Bring Your Brand to the Metaverse (Without Minting a Thing)

November 2, 2022

Three NFTs: A white lion in a white tuxedo holding a cocktail with clear ice, art of Emmett Till, and a woman with flowers blossoming from her head and blue triangle cheeks.

The Metaverse has become synonymous with NFTs, tokens that verify ownership of digital real estate, avatars, and even fashion accessories. Events ranging from music festivals to the first-ever Metaverse Fashion Show are attracting big brands like Gucci, Nike, Dolce & Gabbana, and Estée Lauder — and their potential buyers — to play in the virtual reality universe.

If your brand doesn’t quite have the marketing budget as say, Dolce & Gabbana, is there a place for you in the Metaverse? Let’s explore some of the ways you can enter this space without buying up pricey virtual-reality real estate or minting your own 10k piece NFT collection.

How Brands Can Enter the Metaverse (Without Minting a Thing)

The standard operating procedure for many NFT projects is this: purchase an NFT, become a part of a community, get access to special events, and connect to other community members.

Most of these NFTs are digital artworks primarily used as profile pictures (PFPs) and avatars for their owners; by updating your Twitter or Discord profile pic to an NFT, you’re announcing to the world that you are into Web3, NFTs, and Cryptocurrencies.

Taken one step further, those NFT PFPs can even be used as a bit of a status symbol (you’re going to need at least $100k in crypto funds to purchase a CryptoPunk or Bored Ape NFT, so adding one to your profile pic is a bit like parking a luxury vehicle in front of your house).

Your NFT PFP can also make a statement about what causes and organizations you support:

  • Computer Cowgirls is an NFT project raising money for abortion rights.
  • Flower Girls NFT collection raises money for children’s organizations such as St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Malala Fund.
  • NFT-based social good company 1687 brings together passionate change-makers who want to use the power of Web3 to produce projects that facilitate equity, inclusivity, and diversity, like this recent collab with civil rights organizations.

But creating a full NFT PFP collection takes a lot of time, resources, and a sustained commitment to building community in the Web3 space. Which can be a big investment for a brand that’s exploring the possibilities of the Metaverse.

That’s why some brands are collaborating with existing projects and events to get in front of a Metaverse crowd without ever minting a thing.

Block Ice Accessorizes Metaverse Cocktails with Artisan Ice Cubes

Block Ice is a Sacramento-based company producing artisan ice cubes for Northern California restaurants, hotels, and bars. Block Ice’s co-owners are all members of the 1687 Club and decided to lend their brand to 1687’s NFT PFP collection.

Each 1687 membership token is an NFT inspired by a big cat, and club members can choose a PFP based on a lion, tiger, cheetah, leopard, snow leopard, cougar, and jaguar. The NFT PFPs are then further customized, allowing holders to either create their cat using the 1687 NFT avatar builder or can commission their bespoke cat that represents their personal traits, hobbies, interests, businesses, and more.

One of the accessories the cats can choose is a cocktail, and that cocktail was designed in collaboration with Block Ice to feature a branded artisan ice cube. To some, it may feel like a small thing — an accessory within an accessory within a profile picture — but to Block Ice, it was a way to dip a toe into the waters of Web3 without investing heavily into minting a collection of their own.

Do you have a product line that makes sense in the context of an NFT PFP collection? Reach out to your favorite creators and see if you can collaborate on an accessory, apparel, or background design!

Till Movie Partners with Civil Rights Orgs to Create Commemorative NFT

1687 also recently collaborated with civil rights organizations The Withers Collection, Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, and the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute to create a very special NFT token commemorating attendance of the Till Movie’s red carpet premieres in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

1687 created a POAP (proof of attendance protocol), a type of NFT that serves the same function as a digital ticket stub. The POAP is recorded on the blockchain, permanently verifying that you were in attendance at a special event such as a concert, Metaverse event, or, in this case, a real-world event like a red carpet movie premiere.

1687 had already worked with The Withers Collection civil rights organization on an NFT-based fundraiser to preserve historically significant civil rights photographs from acclaimed photojournalist Ernest Withers. The families of Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, and Ernest Withers were able to get their stories and brands in front of a broader Web3 audience through this collaboration without having to create stand-alone NFT collections.

Is your brand hosting an in-person event? Reach out to an aligned web3 partner to see if a POAP would be a useful utility to help attendees commemorate the experience in a permanent way.

How to Choose an NFT Project for Your Metaverse Collaboration

If the thought of getting your brand in front of a (virtual) audience in the Metaverse sounds exciting (and it should!), here are some steps you can take to choose the right partner to collaborate with.

Get educated in the NFT space. Understand what an NFT is and how blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies work. You don’t want to start a conversation without any background on the industry. It’s ok to be new to the space and to admit you are new but do make an effort to learn as much as you can about the wild new worlds of virtual reality and blockchain technology.

Join an aligned NFT community. You don’t have to pay out six figures for an NFT to enter the space. You can mint NFTs for tens of dollars or tens of thousands of dollars. Do your own research (DYOR) and try to find NFT communities that align with your purpose and passions. Which projects are giving back to causes you care about? What artwork speaks to you? Purchasing your first NFT is like collecting your first piece of art or supporting your favorite charitable organization. Find something meaningful to you.

Become an active community member. Once you’ve purchased an NFT, you have a “membership pass” to that community. So use it! Become active in that community, connect with the founders and artists, and build relationships with the other community members. (This is the way of Web3.)

Pitch your collaboration ideas. Look for ways to integrate your brand into that community. Can you help design an accessory or trait for an upcoming art collection? Is there a real-life or virtual event your brand can sponsor? Is there a virtual or real-world event that could benefit from a POAP? What can your brand bring to the community?

Look for ways to help and give back to your community and causes, and you’ll find yourself immersed in the Metaverse in no time – without minting a single thing.

Does your brand care passionately about diversity, equity, and inclusion? Join our community on Twitter and get to know more about our mission to produce web3 projects that help bring social good to the world.