Collaborations in Web3: A world of possibilities
Innovate or die
Stormy seas of change rock the foundations on which businesses are built, but organizations that ride these waves emerge as the crowned victors — for example, market leaders like Netflix and Disney.
Change is often centered around technology. In this case, Web3 offers endless possibilities ahead. Industry giants and conglomerates are already well aware of this, evidenced by innumerable collaborations and partnerships that have been popping up between web3 projects and these companies in recent years.
What do brands see in Web3?
In recent months, we draw reference to some of the larger collaborations that have hit the space, such as Adidas partnering up with Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), launching a 10,000 size collection that sold out in literally seconds, or Nike buying over RTFTK, an NFT studio responsible for the ever-so-hyped CloneX collection on OpenSea. For the uninitiated, BAYC is one of the most well-known NFT collections, a first-mover in the space that holds immense collector value and bragging rights alike.
So what do these fashion giants see in this space that so many other companies are overlooking?
First and foremost, brands seek to expand their economic value to consumers. For those well-established in the physical world, it only makes sense to expand their domain into the digital arena. Take for example the Fendi’s partnership with Ledger, which transforms the humble crypto wallet into a trendy fashion statement. This heralds the transformative change of connecting Web3 utility with luxury branding.
Web3 technology also allows corporations to enhance existing models. In the realm of anti-fraud, LVMH has partnered with Microsoft and ConsenSys to utilize blockchain to authenticate luxury products. Given the transparency of blockchain technology, this usage sits very appropriately.
Essentially, Web3 offers modern solutions for modern problems. One such example is the global supply chain crisis, precipitated by the COVID pandemic. Nike, for example, had to cancel 130 million product units in 2021 alone, taking revenue hits from issues plaguing manufacturing and transport. For a company involved in the fashion space, often subject to quickly shifting trends, this could be devastating. With Web3 and NFT technology, which doesn’t require physical factories or materials for product creation, distribution and production roadblocks would become an afterthought.
What this means for STEPN
What do luxury goods and NFTs share in common? Everybody wants the rarest, most exclusive and expensive ones around. Both are Veblen goods, or status symbols, where demand scales alongside price increases. The NFT model mirrors this, and could be easily applied to fashion items. Gaming NFTs are able to add another layer of demand on top through attributes that could affect gameplay, such as stat boosts.
At the frontier of the Move&Earn movement (pun intended), STEPN is poised to receive the initial influx of new users who are just discovering this genre of gaming. What this translates into is the endless possibilities for powerful collaborations, which lends itself very naturally to overcoming some of the modern-day problems that businesses face as stated above.
Brand Exposure — A Two-Way Street
The most intuitive collaboration that first comes to mind would be sneakers, premised on STEPN’s focus on staying active. The industry itself is a study in innovation, transforming the humble gym shoe into a cultural icon. Given that the ethos of sneaker culture itself is founded on transcending norms and exploring what is possible, a collaboration between STEPN and sneaker brands could steer the ship towards a new horizon. As an example, take our recently launched massively successful limited-edition sneaker drops with ASICS on Binance NFT platform.
Collaborations allow brands to push their reach past international borders without the associated costs that normally come with it while capturing another potentially huge customer demographic. An offering of purchasable sneaker skins also comes to mind, allowing die-hard fans to endorse their favourite brands in-game. These in-game releases could also be tied to real-life sneaker drops, which adds tremendous value to both the NFT and physical pair.
The sneaker market was reportedly valued at almost $10 Billion in 2021, reflective of the massive demand and pull from collectors. The rapid growth of NFTs signals the undeniable advent of the digital collection. It boggles the mind to think about what could happen when collaborations between these industries take shape.
STEPN is dedicated to constantly upgrading the user experience.
That being said, there is no reason to limit any considerations here. It is also worth exploring the expansion of in-game items to eventually include apparel in future updates of the game. One way of increasing value for the user would be equipping sports jackets or shorts that boost your running stats, potentially amplifying the return on time spent moving. Full set bonuses of a certain brand, which would allow users to represent brand loyalty, could also be given consideration. This opens another set of doors for collaborations. Brands will be able to retain their allure of exclusivity in-game, releasing limited collections of in-game apparel with special traits that will make these highly sought after by brand aficionados and avid gamers alike.
Onward and Upward
It is undeniable that brands are increasingly looking to grow their reach in the ever-expanding Web3 universe. Following the latest metaverse trend, immense sums of money are being invested as businesses rush to establish an early foothold in this space. This world rewards early movers, and STEPN is uniquely positioned to benefit from both the advent of brand alignment with Web3 and Move&Earn. This rising sun clearly illuminates a bright horizon ahead, and the world is in for a ride of the century.