Adopting the Avatar: the Core of Consumer Customization

A brief playbook for brands building for the digitally-native generation.

According to McKinsey, fashion companies are expected to double their investment in technology by 2023. This statistic was one of many released during 2021's digital assets boom, revealing an important truth: consumers — and especially Gen Z — care deeply about owning their digital identities. In the two years since "NFT Summer," we've learned a lot about the evolution of consumer habits in digitally-native spaces. These insights can help guide the future of how brands operate and consumers engage in virtual environments. 

As a short follow-up to our last blog post on how web3 is driving a return to the internet's golden age of customization, we're sharing some additional thoughts on how you can build for the next wave of consumer adoption. This evolution is already showing signs of incredible value for forward-thinking brands like Gucci, Valentino, L'Oréal, Adidas, Nike, and many more.

Trends | Mid-year trends tune-up

At the start of 2023 Mojito made some bold predictions for web3 adoption this year. We check up on progress

Image credit: Vanessa Bucceri

At the start of 2023 Mojito made some bold predictions for web3 adoption this year. As June is around the corner, let’s see how we are doing...

🍃 The term ‘NFTs’ is replaced with ‘Digital Products’ 🟢 On track

More loyalty-focused programs are gaining traction (e.g. Starbucks Odyssey, Nike .Swoosh), new giants have launched memberships (e.g. Adidas ALTs) and major sporting IP has delivered 1m+ claims (e.g. ‘Inside the NBA' on TNT watch-to-earn program). Almost none of these global initiatives are using the term ‘NFT’s’, but rather things like ‘digital collectible.’

Every single loyalty program in the future will use digital tokens (NFTs) to capture, incentivize, and reward consumer interactions, and we will continue to see focus on loyalty points rather than the NFT tech and terminology behind it.

🍃 The Rise of Physical Asset-Backed Tokens 🟢 On track

A number of brands launch digital twins, NFC chipped products and there's significant growth in builders within tokenization of physical assets. Asset-backed tokens are being 'redeemed' for physical items ('Redeemables') with increasing frequency, from KITH x Invisible Friends campaign, Nike’s Cryptokicks to Avenged Sevenfold ticket access.

🍃‘Connect Wallet’ Across Major Websites  🟢 On track

There’s a shift towards brands offering token-gated accounts as secure user authentication, that's invisible to the customer. Instead of managing different accounts and password, with web3, customers are starting to connect a wallet to verify their membership status and gain access. Customers can get access to subscription-only content (e.g. TIMEPieces for TIME subscriptions) and potentially other future rewards (e.g. Mastercard Music Pass offering AI generated experiences).

🍃 Web3 Goes Web2.5 🟢 On track

Web3-native projects are exploring the transmedia franchise landscape to attract new ‘non crypto’ fans into their universes. e.g. Pudgy Penguins launched Toys on Amazon, and World of Women launched WOWGs Monopoly Game. Metaverse Web2.5 has seen major brand activations to scale traffic and DAUs (e.g. Roblox x Gucci x Vans and Coachella in Fortnite)

🍃EVM Chains Will Dominate Non-EVM Chains 🟠 Too early to call

Brands continue to choose Polygon and Ethereum for their web3 activations and loyalty programs as a clear winner. That being said, with the excitement of ordinals, Asprey Bugatti launched a few weeks ago with a Bitcoin NFT project. EVM chains have faired better in the bear

🍃The End of the 10k PFP Projects And Money Grabs 🟠 Too early to call

It seems to be the end as we know them. Web3-native 10k PFP projects solely focused on floor price and speculation, but yet to deliver tangible utility at scale, have struggled. Large scale NFT launches have been reframed. Nike .Swoosh is a new "community experience" that sold 50,000 on May 24th. Doodles is a "media franchise." Boss Beauties is a "media + entertainment brand." Deadfellaz is a "collection + metaverse brand." 

🍃Brand-Hosted Secondary Marketplaces 🟢 On track

Major brands (e.g. Sothebys, Amazon, Mattel) and bluechip NFT projects (e.g. Art Blocks, 9dcc) have launched Direct-to-Consumer marketplaces with enforceable royalties and an elevated user experience.

