It is not new that there is a relationship between cryptocurrencies and various luxury brands. In 2000, when the Reserva brand started to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment in its online store, it was the biggest buzz in the market of fashion in Brazil, establishing itself as one of the pioneers of e-commerce by innovating in this way.
In Europe, Philipp Plein – German luxury fashion brand – is accepting cryptocurrency as a way of payment, consolidating itself as the first large luxury fashion group to also operate in this system.
São 10 different forms of cryptocurrencies accepted by the brand, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Consumers will be able to use digital currency to pay for items in the group’s physical stores around the world, as well as on the brand’s e-commerce platform, plein.com.
There are numerous movements observed of internationally renowned luxury brands betting on this path – more disruptive and innovative. The news now is that many brands have been exploring a different level in the commercial relationship with the universe of cryptos, expanding their operations beyond the purchase and sale relationship.
World of cryptocurrencies and luxury brands together for security
The trend seen more recently is the use of blockchain technology in valuing the authenticity of brands and in the fight against counterfeits, following the current wave of significant increase in digital assets such as NFTs, non-fungible tokens.
Functioning as a digital signature or a cryptographic seal linked to a creation, which guarantees the originality of a certain piece, the NFTs have attracted the attention and investment of several companies in the luxury and fashion market, which they live essentially from the attribute of exclusivity, offered at its highest level and in a unique way to its consumers.
Creating community and loyalty, through of social tokens
This is essentially due to two factors: firstly, because, operating in the blockchain logic, brands are able to ensure the unique and incomparable origin of their products, interconnecting their physical business fronts with the digital one.
Second, because NFT`s today have an incredible viralization potential on social networks, impacting influencers and generating a mass of followers and admirers of the brand, which at the end of the day results in new opportunities for customer loyalty and gains in image for brands. And, if there’s one thing that’s important for a luxury brand, it’s the innovative character of its image with its audience.
An example of success in this segment is that of Nike. In 2018, she patented the project “CryptoKicks”, a system for launching digital shoes, which can link physical shoes to their virtual versions, to be sold, transferred or stored in the online environment, through blockchain technology.
Each sneaker will have a unique registration on the network, which, in addition to making it exclusive, facilitates the process of checking shoes by sneakerheads, as the brand’s lovers and collectors are called.
Recently, Singapore’s Vogue magazine also bet on this union between the fashion world and blockchain technology and launched a collection with two versions of the magazine’s cover and several graphic arts in NFTs, in a project in partnership with Binance, the largest cryptocurrency platform in the world.
In addition to the exclusive covers, the publication presented the ‘ Flame Dress’ to commemorate the 09th anniversary of the day Balmain’s creative director, Olivier Rousteing, who designed an exclusively virtual dress model, available for purchase as an NFT.
Using cryptography to track the provenance of luxury goods
Another interesting case is the union of three rival conglomerates in the European luxury sector to establish a new consortium blockchain, with LVMH, Richemont and Prada together.
It will be possible to ascertain through this system the origins of the product – from the raw materials to the point of sale. The next phase of the platform will explore the protection of creative intellectual property, exclusive offers and events for each brand’s customers.
We’ve even seen rewards programs around, using Bitcoins to give away fan communities, replacing traditional loyalty programs. This is what the Lolli platform does, which sends Bitcoins directly to customers’ wallets when shopping online with its partners.
In Portugal, the Josefinas shoe brand has been standing out in this more airy and technological, as the first Portuguese luxury fashion brands to protect their intellectual property in blockchain.