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NFTs in the Beauty Industry


Maddie Holeksa

Maddie is the Head of Operations at ethos. With previous experience helping consumer brands adopt new technology, Maddie has a passion to drive success for brands.

Maddie is the Head of Operations at ethos. With previous experience helping consumer brands adopt new technology, Maddie has a passion to drive success for brands.

Beauty brands are known for having a strong relationship with their customers. As a result, subscription and membership models have been taking off with brands, notably with Sephora’s membership tiers based on customers’ annual spend. There is enormous potential for blockchain technology to further this collective movement towards membership-based business.Over the past year, a few notable beauty brands have entered the NFT space, both as an innovative way to enhance traditional products and as an avenue to connect with a tech-savvy audience hungry for an exclusive, online experience. In this article we will explore the top ways beauty brands and their customers can benefit from an NFT strategy.

1. Provide Exclusive Products that are Authentic and Scarce

The beauty industry is known for offering customers a sense of exclusivity. After all, their products are supposed to make the clientele feel special. This is why beauty products are highly advertised at fashion shows and through influencers, where audiences can stay in touch with the latest trends.

NFTs are a way to provide just that - access to an exclusive club. Brands can leverage NFTs to offer access to exclusive fashion events, makeup tutorials with famous artists, one-of-a-kind product lines, and many other perks that the general public wouldn’t typically have access to. This type of utility is what gives an NFT value and makes customers crave the NFT-holder status.

2. Connect With Loyal Audiences Through Contests

In October of 2021, Clinique launched its first NFT campaign. In fact, it was the first of its kind in that users had to compete via social media to win limited NFTs. To enter, members had to post a video or photo on Instagram, TikTok or Twitter, answering the questions “How do you bring hope and optimism to the people around you?” and “Who brings a smile to your face?”.

By creating an online trend with a clear reward (the NFT), the brand essentially fuelled a social media marketing campaign at little cost. It was a great brand awareness strategy, paired with an innovative product for its most devoted fanbase.

NFTs create new avenues for marketing through interactive contests, which drive customer engagement and create a fruitful environment for gathering feedback. For instance, brands can ask customers to use their products in social media videos, and review their favourite ones for their followers to see. By shaping these contests, brands can control how their products are perceived by audiences, and how the messaging is framed. Winners will feel special and attached to the brand, providing a form of creative, widespread advertising.

3. Foster More Inclusive Communities in the NFT World

It is difficult to estimate the percentage of NFT holders that identify as women, but most speculate that the NFT world is largely male-dominated. What we know for sure, though, is that on the creators’ side, women are responsible for less than 5% of NFT sales (over 95% of sales go to men). This is an alarming statistic that must shift in favour of diversity and inclusivity.

The beauty industry, however, is largely female-dominated and has a valuation of over $277 billion USD. This intersection gives way for an incredible opportunity to bring more women to the blockchain world. As fashion and beauty industries enter web3, we can expect more female leaders and product launches. This will ultimately benefit the diversity and creativity of the blockchain space, as there is a big unaddressed market that has a lot of spending power.

4. Unlock Value in the Gaming and Metaverse Industries

You may have heard of the metaverse. Although we still don’t know who will be the winner of the virtual reality race, we are currently seeing increased adoption of blockchain-based metaverses, with Decentraland being the biggest player in the Ethereum space so far. No matter who wins and becomes the dominant virtual world, NFTs will shape the environment that people use to interact with each other both socially and commercially.

Estée Lauder, the owner of Clinique, was the only beauty brand represented at the Metaverse Fashion Week in Decentraland. They worked with makeup artist Alex Box to build sparkle filters for avatars to showcase their Night Repair Serum, effectively promoting both the brand and its leading product during the online event. The avatars of users who owned the NFTs were automatically offered a full face of makeup from the artist, distinguishing them from others.

Beauty brands have an opportunity to join the NFT space early and build valuable products for their most loyal fanbase. They can build a marketing strategy that is led by their own clientele through contests and social media campaigns, as well as provide authenticity to their products. By launching NFT campaigns, the beauty industry has the unique opportunity to foster more inclusivity, and innovate beyond the current ways of internet commerce.

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