Porshce’s project, initially announced at Art Basel Miami Beach, launched on Monday, and by Tuesday fewer than 1,500 of the collection’s 7,500 NFTs had been minted. Buyers, sensing this lack of demand, began listing their tokens on secondary marketplaces for less money. Hours later, after significant backlash online, Porsche cut the token supply and announced it would halt the mint. Only 30% of the intended supply had sold by the end of the fiasco.
“Many customers from the Web3 community have obviously held back because direct resale seemed unprofitable due to the customization of the NFT,” a Porsche spokesperson told AdAge. “The size of the community is not decisive for us. What is crucial, is that we can offer the community the most exclusive and individual events and utilities possible.”
Interestingly, the ad price has since risen on OpenSea but this case truly shows that people are buying and flipping for the arbitrage opportunity and not caring about Porsche’s Web3 community.
So where did it all go wrong? The tokens were sold on Porsche’s website for 0.911 ETH, or about $1,490 as of Monday morning. This may not have been that big of a deal a year ago, when the NFT market was still ripping and sellers could get away with shilling high-priced assets. But demand for digital tokens has since atrophied. According to many angry Web3 enthusiasts on Twitter, now is not the time for anyone—especially not a traditional brand dropping its first collection—to list NFTs for exorbitant prices.
Art direction also posed a problem. Each token’s art is based on an all-white Porsche 911 model, but buyers can influence additional design with the project’s artist in a “collaborative and immersive journey lasting several months.” It’s unlikely many NFT buyers would want to wait several months to see what their NFT looks like. This detail was promoted as the NFTs’ major selling point, but instead it became a major hitch. Moreover, a protracted mint does not bode well for a timely and efficient roadmap.
When launching an NFT, utility plays such an important factor and Porsche’s didn’t promise much utility. Porsche’s NFTs advertised nothing concrete in terms of the perks they offered buyers. Instead, the brand relied on simply owning an official piece of digital merchandise as reason enough to buy. In the collection’s original announcement, a Porsche executive said that owners would be able to gain exclusive access to experiences in the virtual and real world, as well as participate in “Porsche’s journey into the world of Web3 and enter into a dialogue with the brand.” None of this really says anything, and consumers could tell right away.
At the end of the day, the brand’s biggest overall error seems to be not staying up to date with and excited by the ever changing Web3 landscape. Within this landscape, authenticity is so important and any brands looking to commercialise on it are unlikely to find success. A brand must continuously review and adjust its go-to-market strategy in order to fit within the rapidly changing Web3 landscape.
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