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Study: Only 16% of people understand what the metaverse is

16percentGraph 1 2

14 June 2022

According to Meta, the metaverse is the next evolution of social connection

That sounds lovely, but what does that mean exactly?

Others say the metaverse will be the new front end of the internet featuring digital spaces and experiences.

Again…super exciting. But how do consumers feel about all of this? Are they excited? Horrified? Do they find value in owning virtual goods? 

In May 2022, we set out to find out by conducting a survey of nearly 2,000 consumers about their feelings towards the metaverse, based on their current knowledge. The respondents ranged in age from 18 to 60 and were all located in the US.  

Here are some of the highlights and how brands can leverage this data to accelerate metaverse technology acceptance and enthusiasm. 

Meta fest 2022

When asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement “I understand what the metaverse is”, only 16% of people said that they agreed. 

This percentage was fairly consistent across all age groups, with 18-29 year-olds performing slightly worse than their older cohorts. 

Metaverse definitions are widely disputed, so it’s not surprising that users are confused, but herein lies an opportunity for education. 

According to web3 expert and brand innovator, Paula Marie Kilgarriff, brands should “stay away from saying ‘the one metaverse.’ What brands are doing is using technology to create 3D virtual experiences that encourage co-creation and customisation. It’s really about augmenting, not replacing other experiences.”

By calling it a singular metaverse, your marketers and technologists are getting backed into a corner. It creates an in and an out crowd. Users might also think they need a VR headset to access the metaverse. 

H&M recently created a virtual showroom (and named it just that) to leverage 3D and VR technology. This experience could be considered a metaverse, but by calling it a virtual showroom, users immediately understand what the digital offering is, and why they might join.  

16percentGraph 1 1

Despite lack of knowledge, there is plenty of curiosity 

Even though most people aren’t exactly sure what the metaverse is or how it will benefit them, they would still join. Why? 

Simple curiosity. 

41% of users said curiosity was their number one reason to participate in the metaverse. Other reasons include gaming in the metaverse or attending a digital event. 

New technology is exciting, and people want to experience it firsthand, even if they don’t understand it. This fact should excite brands and digital businesses since curiosity and marketing go hand in hand. 

The NBA made the smart decision early on to experiment with curiosity to deliver gamified digital collectibles. A Top Shot NFT pulls inspiration from collectible trading card games, incorporating an element of reveal by allowing fans to “rip” open a digital pack.

The contents, digital cubes that rotate to reveal the stats and footage from iconic NBA dunks, are all highly watchable. But the moments they feature can be hard to find and collect, with just 0.09% representing the “legendary” moments that have been sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

By capturing fans’ curiosity about what their pack will contain, the NBA found major success with NFTs. Within its first five months, Top Shot netted more than $370 million.

Participation Graph 1 1

68% of users don’t see value in NFTs 

NFTs are a popular way for brands to experiment within the metaverse, and companies like Coca-Cola, Taco Bell, and the NFL have successfully created and sold NFTs to their fans. 

With constant news of new NFTs, it may seem like NFTs are a no-brainer for popular brands wanting to experiment with metaverse technology. 

However, we found that 68% of users don’t see the value of owning an NFT. Of those that do see the value in NFTs, 38% said their reasoning was “The potential value [of an NFT] in the future.” 24% said to own a collector’s item of a favourite artist/group and 18% said to participate in an exclusive experience. 

Many early NFT adopters understand the long-term value of these assets, but more education is needed for the bulk of consumers. 

NFTs can have tangible value, but brands need to do a better job educating users on what exactly this value is.  

NFTs have five main benefits, which include

1. Create liquidity for historically non-liquid assets.  
2. Make ownership transparent and accessible.
3. Interact more meaningfully with a dedicated fanbase.
4. Create new ways to engage with digital audiences. 
5. Add new digital experiences to existing goods and services.

For instance, imagine a world where your ownership of an NFT gives you the voting rights for the style of the next Nike Airforce One drop in the physical world. 

NFTs Graph2

However, users understand (and love) AR 

While users might not understand a single “the metaverse” or the value of an NFT, they do understand components of the metaverse and how they add value to their lives. 

Consider online shopping. Think with Google found that 66% of people want to use augmented reality (AR) when shopping online and that this kind of engagement can improve conversion rates. 

