Who said that luxury likes to stand apart? When it comes to Web3, luxury houses love nothing more than partnering with well-targeted tech communities.
A common denominator: rarity.
When asked why so many luxury brands have taken up the NFT theme, Raphaël Bloch, co-founder of online media The Big Whale, answers without hesitation with rarity. “The notion of the exceptional in the physical world has found its counterpart in the digital universe through the uniqueness of NFTs. The problem today consists, for these large houses, of transposing their universe into the web3 and transferring this concept of value”. Indeed, if the question of price is not really a subject for these actors in the physical world, that of their digital twins still remains abstract. How to price well, and at the same time convince consumers to invest substantial sums in intangible goods? This is one of the current issues for brands.
Collaboration, a bulwark against digital missteps.
Of all the sectors, luxury is undoubtedly the one that fears the most missteps, and all the more so when it comes to venturing into new areas, where the codes are shifting. However, the sirens of innovation did not need to sound very long to pique their interest. “The sector really developed 12, even 18 months ago in the luxury sector, a relatively short time, which made it possible to give rise to fundamental trends, among which collaboration”, explains Léo Simon, NFT/Web3 specialist and co-founder of CryptAgency. Indeed, what better than a partnership to allow houses to get started with a safety net? “By associating with a strong brand, such as Doodles or Cryptopunk, houses benefit from an access door to this universe while giving them the guarantee of a certain success”. An analysis shared by Raphaël Bloch, who also sees it as a way to train in a technology that is complex to say the least. “Brands do not have the internal resources to understand all the technical issues raised by NFTs. For example, if you lose your wallet, it’s disabling, but it’s a hazard known to everyone. If you lose the private key of your digital wallet or your NFT, there is no going back, except that the consumer has not yet integrated it”. Rules that it is better to master at the risk of transforming the customer experience into a source of disappointment.
Louis Vuitton versus Tiffany, the shock duel.
If the reasons why the luxury houses have chosen the path of collaboration are now clearer, it remains to be seen who came out with the honors. In this game, our two experts have their preference. For Léo Simon, Louis Vuitton comes out on top with his video game Louis The Game released in 2021, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of its founder. “A good example of what a brand can offer to tell its story in a visual and fairly simple way, while incorporating NFTs in a playful and accessible way”. For his part, Raphaël Bloch admits a penchant for collaboration between Tiffany & Co. and Cryptopunkunveiled this summer.
“Communication was well orchestrated, with cleverly balanced teasing. Where some houses are counting on substantial quantities, Tiffany & Co. has limited the collaboration to a drop of 250 NFT passes sold at a unit price of €50,000”. A good way to attract the sophisticated Cryptopunk community to the world of jewelry and vice versa. However, it is clear that these collaborations rarely set a precedent in terms of creativity. “The DA still mainly revolves around NFTs, but little by little, this stage will be exceeded to give more space to design, and to the consideration of brand tracers in the object” estimates Léo Simon. “A turning point that should be reached within two years”concludes Raphaël Bloch.
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Luxury and NFT: why collaboration is the preferred gateway for brands into the digital world?
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