If you were spooked by the idea of virtual merchandise eventually replacing the physical kind, well, this should calm your nerves: Even the biggest names in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency are using real branded merchandise.
This comes to us via Trish Rooney at InsideHook, who wrote last week that Bored Ape Yacht Club, probably the most recognizable name in NFTs, just released a line of breakfast cereals. Here’s how Rooney described the phenomenon:
While NFTs were supposed to be the great equalizer for digital art (even though that claim is loose at best in terms of actual artist accreditation), they’ve become something of an online joke. From Twitter users uploading their own “NFTs” as their icons, to a steady stream of memes about clicking save on NFT artwork, the internet doesn’t really get NFTs.
And that’s also the point; the NFT community doesn’t need you to get it. They just want you to know they get it, and what better way to do that than with merch they can show off while owning digital art that costs thousands of dollars?
So, yeah, even the virtual merchandise guys want physical merchandise. And it’s not just cereal.
Bored Ape Yacht Club has a full online store stocked with everything from hoodies, T-shirts and jackets to suitcases and backpacks. CryptoPunks, another big NFT brand, has a merch site where fans can grab a hat featuring their favorite CryptoPunks character. Rarible, an NFT marketplace, has sellers offering physical merchandise right alongside the digital stuff.
🛒Get this at https://t.co/7FnWidekfv
Crypto merchandise so awesome that now we are the official cryptocurrency gear provider of all crypto fans 🧢👕🧦$BTC $ETH $BNB $XRP $DOGE $ADA $DOT $UNI $LINK $VET $SOL $XMR $AAVE $ATOM $HOT $SUSHI $BADGER $TRON $LTC #ethereum #bitcoin pic.twitter.com/368UyWEUru
— Crypto Wardrobe (@cryptowardrobe) June 18, 2021
And then there’s Crypto Wardrobe, a hub for merchandise from cryptocurrency brands. Want a Bitcoin embroidered hat? They’ve got one. How ’bout a Decentraland throw pillow? You bet. SushiSwap shower curtain? Sure! The site has merch from over 40 different cryptocurrencies, which is, like, a lot more than we even thought existed.
That’s a lot of crypto brands! And while all of them operate in the digital space, they’re still based in the real world (at least until we all leave our corporeal bodies behind and migrate permanently to the Metaverse, or whatever). That means they need to market themselves just like any other brand.
GM! Take a deep breath @BoredApeYC #BAYC pic.twitter.com/mF3kP4VIUk
— lulo.eth 🏴|🦇🔊| 👽🅰️|🍌 (@korion2525) May 14, 2022
We’ve already seen plenty of big non-crypto brands, like Adidas, going the NFT route and reverse engineering a physical merchandise component. But the number of actual crypto-related companies now offering branded merchandise should ease any lingering fears that digital merch will eat into promotional products business.
Crypto is simply another potential market for branded merchandise sales (and an additional product offering unto itself). As long as the market recovers from its $200 billion sell-off, that is.