Snap’s latest AR features transform 2D photos (such as product photography) and turn them into turnkey AR-ready assets for Snapchat AR try-on Lens experiences. The user takes a couple of steps back, the camera snaps their body, and then imposes the clothes onto the static image of the user. 

Augmented reality is metaverse technology, and it’s already here and incredibly sophisticated. It’s a way of bridging real life and the digital one, bringing metaverse opportunities through mobile rather than through a headset or computer screen. 

66percentGraph 1

Engaging with brands in the metaverse? It’s a 50/50 split 

50% of users said that they would engage with a brand in the metaverse. This number aligns with other industry standards, including Statista’s 2021 report that 45% of users do engage with brands via “liking a post from a brand”. 

We followed up with the question, “What would encourage you to engage with a brand?” and the most popular themes were

– Brand affinity
– Exclusive sales/discounts
– Enhanced experiences
– To experience products before purchasing  

Creating a billboard or commercial in the metaverse is one thing. Convincing fans to actively engage with you is another. To successfully do this, brands will need to create a community, offer a discernible benefit, or have an awe-worthy metaverse experience. 

Surprisingly, the top perceived drawback isn’t climate-related 

We asked survey-takers about negative aspects, if any, that might exist in the metaverse.

By far, the number one response was a hypothesized “disconnection from real life,” with 47% of survey takers responding as such. Following that was the potential for trolling/harassment and then misinformation potential at 19% and 17%, respectively. 

Environmental issues? A mere 4% listed it as a top concern. 

Even if our survey said users don’t care, we know that energy consumption issues associated with things like NFTs are a concern for brands. The good news is that blockchain technology isn’t inherently bad for the environment

By using proof of stake instead of proof of work, the energy consumption of blockchain transactions is reduced by about 99%. Today, there are a few platforms that use this kind of validation, the major one being Algorand

For Algorand, sustainability is a core component. As the world’s first pure proof of stake blockchain, the Algorand network is designed to minimally impact the environment. 

Potential Drawbacks Graph

Takeaways for brands 

People might not know what the metaverse is yet, but they love the tech that drives it.

This includes virtual worlds, augmented reality (AR) via filters and cameras, and online communities. As the line between digital and physical continues to blur, these technologies are the best places to start experimenting and investing. 

Approachability and education will be essential.

An average user might not understand your brand’s “metaverse experience” but they do understand a “virtual showroom.” Be clear in your naming conventions so you don’t end up confusing your users.

Create it and they will not come.

To engage with a brand, people want something in return. Sometimes monetary benefits, sometimes exclusivity, sometimes experiences. Creating a successful brand experience will require you to understand your user’s preferences and then deliver. 

The research conducted by DEPT® was distributed to 1,777 users in the United States. Ages 18-68, with a 50/50 gender balance. Completed 2.5.2022. 

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The impact of automation on the future of work

Metaverse 2

30 May 2022
Metaverse 2

By Mark van Rijmenam, Author of The Organisation of Tomorrow and Step into the Metaverse

Automation has great potential for society and it is this promise that makes the future of work so incredibly exciting. In my opinion, automation is one of the three parts that will define the future of work alongside data and decentralisation. All three combined have the potential to fundamentally change society and make work better, faster, more efficient – and more humane.

Deploying automated technology

While many organisations are focusing on the low hanging fruit, such as automating call centres or using robotic processing automation, the real potential that AI and machine learning will bring over the years is when organisations start experimenting with it in the way that the big tech firms are currently doing. 

In 10 years from now, we will be automating more complex, strategic tasks. Examples include self-driving cars and fully automated warehouses. We will start to see the results of connecting and automating different processes. We see the beginnings of this process already in the Tesla Gigafactory and the ‘dark factories’ of China. Currently, these fully automated systems are outliers, but we are moving in that direction.

What we can learn from the Gigafactory is that it took Tesla a very long time to achieve the level of automation that they have, but once a company has established an effective system, the benefits are enormous. Businesses can operate their factories more efficiently and effectively. At the start of the pandemic, a number of Chinese factories became dark factories which enabled them to continue to operate despite the lockdowns.

Working alongside robots

Automation will undoubtedly affect the future of how business is done. From a shareholder perspective, businesses will have to find a balance to ensure the benefits to the organisation don’t solely end up in the hands of a small group of people. 

In an optimal scenario, automation can enable shorter work hours, fulfilling work and sufficient pay for ordinary workers to make a good living. For this to happen, the benefits of automation need to be shared with everyone in society.

