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Marketing Leaders are Going Back to School


Shaan Kooner

Shaan is the Community Manager at ethos. He has a passion for building community and has been interested in blockchain technology from an early age.

Shaan is the Community Manager at ethos. He has a passion for building community and has been interested in blockchain technology from an early age.

“How does this impact me?”, “what is Web3?”, and “how can I use it?” are a few of the questions that have been circling many. Others have accelerated their learning by jumping in, creating their first NFT campaign or by beginning to create a full metaverse experience for their brands. The few at the front of the pack are inspiring others to join them.

Let’s see how some industry leaders are engaging in Web3 and what lessons we can learn from them.

Adidas is an industry leader that is no stranger to taking risks, forging unique partnerships, and curating forward-thinking campaigns. Adidas’ NFT campaign was one that was spontaneous, focused on exploration and experimentation, and was a campaign aimed at learning about how Adidas best fits into the Web3 world. They leapt into the space with their “Into the Metaverse” collection; an NFT drop that granted holders exclusive access to special physical goods and digital experiences. The collection sold out within in a few hours and netted Adidas over $22 million dollars in sales.

According to Tareq Nazlawy, Adidas’ senior director for digital growth, the jump into Web3 began being talked about in early 2021, while NFTs were still in their infancy. The move wasn’t necessarily something that was baked into their long-term digital strategy, but rather, an off-the-cuff foray into an emerging field that held unique opportunities for the Adidas brand. According to Tareq, the “why” behind Adidas’ jump into the NFT world was “really to just learn and explore and actually try and figure out how to be where we think Adidas should be.”

The lesson that all brands can learn from Adidas is this; try something new and focus on experimentation, learning, while remaining cognizant of the fact that there is no right or wrong within this new environment.

Nike is another industry leader that has recently jumped into Web3. In December of 2021, Nike acquired RTFKT studios, a brand that uses NFTs to create “next generation” collectibles and virtual experiences. Nike’s first NFT campaign, the “RTFKT x Nike Dunk Genesis CryptoKicks” collection, was designed to offer purchasers a highly personalized experience. Individuals could purchase NFT sneakers, and they could personalize them using “skin vials”. Each vial has a different level of rarity, and some of the rarest vials have sold for over 45 ETH. As of August 2022, Nike has generated roughly $184 million in revenue from NFTs alone.

Nike is an great example of how NFTs and blockchain technology can be leveraged to offer customers with a highly personalized and unique experience. NFTs are already assets that are usually unique and one-of-a-kind, and when you allow customers to personalize the elements that make them unique, it allows for a special digital product to be formed. Nike approached this campaign knowing how important personalization was to their consumers, and this vision was perfectly aligned with the already “one-of-a-kind” nature of NFTs.

Gucci is another example of an industry leader that is approaching NFTs and Web3 without a fear of failure. The current winners in the space are brands that approach their NFT and Web3 campaigns with a willingness to learn, experiment, and grow alongside the sector.

In an interview with McKinsey & Company, Gucci’s CMO Robert Triefus mentioned and praised the fact that many brands are taking an experimental and learning-based approach to NFT campaigns. He mentions that it’s going to take some time for brands to fully understand what NFTs represent in terms of customer experience and value-add, and the only way to do this is to pilot campaigns, experiment, and then analyze the learnings, findings, and insights that are produced as a result.

When approaching an emerging sector, it’s important to remember that there is no “right” or “wrong” or “normal”. The trends and commonalities of the past don’t necessarily apply to Web3, and the things that may become the “norm” have yet to be created and done. Just as Amazon normalized e-commerce and Facebook normalized digital social networking for Web2, the leaders of Web3 have yet to emerge. In an odd way, it is this very thing that is driving people away from Web3; the fact that it’s quite unknown, and that it is a digital arena that very few have ventured into. If you’re looking to get into this space, you’re going to have to “go back to school” and embark upon a journey of learning within a rapidly developing Web3 world. Your return to the (digital) classroom won’t go unrewarded though, as the end result is a chance to get involved within a global technological shift that may be go on to be the “norm” for generations to come.

So where can you go back to school? If you’re new to Web3 and are wondering where you should start, has fantastic introductory resources. They offer introductory guides on Web3, ether, and a wide variety of other foundational topics. Podcasts are another great way to learn about Web3, with some notable series being Web3 Breakdowns and the NFT Now podcast. In addition to, ethos also offers educational content which is posted on LinkedIn and on our blog. It’s also important to look to brands within your industry that have experimented with web3, and to analyze them as case studies to help you position your own brand within the field.

Much of this learning takes place digitally and on platforms such as YouTube, LinkedIn, and Medium. In addition to absorbing information, people are also learning through discussion on platforms like Twitter (and Twitter spaces), Discord, Slack, and Reddit. ethos is soon launching an education-based Web3 community specifically for brands. If you’re interested, be sure to sign up for our mailing list to stay updated – we'd love for you to join us on this journey!