Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are popping up all over the internet, in news and on social media as celebrities like Mark Cuban, Lindsay Lohan and NFL player Rob Gronkowski join the buzz. As with any emerging industry, there are niche markets within the world of NFTs that showcase collector markets beyond art and digital images.
For entrepreneurs, emerging markets like this can be the ultimate playground for innovation, discovery and to be the first among investors. Here’s what it takes to establish yourself in an emerging market, and lessons we can learn from leaders in the NFT space.
NFTs are digital collectible items that can be bought, sold and traded over the internet. They are entries on what is called a “blockchain”. Essentially, an NFT is something that proves you own a digital item. It’s like having the deed to a house, but instead of a house it’s an intangible item that lives on the internet, stored in a piece of code online.
This blockchain acts as a digitized ledger that shows the authenticity and ownership of a single digital asset. Each asset is different. Think about it this way: historically, if you are an art collector, you may have had to get a piece of art assessed for authenticity. With an NFT, the prestige of owning an original or rare piece is embedded in the asset itself. It’s obvious from the beginning that this item is authentic.
One unique element of buying NFTs is that you can have a limitless collection of assets, and you don’t have to worry about storing them, cleaning them, or finding places to display them.
Owning a digital asset, owning an NFT, doesn’t mean that the asset is hidden from the rest of the world. Unlike art collectors, who hide away their private collections, NFTs can be owned by someone and showcased to the entire world via the internet at the same time. For example, an NFT video clip of NBA star Lebron James dunking a basketball recently sold for more than $200,000 on a site called NBA Top Shot. Even though someone owns it, people can still view the video clip online.
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Find Your Niche and Make It Yours
Traditional collectors usually operate within a specific set of interests: car collectors, art collectors, book collectors, and so on. The same applies with NFTs, you can collect within a specific category and build a set of digital items under that umbrella.
One platform, Terra Virtua, is optimizing a unique sector of the NFT world: VR, AR and 3D entertainment. By choosing a niche, the company has narrowed down the range of digital assets they have to carry, and they’ve made it possible to target a specific audience more directly. In an emerging market like this, it’s essential for any entrepreneur to identify their niche and subsequently make it their own, helping them be the best at what they do. Terra Virtua has established themselves as the first place NFT collectors come to when they’re looking for assets in VR, AR and 3D entertainment.
Educate Your Users and Establish Loyalty
Once their niche was established, Terra Virtua built a strong community by having meaningful connections with their users, offering them more than just a digital marketplace for their products. They gave users the ability to share, trade and interact with virtual collectibles and helped educate them on how best to do it.
Education is essential for any brand wanting to solidify their place in an emerging market, as it establishes you as a leader and authority at the onset. This also helps brands within emerging markets establish loyalty among customers because they offer something more than a product. They offer community, resources, and a place to learn more about the industry.
Engineer Your Customer’s Experience
In order to grow your company in an emerging market, you have to be willing to go beyond the basics of selling a product, service or asset. You have to be willing to engineer your customer’s experience from the beginning to the end, giving them a meaningful experience they’ll come back for time and time again.
Terra Virtua has created their own currency for users, and even created a reward system that brings users more assets as they invest their money. These systems go beyond what is expected of the company, cultivating a buyer experience that generates loyal customers and a strong base of people who love their product.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to begin a business in a newly-found market, like NFTs, make sure that you are willing to put in the work ahead of time. This emerging market is only expected to grow, and getting in on the ground floor is an incredible opportunity. The best time to start is now.