Automation can make work more interesting by taking away a lot of mundane tasks. To take one example, it can enable call centre agents to switch mundane calls for more complex cases, which can be more challenging and interesting for employees. 

Even the creative industries, such as advertising, marketing, and writing, are increasingly finding that automation has a role to play in augmenting the creative process. As an example, when writing Stepping into the Metaverse, I had about 100 interviews and around 150 surveys to complete. I was able to do these fully automated. I switched on an automated system and saw interview invites popping up on my calendar. I then used AI software to transcribe the interviews and another AI tool to summarise the articles I read. I finished the book in three months, which was only possible because of automation.

Metaverse 1

Limitless application

Every industry can benefit from automation. It’s about starting small and going from there. For me, automation is like Lego. The only limits to what you can build are your resources, funds and your imagination. You can literally come up with whatever you want to. 

The right question is not what automation could do – because everything is possible – but what should automation do. A lot of work can be automated. The question is: do we want it to be? Overall, I’m optimistic about the potential of automation, but there are downsides to automating whatever we can, wherever we can to save and make money. 

As people, we need meaning in our lives. And we need to ensure that our choices about the future make sense from a social as well as an economic perspective. This issue is going to become an increasingly interesting and relevant debate, and in that respect, automation gets right to the heart of what it means to be human.

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Are NFTs bad for the environment?

power lines
Kelsey Anderson
Kelsey Anderson
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
10 May 2022

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are becoming more widespread as web3 technology expands. If you’re a brand with a loyal fanbase, you’re probably curious about how you can leverage NFTs. However, these tokens have a reputation for contributing to emissions and negatively impacting the environment.    

This reputation has caused some backlash from consumers, one example being in the world of K-pop, where labels faced an outcry after launching NFT products.

So, are NFTs bad for the environment? Are there clean ways to mint and sell NFTs? 

If you’re a brand that aligns with climate consciousness, high energy consumption is not something you can simply ignore. But does that mean you have to skip out on NFTs? 

In this post, we’ll dive into NFT’s effect on the environment and whether there are alternatives. 

TL;DR, are NFTs bad for the environment? 

Traditional methods of minting and verifying NFTs are indeed energy-intensive. Most of today’s NFTs live on OpenSea, an Ethereum-based platform that is notorious for consuming energy. In these cases, yes, NFTs are harming the environment. 

However, there are carbon-neutral blockchains on which NFT marketplaces can be built. These operate differently, with minimal energy consumption. If you leverage an NFT marketplace like this, then NFTs can easily be carbon neutral. 

power lines

Some NFT terminology 

Before we dive into the specifics of NFTs and their impact, it’s important to understand a few terms we’ll be throwing around. 

NFT: A non-fungible token. Essentially, this proves ownership of an asset on the blockchain. 

Proof of work: validation method that confirms transactions (including NFT transactions). This method requires a lot of computer processing, which consumes a lot of energy. 

Proof of stake: a different validation method that uses considerably fewer validators. This method requires much less energy. 

Ethereum: An open-source blockchain. Companies can use Ethereum to build digital products. 

OpenSea: The largest NFT marketplace, built on Ethereum.

Traditional NFT platforms  

The first major NFT platform was OpenSea, and today it represents about 60% of bought/sold NFTs. Because OpenSea was the first major platform, users flocked to it. So did brands. 

OpenSea is built on the Ethereum blockchain platform, and Ethereum uses proof of work to validate transactions. 

This is a bit unfortunate because NFTs are not inherently bad for the environment. Rather, proof of work is bad for the environment (there is some nuance to this of course). OpenSea (and most NFTs) just happened to be built on this platform, cascading the impact to NFTs. 

Luckily, alternatives have emerged. Users and brands no longer need to rely on OpenSea and other proof of work platforms. 


Eco-friendly NFT platforms 

By using proof of stake instead of proof of work, the energy consumption of blockchain transactions like buying/selling NFTs is reduced by about 99%

For any brand wanting to leverage NFTs in a sustainable way, you can do so with a proof of stake platform. 

Today, there are a few platforms that use this kind of validation, the major one being Algorand

For Algorand, sustainability is a core component. As the world’s first pure proof of stake blockchain, the Algorand network is designed to minimally impact the environment. Because it’s pure proof of stake, it requires minimal computational power or electricity. Algorand has been a leader in minimising the environmental impact of blockchain technology. 