🍃More NFTs for DAO Membership Management 🔴 Few use cases

DAOs have fallen back in their promise to be the governance model of choice. Notable exceptions include the mighty Nouns DAO that have been funding wide ranging CC0 projects to accelerate the Nouns brand.

If you'd like to explore any of these use cases, contact us

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Trend | Attendance NFTs, How Brands Build Their Audience With Web3 Events

Building your audience with Web3 Events is a low-cost, low-risk way to develop an engaged and incentivized community.

Cutting-edge brands are discovering that NFTs can be used in many ways to identify, analyze, track and re-engage high-intent consumers. The most popular method is also the easiest to understand and easiest to implement: Attendance NFTs.

The consumer premise is that event attendees may claim a free NFT in order to prove they were actually there. Brands can offer a simple digital memento, or lay the groundwork for a web3 membership community, rewards program, and more. The good news is that brand leaders don’t have to decide all that upfront. You can enter the market with a simple memento and then add utility later.

The brand value is in list-building, audience insights, and collaboration opportunities. That’s because when a user claims a free NFT, the brand collects their wallet address and can analyze all their onchain data historically and moving forward, including other brand or community associations.

Attendance NFTs are one of the best low-effort, high-reward ways to seed and engage audiences. Human behavior is already there – it’s common to keep a memento to remember an important event, be it concert ticket stubs, a fridge magnet from a souvenir shop, a badge from a conference etc. Attendance NFTs are a digital version of these mementos – proof you were there but with much more exciting functionality for future benefits than just physical keepsakes.

What brands should use Attendance NFTs?

Any brand can create these NFTs with a custom image and information about the event to denote attendance of any type, be it real-world or virtual. The token can easily be distributed to attendees via QR codes, a download link, or via email. With Mojito, consumers don’t even need a wallet to get started.

Unlike other NFTs, attendance tokens don’t tend to trade on secondary markets, but rather are used to denote status or achievement within a community. That said, some Attendance NFTs for major events or special moments sometimes do trade on the secondary market for people looking to collect these mementos – even if they weren’t there themselves to mint them (like this XCOPY POAP for those that participated in his art sale, and this DevCon POAP from the first-ever DevCon conference in 2019).

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What do Attendance NFTs look like today?

The web3-native company POAP (Proof-of-Attendance Protocol) pioneered Attendance NFTs over the last 5 years with 27,000 users and more than 6 million NFTs. That said, their service does not mint to Ethereum or Polygon, and the creative is limited to a low-res static image. Others including Mojito have since started offering brands ways to mint Attendance NFTs on more popular blockchains with capacity for high-res imagery, motion graphics, etc. to ensure audiences receive the best digital mementos possible.

Attendance NFTs - Use Cases:
  • Group Participation: Online communities give Attendance NFTs to members who attend weekly or monthly meetings, rewarding engagement and participation, like Gmoney did for his The Cutting Edge Twitter spaces.
  • Event Attendance: Crypto conferences often give out Attendance NFTs to attendees, and collectors can demonstrate how long they’ve been in the industry or showcase repeat attendance to events. Attendance NFTs have been given out at over 100 Ethereum community events so far, many through POAP.
  • Gamified Engagement: Web3 events sometimes use Attendance NFTs for a scavenger hunt type campaign – encouraging attendees to collect all of the tokens at different locations throughout the event and incentivize participation (like at NFT.NYC 2021).
  • Capturing Moments: Some web3 games, like Decentraland, use Attendance NFTs to commemorate special milestones or in-game achievements, like the 10 million user milestone party hosted by MetaMask in 2021.
  • Rewarding Loyalty: Gmoney’s web3 fashion label 9dcc includes a chip in all of his T-Shirts, that allows someone to mint unique Attendance NFTs upon scanning the shirt. Tokens are collected every time someone wears his clothing, so he can see who is representing the brand in public, and at which events.

Attendance NFTs - By Vertical:
  • Musicians can issue Attendance NFTs for fans who attend their concerts (concert attendees is often information bands don’t have access to today), and reward superfans with exclusive content or early ticket access in the future.
  • Fashion brands can issue Attendance NFTs for fans who attend fashion shows (either in-personal or virtually) to get a better understanding of their audience.
  • Sports teams can issue Attendance NFTs for game attendance (in-person or virtually), and even issue special mid-game Attendance NFTs for major moments or victories.
  • Entertainers can offer a POA to all fans they meet IRL as a way to start building out their own membership platform/fan club.

