplaceable. In December, the brand launched the Into The Metaverse collection in partnership with Bored Ape Yacht Club, Punks Comic and Gmoney. In all, 30,000 tokens were made available , with which Adidas managed to raise more than 22 million USD (about 125 million BRL).
Brazilian brands Reserva, Pantys and Havaianas have also created new ways to connect with their consumers through NFTs. Earlier this year Pantys published 33 pieces of art including photos, videos and gifs in NFT. The art was sold on the OpenSea platform, the NFT market. At the time, the minimum value was US$40.66 (R$215.29. Following its Fortnite card, Havaianas launched a collection of NFTs. Titled “Happiness”, the collection featured an exclusive sandal shape in five new artworks by artist Adhemas Batiste, who already has a long history with the brand.
In return, Reserve made NFTs available for the Pistol Bird, the brand’s signature bird. The tokens sold out on the same day and generated 900,000 BRL in sales. The intention is to turn NFT holders into a community with access to exclusive products, discounts and fees, as the NFT holder can resell it and profit from some of the benefits associated with the token.
Digital Assets | EP2: NFTs
The adoption of these technologies by Brazilian retail is already showing examples, but there is still a long way to go, estimates Valéria Carrete, marketing director of Converge, a technology solutions company that has worked with Reserva and Aramis, on projects involving metaverses and NTFs. “As also happened in the 1990s with the Internet, we are at the beginning of the adoption of Web3 and metaverse technologies. And widespread adoption takes time. This is a precious time that brands should use wisely to prepare for the moment of widespread adoption. In our country, this situation is a little worse because we still have to face inequalities in the infrastructure, the quality of the internet offered”, he claims.
In the Reserve’s experience, the goal of breaking new ground in this new area was to have time to study, test, and learn. For Pedro Cardos, Director of Digital Marketing and Brand Innovation, the value of these new technologies lies in the exchange between individuals and groups in a decentralized and dynamic way. To encourage this exchange, the company has a closed group where it communicates daily with NFT holders for meetings, future discussions, etc. “Many of the benefits created and offered to ReservaX holders are based on ideas from the community itself. We understand that co-creation is not a strategy, but an inherent feature of Web 3.0,” he says.
The return to creating initiatives focused on the metaverse, or NFTs, involves awareness, PR and, in the case of asset trading, a new source of revenue, but the executive emphasizes that the community remains the biggest reward. “This community becomes a living organism of creation that shows the direction of future investments. Intangible value that exceeds the millions of reais of revenue we generate through the sale of NFTs during 2022,” he describes.
Valéria believes that by 2023, customer experience challenges will be reduced as brands begin to integrate NFT and cryptocurrency wallets into their properties, such as website and app. At the same time, the action model must move from selling assets to selling experience, engagement and loyalty where NFTs are given to people for free as a reward or proof of interaction.