Brands can quickly build and launch their own NFT marketplace on the Algorand blockchain using the open-source project Algomart. Algomart is a carbon-negative, white-label solution that is fully customisable for brands, created by the engineering team here at DEPT®. 

It’s also important to call out that Ethereum is in the process of what it calls “The Merge”, where the current Ethereum Mainnet will merge with the beacon chain proof of stake system. This will complete the transition to proof of stake for Ethereum, set to finish later this year. According to Ethereum, this will “start the era of a more sustainable, eco-friendly Ethereum.” If all goes according to plan, this should be a big step in helping brands gain more confidence in experimenting with NFTs without having to sacrifice their sustainability goals. 

The bottom line is this: NFTs are not the emission-heavy technology that they’re often painted as. It wholly depends on the technology underpinning their transactions. By using carbon-neutral technology, any brand can mint, sell, and re-sell NFTs without going against their principles.  

To learn more about NFTs, and levering eco-friendly tech, reach out to the web3 team at DEPT®. 

Learn more about NFTs at the Meta Festival on 28 June 2022

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How to survive & thrive in Web3

women wearing vr goggles
Kelsey Anderson
Kelsey Anderson
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
3 May 2022

Below are top takeaways from a panel conversation from the recent DEPT® event, ‘Web3: A new era for the Internet’.

To view the full discussion, scroll to the bottom of this page or watch the YouTube replay here.

web3 panel

Meet your panel

This panel features a discussion between Tobias Cummins, Director at DEPT® alongside four Web3 experts

  • Paula Marie Kilgarriff, Web3.0 consultant
  • Mike Charalambous, CEO of Threedium
  • Stefania Barbaglio, founder at Cassiopeia Services
  • Tim Walther, Metaverse & NFT at Volkswagen Group

Below, many Web3 topics are discussed, including how to prepare for Web3, what the metaverse will look like, and how brands can dive in.

Where should brands begin? 

Paula Marie Kilgarriff: In fashion/retail, the web3 space is basically a 3D virtual shopping experience, so what I say to brands is that you need to create 3D assets and prepare your website for 3D. 

When I say virtual stores, I don’t mean VR and headsets. Use your web browser to interact with a website that has 3D objects. These 3D objects give customers an opportunity to co-create certain kinds of products online.

Mike Charalambous: I couldn’t agree more. We’re actually more of a web2.5 advocate. The reason being is that most brands and agencies have revenue tied to their e-commerce shops.

A steady system needs to be shored up before your start to get your hands dirty with 3D. 3D is not your standard photography. They have their own lighting environment and their own behavior.

So once brands understand the techniques of 3D objects and how different commerce solutions use 3D, then AR product explorers can innovate and trigger specific consumer behaviors. This allows them to gather data and test them on avatars.

What are the key areas of readiness for Web3? 

Tim Walther: In general, you have to dig deep into web3. You have to be aware of what is happening in this space because it is so different from web2. 

Customers for your NFT/experience will be a lot different from customers of the past. In the past, you might have fans to which you’re speaking, but now (if you’re selling an NFT), you might have a small shareholder. 

To do it right you must have a working roadmap, inroads in place to speak to your communities, and an understanding of how the communities interact with web3. The risk of doing something wrong is big.

To test/learn, find good partners that have a proven record. Learn from them and only then take a bigger step forward.

Is Web3 relevant for some brands more than others? 

Stefania Barbaglio: Yes, I think not only fashion but the entire luxury market. Jewelry, cars, drinks, etc. Anything that needs a way to authenticate could benefit from blockchain technologies. Even the secondary market, so buyers can verify that their purchases are authentic. 

Tim Walther:  If you look back one year, NFTs were more or less digital images and pieces of art that are connected to the blockchain. In the past year, others have shown us what can happen with a smart contract.

If you connect this to a smart contract, then an NFT can become a community. It can become a key or a one-on-one relationship with your brand. 

I’m certain that things will show up in the next month or years that we cannot even imagine at the moment.

The metaverse is the era where humans put equal ownership on digital goods as they do on physical goods.

Mike Charalambous, CEO of Threedium

What’s the current state of the Metaverse?

Paula Marie Kilgarriff: I would stay away from saying “the one metaverse.” What we’re doing is using technology to create 3D virtual experiences that encourage co-creation and customization.

If you think of it recently, some metaverses are centralized, some decentralized, some have tokens, some don’t have tokens, some are VR, and some are AR.

