How an artisanal boot brand is using NFTs to engage with their community
TAFT Clothing, or TAFT for short, has always strived to create bold, unique, and high-quality footwear. Since starting their business in 2013 out of a two-bedroom apartment, founders Kory and Mallory Stevens have continued to push the boundaries of unique yet affordable footwear.
“I’ve been a fan of TAFT since 2017 and own at least six pairs of TAFT shoes,” says Enshrine Co-founder Derek Gorthy. “Why do I keep coming back? Time and time again, I’ve seen how committed the TAFT team is to exceptional quality and focus on their community.”
How TAFT has approached customer and community engagement in the past
When the TAFT team first started, they engaged with their community primarily through email newsletters and responsive customer service. Kory frequently sent newsletters to his supporters whenever he was looking for feedback on a new product line, when he needed to increase the price of his boots due to rising supply chain costs, or just to let them know how appreciative he was.
TAFT then created a Facebook group where die-hard fans could discuss the latest sneaker drops or speculate on the teaser pictures Kory posted about an upcoming release of duffel bags (we’re still waiting to see if this will become a reality).
Through this, TAFT demonstrated their commitment to and focus on their community and recognized it as one of the key differentiators between them and copycat brands.
TAFT's new NFT project
TAFT announced the “TAFT NFT” via a newsletter to their supporters in late April of this year. We wanted to give our thoughts on their new project, as we think it is a perfect example of how brands can use NFTs to connect more personally with their communities.
Why did TAFT get into NFTs?
In their own words — “we found that the technology could be leveraged by brands to do things that we never could before. We aren’t talking about making some expensive JPEG of our shoes that you can use as a profile picture — we are talking about creative, one-of-a-kind products and a utility package that we could never release without this. We’ve always done things in our own way, and we found the opportunity to launch a branded TAFT NFT that not only combines art but a massive utility and benefit to our TAFT Fam.”
The next big step for TAFT and its community is to build something that combines art and utility for their biggest supporters.
How does TAFT's NFT project increase community engagement?
TAFT released a community Discord server alongside the announcement of their NFT project. Discord is the communication platform of choice for most NFT projects and is increasingly used by brands as a way to facilitate discussions amongst their most active members.
Aside from the Discord server, NFTs open up a world of possibilities for TAFT to enable things like voting and airdrops from all token holders. “I’d love to see TAFT incorporate a voting mechanism tied to ownership of their NFTs. This would be a great way for TAFT to give their token holders more utility while giving them the feeling of being involved in the brand’s journey”, said Enshrine Co-founder Derek Gorthy on the subject of community engagement.
What do we think about TAFT's NFT project?
We believe that the future of community engagement, whether it be a clothing brand’s community or a content creator’s, is in personalized and unique experiences. TAFT is taking a massive stride in this direction with their NFT project.
Unlike gimmicky projects that we’ve seen, TAFT seems to realize that the point of their NFTs is not the NFT itself but the experiences that it enables and the utility backing the NFT.
Aside from getting a one-of-a-kind personalized sneaker, NFT holders also get access to exclusive launches, promos, and drops. “This utility has real-world value for me and shows that TAFT is looking to reward its biggest supporters. I hope to see them offer even more benefits in future NFT releases”, says Enshrine Co-founder Derek Gorthy.