Attendance NFTs: What Comes Next?

Attendance NFTs badges allow consumers to show off their community status, but brands can also build on these tokens as a foundation for further consumer engagement:

  • Reward consumer loyalty: reward engaged and loyal consumers with a free “thing” – even outside future utility, collecting these badges is a great way for deepening gamified brand loyalty.
  • Continue the conversation: these NFTs can unlock access to group chats, discounts, future event invitations, more.
  • Custom benefits: those benefits can be further customized based on things like the dates/times of the Attendance NFTs that were minted.
  • Message consumers directly: these tokens allow you to have a direct line with attendees: organizers can message all Attendance NFT holders directly, or allow holders to chat with each other.

How do brands use Mojito for Attendance NFTs?

Brands like the Milwaukee Bucks, Liverpool FC, Sotheby’s and CAA have used Mojito to mint free NFTs as rewards for event attendance and brand loyalty with great success. Our team has guided 100s of web3 launches, and can solve problems for clients ranging from technical to user experience to commercial and finally to legal and security. There is no greater way to boost your brands chances of web3 success than partnering with Mojito.

Want to set up Attendance NFTs for your brand’s next physical event, digital live stream, product launch, store opening, conference, brand anniversary, or special moment? Get in touch

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Trend | NFC-chipped clothing or networked fashion to reinvent the luxury sector

The recent rise of NFC chipped fashion links clothing to NFTs creating authentication, resale, community and engagement

Image credit: Fashion Network

What's the trend?

There's a long list of brands building NFC chipped fashion lines, linked to NFTs.

Recap: Near Field Communication (NFC) allows two devices to connect with each other over short distances like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The recent rise of NFC chipped fashion links clothing to NFTs creating  authentication, resale, community and engagement opportunities for brands. Providing a certificate of authentication, that's is critical for luxury fashion houses to validate provenance.

Here are some great use cases

👜 LVMH 'Authentique Verify' allows Patou to connect each high-end product to a unique digital fingerprint, verifying the asset as authentic

🧢 NFC chipped 9dcc caps allowed gmoney's community at the real life treasure hunt @NFT.NYC to earn NFTs, personalised POAPs, socialise with the product and interact with the 9dccxyz ecosystem.

👟 The RTFKT x AF1 drop boasts an embedded World Merging NFC Chip so holders can flex their collectibles in digital and physical worlds.

🧘 NFT chipped Moonpay terminals enabled Alo Yoga to distribute free in-store NFT claims of daily affirmations for mental health awareness month

🧥 NFC chipped Wrangler jacket x Jeremy Booth allowed anyone to earn a ‘Concrete Cowboys’ POAP @NFT_NYC

🥼 NFC chipped Cult & Rain hoodies ‘Drop 002’ links to a 3D AR animated DreessX NFT and portal to the brand’s app

🏟️ NFC chipped Endstate Sneakers links to the NFT rewards including tickets to DeVonta Smith hosted event and an Eagles watch party

💍 NFC chipped 18k gold ring ‘Frillz’ by Metaverse Futurist Cathy Hackl links to a certificate of authenticity

🚗 NFC chipped Renault 'Racing Shoe5' provide a 2nd NFT and a certificate of authenticity

Our 0.02ETH 🍃

Luxury brands can better track of their inventory and activate against the entire lifecycle. Meshing NFTs to the clothing brings the consumer closer and invested with their garment for the current and future opportunities.

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Trend | Engage-to-earn or ‘gamification’ is the dominant emerging trend in consumer web3 right now.

Brands are increasingly launching or planning their own direct-to-consumer NFT marketplaces.

Image credit:

What's the trend?