You might have a luxury metaverse or mass-market one, one for retail and another for lifestyle and entertainment.  

Brands are figuring out customer touchpoints and journeys and fortifying them with different types of technology. It’s really about augmenting, not replacing other experiences.

The true value of 3D objects is the ability to understand what the customer wants when they want and how they want it.

Mike Charalambous: The most important thing is that metaverse can be anything you want it to be. 

Here’s my way of breaking it down: 

The metaverse is the era where humans put equal ownership on digital goods as they do on physical goods. 

It’s not a butterfly-unicorn-cloudy world you go into to dance and fly. 

It’s the era where consumers shift their behaviors, and they’re ready to start spending money to own something digitally, knowing that ownership can unlock different levels of rewards and accessibility for them. 

Anyone has the chance to create something. Anyone has the chance to be wherever they want to be. Basically, the metaverse world will act as new means of social media channels. 

So always think of the metaverse world as a social commerce channel, where people are going to be interacting with brands in different ways. We’re going to be seeing new KPIs, such as play to earn, wear to earn or sweat to earn. We’re going to be seeing a different way in how influencers and ambassadors find value–not as to how they look (beautiful faces or slim bodies) but what kind of contributions they’re making to the space.

And metaverse and NFTs don’t necessarily have to go together. NFTs are the form of a CRM for the brand, a form of utility. They unlock or enhance your relationship. NFT’s are just the means to the end, an additional way to provide rewards and a stronger sense of ownership for their customers.

Any brand that does not understand this is going to be losing market share starting from now. 

It’s like the early days of social media, with smaller platforms vs Facebook. Facebook came in and crushed everybody. So there might be a metaverse world where it’s going to prevail and have massive volume versus everybody else.

But there will also be some micro-verses that are more specialized.

What are your Web3 cautionary tales?

Mike Charalambous: From the brand side, there are two major things.

1. Financial pitfalls when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrency
2. The fact that taxation is not addressed within this full metaverse ecosystem

That makes life hard for brands to synthesize robust commercial strategies. And this forces them to spend a lot of money on tax consultations. They’re afraid that their public image might be impacted if somebody if they do something in the metaverse.

Consumer-facing, what they’re very much afraid of is ensuring that there’s going to be longevity in my relationship with the brand. How do I ensure that this token gives me that utility in real life?

They have a lack of confidence that the brands are ready to sustain and feed these relationships in perpetuity.

What are you most excited about?

Paula Marie Kilgarriff: Web3 and web3 protocols for the fashion supply chain. 

So it could be Zara presenting a new collection to its stakeholders and then they vote on which products are made in that supply chain in real-time. 

Stefania Barbaglio: Avatars and digital identities. There will be a different way to look at influences. The community can influence brands on what kind of influencers are selected. 

Tim Walther: It’s really the community. And that also, that really means the web3 community. How are you solving X problem? That’s not happening a lot in marketing, but we’re all in the same boat. 

What I love about the technology is that it is unleashing some creativity in marketing and in communication that we haven’t had in years. Social media 2.0 was very cool, very interesting, and unleashed a lot of things, but now we have something where we can basically add every, any utility.

And that leads me to the third and last point, which is you able to get closer to your customer. You can get brands and customers one-on-one. A real relationship. 

Mike Charalambous: What we’re focusing on a lot is this notion of connected commerce or meta commerce.

How we can take assets, create them once, but sell them thrice across physical, digital, and the metaverse with consistent experiences.

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5 questions brands should ask about NFTs

nft questions to ask
Jesse Streb
Jesse Streb
Global SVP, Engineering & Technology
2 May 2022
digital art nft concept

Did you know the first NFT was created in 2015? 

Yep, it took less than five years for NFTs to reach worldwide notoriety. And since then, the market for NFTs has exploded, with folks either loving them or rejecting the idea altogether. 

Because of the polarization that NFTs have caused, it can be difficult for businesses to confidently participate in the NFT world. 

Fortunately, we’ve planned, created, and released many NFT marketplaces, and understand both the strategic and tactical considerations surrounding them. 

There are five essential questions every leader must evaluate before starting down the path of NFT creation. 

1. What is the state of the NFT market?
2. Should my brand leverage this new technology? 
3. What makes a good NFT experience? 
4. Are NFT’s bad for the environment? 
5. Do users need to buy NFTs using Crypto? 

