The Porsche NFT: Why Brands Need To Focus More On Culture & Community
Lessons from the new brand NFT meta
If a brand NFT collection fails to mint out, does that mean it failed?
It’s never the plan to undermint, but it's not uncommon in a down market with less liquidity and enthusiasm.
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Porsche was the latest example this past week as they struggled to mint out their full collection of 7,500 Porsche 911 NFTs. They did however mint 2,363 NFTs and bring in over $3 million in revenue.
Porsche had some wins with this mint. And they have some opportunities to improve.
Most importantly, they are experimenting. They went big. That’s exciting and they deserve the freedom to keep trying new things and learning.
Brands launching into web3 will always be magnets for criticism. The bigger the brand (and the bigger the mint price), the more “feedback” you get.
That’s expected. And fair.
But there are some lessons to emphasize here.
Let’s take a look at what Porsche did well, where it can improve, and how the Porsche 911 mint fits into the current brand NFT meta.
What Worked Well
They sold over 2,000 NFTs at a very premium price point. A few million dollars may be a drop in the bucket for Porsche, but it’s not insignificant.
They pivoted quickly by creating more scarcity and a higher floor price.
Post-mint they leaned into supporting and over-communicating with their community members.
They have some unique NFT customization coming in February.
They’re building a real, custom Porsche based on feedback from the NFT community! Very cool.
What We Would Do Differently
Wildly expensive. At .911 ETH, they are way outside of the .05 to .1 ETH price most web3 natives are used to.
The intended collection size of 7,500 (for such a premium price) was too big.
They did not listen to early community feedback (mostly on price).
Buggy, unorganized mint windows (according to feedback from people who wanted to mint but couldn’t).
Not enough comms in general, but mostly there was not enough information about the NFT owner benefits - until after the mint (people didn’t know why they should buy/what they would be missing out on #FOMO).
In summary, we would lower the price, reduce the size of the collection, focus on listening to community feedback and more community building, and delineate NFT utility, based on community insights.
We would also do more testing of the mint experience ahead of time and make it as easy as possible for anyone who’s interested to buy the NFT or understand when they can buy. See also several other NFT mint window options and templates below.
The New Brand NFT Meta
Zooming out, Porsche not minting out their collection as planned is not a huge surprise. High price, large supply, low on details. Not an ideal combination.
I’m not mad at Porsche, though. They’re trying new things and they pivoted quickly. And in the end, it looks like there will be some unique utility:
The Porsche NFT art is pure customization (150k possible design variations) with unique trait options from Porsche brand partners and artists (Coming late February 2023) ← some of this art is epic, and we’ve only seen a tiny percentage
The community will vote on the best customized design and make that care IRL (coming end of Q2, 2023) ← very cool
Co-Creation of Porsche’s future in Web3 (not a ton of detail here yet, but they’ve included this co-creation messaging heavily — at a minimum holders can vote on what Porsche does next and how the project evolves)
The chance to drive a Porsche on track ← very cool
Community events (e.g. a visit to their Stuttgart factory or Formula E race events)
Exclusive capsule collection (I expect this is access to buy/win unique merch)
BTS conversations with Porsche designers, engineers, racers
I want more brands to experiment with web3. And part of this process includes failing a little here and there. In the beginning, it’s normal to learn through trial and error.
But, I would like to see brands use the abundance of web3 customization at their disposal (more on this below).
Web3 native NFT launches (Bored Apes, Doodles, etc.) are wholly different animals than legacy brands like Porsche experimenting in web3. Consumers expect a different experience from these two types of brands.
Culture Not Cash
Revenue in the millions of dollars is not a huge win for these legacy brands. Frontend revenue should not be the goal. Experimenting with community, art, and culture should be the goal.
Some questions to consider:
How can your brand use web3 tools to inspire and engage your community?
How can you empower your community to create something new with you?
How can you take what you learn in web3 and expand it to include more of your customers and community? How can you scale the culture?
Build communities. Build tools. Build experiences. Build infrastructure.
Focus less on revenue.
Plan for Pain
We’re still in a bear market for NFTs. The hype of NFTs has faded from the public view. Fewer collectors are fighting to be a part of every trend and collection.
Don’t assume a collection can mint out at a high price. Have a plan for what you will do if the collection stalls. Or better yet, use the tools available that will allow your NFT project to adapt with consumer demand.
So Many Mint Tools
The standard NFT mint is simple. You sell X NFTs, each for the same price, typically in a few hours or less. This setup creates a lot of pressure to sell out and sell out quickly.
Don’t feel trapped by this model. It’s time to try something new, especially when the market is down.
The toolkit for how NFTs can be sold today gives you options. And many of these options can help a brand remove some of the pressures created by the standard mint process.
Dutch Auction: Price slowly drops, allowing anyone to bid at the price they prefer as long as there is still supply.
Nouns-Style Auctions: Auctioning one NFT at a time. Once a day, once every 15 minutes, or any other time interval you choose.
Bucket Auction: All interested users pledge with their preferred bid. An algorithm determines one clearing price. Everyone who bid above the clearing price gets 1 or more NFTs. Everyone below is refunded.
Open Edition: No cap on supply. Any number of people can mint during a defined mint window (1 day, 1 week, unlimited, etc).
Free Mints: Allowing a select community to mint an NFT for no cost. Pure focus on community.
Member NFTs: Start small with a membership NFT that is free or cheap and limited to your target community (your best customers, biggest fans, etc). They become the driving force that allows you to launch bigger projects.
Delayed Mint Windows: Start small. Only let in a smaller percentage of the total community you’re trying to build. Open up to more users later on. This helps grow a stronger community and gives more opportunities to iterate.
Multiple NFT Types: Create multiple levels of access or benefits, priced accordingly. Some great suggestions on this one from JUMP News here.
Brands should also invent new minting solutions. A few simple ideas:
Give NFTs to customers for free and charge non-customers.
Require users to take a brand quiz. The more questions they get right, the lower their mint price.
Share a photo of yourself somewhere in the world with the product (a Porsche!), and you get on the allowlist.
There are no rules here. Make it fun and memorable.
The blockchain is a blank canvas.
We want more big brands to experiment and play and have fun. For this and many reasons, we see the Porsche 911 NFT is a success.