These are not new ideas to marketers, and it’s a simple premise: 

  1. Identify commercial (spend money, refer a customer) and non-commercial (‘engagement’) consumer interactions to increase
  2. Offer extrinsic (discounts, prizes) and intrinsic (status, leaderboard) rewards to the consumer for performing these actions
  3. Tune for profitable growth

Historically, brands have done this through programs like shopping rewards, frequent flier miles, credit card cashback, VIP concierge, and blue checks. There was a web2.0 gamification era that saw mixed results on balance looking back. Broadly speaking, you might even say it has fallen somewhat out of favor with consumers and brands alike. 

Too many different dashboards, too many unredeemed rewards, too little value for the consumer for too much work, and for brands, too much disparate data to feasibly stitch across a multi-platform, multi-touchpoint consumer journey. 

Flash forward to today and web3 seems poised to address all of these issues, and further supercharge the gamification dream with onchain capabilities that offchain reward systems just can’t match, like interoperability, tradeability, and real-time universal aggregation.

  • Interoperability – Web3 allows consumers to visualize and manage all their digital rewards in one wallet, a single dashboard. Interoperability is also what allows consumers the option to use their digital rewards from one brand in another brand’s ecosystem. In other words, they’re portable from the consumer’s perspective.

  • Tradeability – Web3 means always-on liquidity for digital rewards, so no more unredeemed value. Instead, if consumers don’t want to use a discount or gift, they can simply sell it to someone else who does. This kind of economy helps gamification programs thrive because the value of the digital rewards are inherently and tangibly higher.

  • Real-Time Universal Aggregation – Remember, ‘web3’ just means ‘blockchain,’ and blockchain just means ‘decentralized database’. Several pioneering brands are solving the multi-platform data integration problem with the blockchain itself, using dynamic NFTs like first-party cookies to aggregate a user’s real-time engagement data. This can power personalization on any front-end once a user connects wallet. Watch this space, it’s wild

Our 0.02ETH 🍃

Traditional channels engage traditional audiences. Brands that are serious about reaching new audiences are putting web3 at the heart of their marketing strategies. Offering free (or rather "earned") tokens for consumers who interact with your brand is supercharging gamified engagement. Don't miss out on what Nike, adidas and Starbucks are already harnessing... web3 consumer engagement!

Covered by Mojito, the web3 consumer engagement platform. Empowering brand leaders with powerful tools to drive consumer engagement, sales, and loyalty for all levels of web3 maturity.

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Trend | Direct-to-Consumer NFT marketplaces on the rise

Brands are increasingly launching or planning their own direct-to-consumer NFT marketplaces.

Image credit: XCOPY Right-click and Save As guy

What's the trend?

Brands have always seen value in direct-to-consumer mint pages because it’s the best way to own the storytelling and conversion funnel for that critical touchpoint in the user journey.

But after that, most brands until recently would just hand off the ensuing traffic, engagement and sales to third-party marketplaces like OpenSea.

Now brands are increasingly launching or planning their own direct-to-consumer NFT marketplaces. 

Our 0.02ETH 🍃

Now brands are increasingly launching or planning their own direct-to-consumer NFT marketplaces. This is for 3 key reasons:

  1. Royalty Enforcement: When OpenSea paid royalties to brands and creators on every secondary transaction, it was ROI-positive to outsource marketplace functionality. Now most major third-party marketplaces have stopped enforcing royalties, instead generating their own user engagement and revenue off the back of your brand IP. By contrast, of course, you can enforce royalties on your own marketplace!
  2. Owning The User Experience: Marketplace trading is one of the most valuable interactions token holders can make with your brand. Direct-to-consumer brands want to own the full user journey because it’s the best way to convert new customers as well as engage and monetize repeat customers. Since the 2021 NFT drop era is long over, and now the trend is to deliver high-value benefits and experiences for token holders, the arc is clearly bending toward brands needing to own their full web3 user journey just like web2.  
  3. Cost & Speed to Market: Marketplaces require a lot more functionality than just a simple mint page, so it was typically too resource-intensive for a brand to launch their own marketplace. Now options like Mojito exist for brands to launch their own direct-to-consumer marketplace in 3 weeks or less with our standard UX templates and APIs – all for a reasonable monthly SaaS fee.

Covered by Mojito, the web3 consumer engagement platform. Empowering brand leaders with powerful tools to drive consumer engagement, sales, and loyalty for all levels of web3 maturity.

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