Below, our team helps you answer these essential NFT questions.

What’s the state of the NFT market?

OpenSea is the world’s largest NFT marketplace, valued at $13bn. In fact, OpenSea traded $5bn worth of NFTs in January 2022. 

There’s just one problem. In that same month, OpenSea admitted that 80% of NFTs created for free on its platform were either plagiarized from other artists or spam.

This leads us to the unfortunate reality of NFTs: a lot of harmful activity, primarily around “Crypto Bros” trying to inflate prices and promote schemes that offer little or no value beyond basic computer-generated digital art. A lot of these are very much “get rich quick” ideas which are often likened to Ponzi schemes.

But amongst the noise, there are real NFT projects that are thriving. This is especially true of digital fashion and unique collectibles.

At the end of the day, it’s the projects that offer the best utility for the NFT that will succeed–the perks, experiences, and opportunities that are unlocked by owning one. 

One final thing to bear in mind – governments are looking to regulate the NFT markets, i.e., starting to treat them as commodities that can be taxed. It’s essential to stay up to date on the regulations around crypto and NFTs to take full advantage. 

nike swish

Should my brand leverage this new technolgoy?

Whether your brand could benefit from NFTs depends on many things–your industry, audience, ideas, and execution. 

Generally, any brand with intellectual property or collectibles that an end-user would find valuable can experiment with NFTs. The same goes for brands offering exclusivity. 

To give you an idea, here are the industries that have been successful in creating value around NFTs. 

Intellectual property & collectibles 

Notably, NBA TopShot drove over $700m in NFT sales since its launch, which provides users a chance to “‘own the moment” by selling motion graphics of top NBA players in games.

And Dapper Labs and Socios have created a variety of sports league and team-related NFTs. Digital cards or videos clips are bought in the same way that children once collected stickers or baseball cards.


Fashion has been a great driver of NFT innovation given the possession-based nature of the industry and people wishing to constantly try new digital outfits and looks. This industry is only going to grow. Plus NFTs also allow fractional ownership of high-worth fashion – be it real-world or digital creations. They allow consumers to buy, sell and trade items, and creators to get residual benefits via smart contracts.

For industry leaders, look to Gucci and Nike. 

Gucci was the first high-end fashion brand to engage with NFTs when they sold a four-minute movie for $25,000. And Nike recently announced their acquisition of RTFKT, a virtual shoe company that makes NFT sneakers for the metaverse

Gaming and fashion in gaming

NFT as possessions in virtual worlds and video games is also a growth market, but a lot of NFT value comes from their utility. Think skins, loot boxes, and access to secret spaces. These possessions can elevate a gaming experience in many ways. 

Fashion within gaming is another noteworthy opportunity. Many of the fashion industry’s collaborations have been with Fortnite, Roblox, and other gaming platforms. 


Arenas, artists, or event planners that are in the business of selling tickets to experiences can benefit by creating NFTs that complement the fan experience. This could be collector items or in-person perks. 

Coachella is a great example. They currently offer NFTs on their site that falls into these two categories 1. A lifetime Coachella pass wth exclusive benefits and 2. Never-before-seen photography from past Coachellas. 

A final benefit for events is the ability to combat ticking fraud. Anyone buying a ticket on a secondary market can see if it’s real via the blockchain. 

Brands with megafans

Brands that have megafans and go out of their way to engage with them are also a potential market. This could be musicians, artists, celebrities, restaurants, and even consumer goods (Coca-Cola, for example). Giving megafans special perks via NFTs can be a great way to promote loyalty. 

Some brands and industries lend themselves naturally to NFTs more than others, but it’s best to do an NFT workshop to determine whether your brand could benefit from NFTS and if they will be well-received. 

What makes a good NFT experience?

It depends who you ask!

Unless you are selling art or digital fashion, the experience is all about what the NFT can be used for. How you define this, depends on your brand and how you wish to activate it.

NFTs can be a ticket to experiences, exclusivity, and community–both online and off. 

If you want to cultivate meaningful, long-term relationships with your audience, then the strategy behind the NFTs’ utility is paramount. Of course, this strategy starts with your users and their desires. 

When thinking about creating the most impactful experiences, we always look at the motivations of the people who will be experiencing them.

For example, do people own extremely popular NFTs because they like the exclusivity and events it brings them (Intrinsic motivation), or do they own them because they hope to sell them one day for a lot of money (extrinsic motivation)?

Our recommendation is to focus on the intrinsic value for the consumer. What is a person getting out of the experience? Is it enjoyable? Do they get personal value from it?

Gary Vaynerchuk is involved in a new seafood restaurant that sold 1501 NFTs to raise $15m. According to their site, “This token represents your ownership of membership to our private dining club,” creating both exclusivity and a community of patrons.

Here’s why they decided on creating an NFT experience over a traditional membership. 

“As an NFT, the membership becomes an asset to the token holder, which can later be sold, transferred or leased to others on the secondary market.” 

listening to music outside

Are NFTs bad for the environment?

Currently, the computer power needed to create an NFT is high. Proof of Work networks such as Ethereum can use more than 20kgs of CO2 to mint one NFT. Layer 2 networks such as Polygon have reduced the cost and environmental impact of minting, but issues remain.

Such waste has caused a huge backlash from some consumers, not least in the world of K-pop, where labels faced an outcry after launching NFT products.

Luckily, there are carbon neutral or negative platforms emerging, like Algorand, which will allow companies to offer NFTs without the negative effects. 

If you’re interested in environmentally-friendly NFTs for your brand, we recommend using Algomart. Algomart is a carbon-negative, white label solution that is fully customizable for brands, created by the engineering team here at DEPT. 

Do users need to buy NFTs using Crypto? 


Traditionally, users have needed to use something like Coinbase to convert USD into cryptocurrency before purchasing NFTs. For many users, this is a huge hurdle. 

However, today, brands can overcome this conflict by using a platform like Algomart. 

Algomart blends web2 payments with web3 NFTs, i.e., allows you to sell NFTs with standard currency via credit card transactions. 

Businesses don’t need a separate crypto-wallet either. There are custodial wallets that hold deposits and allow you to transfer the money in and out.  Algomart simplifies interactions with the blockchain and uses Circle’s payment solutions. Not only can you create an NFT “store,” it takes care of the seemingly-complex payment systems. 

This technology means that any brand can create and start selling NFTs to their users–whether they know a lot about cryptocurrency or not. 

Getting started with NFTs

If you want to explore how NFTs might add value to your brand, we recommend starting with a discovery workshop. During this, we can help you understand whether NFTs are right for your brand, what kind of value you can provide, and the logistics of creating your first NFTs.

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Global SVP, Engineering & Technology

Jesse Streb

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Why the metaverse matters for brands and how to act on it

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Stephen Murphy
Stephen Murphy
Client Services Director
10 February 2022

At Meta Festival 2021, we came together with experts from the digital marketing, e-commerce and tech scenes, as well as futurists, designers and psychologists, to discuss the emerging metaverse trend and what it means for marketers, consumers and wider society.

The new normal is here to stay

The pandemic rapidly accelerated the shift towards remote and hybrid work, pushed new technologies, and simultaneously shaped novel ways of how we connect to each other in the digital space.

This new normal is here to stay and is influencing not only how we work and live, but also how we consume. There has been a notable shift in business mindsets, with the potential of virtual realities being used far beyond the gaming and entertainment sphere. VR (no, not necessarily a VR headset) is increasingly being seen as the next technology revolution to create, discover, identify, socialise, collaborate and democratise. This shift can be compared to how mobile technology revolutionised our culture, from the very first iPhone release to now; the metaverse is the next iteration of the internet and will revolutionise how humans interact and live their lives.

The future outlook predicts there will be shared virtual worlds (all together as one metaverse), where we will have a new economy, environment, currency and behaviours. Where game mechanics, massive interactive live events (MILEs), blockchain-enabled digital goods and virtual commerce will all blend together.

First-movers are entering the game

Pioneering brands like GucciBalenciaga
DisneyBMW and Snap are using first-mover momentum and stepping into the metaverse, maximising its potential by creating virtual fashion, assets, content, communities and experiences. It will be exciting so see which brands will join them and what experiences they will create. One thing is for sure: the time to start is now!

How to act on it

The first step is to analyse the potential of the metaverse in regards to how it can serve your business needs and the needs of your target audience best. How to master the metaverse as a brand is strongly connected to the problems you want to solve:

Do you want to enter the metaverse? Or would you just like to exchange thoughts with us about the topic? Feel free to reach out to us – we’re passionate about the metaverse and happy to find like-minded partners to explore with!


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Client Services Director

Stephen Murphy

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