Let's continue to review NFT brands using the classic Marketing Mix concept - referred to as the "4 Ps" (Product, Price, Place, Promotion), now with a focus on Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). The BAYC brand is "the 800 pound gorilla" in the NFT market, having captured the attention of celebrities, status seekers, and investors around the world. BAYC's market cap is over $767 million at the time of writing this post - second only to CryptoPunks at $884 million.
How does BAYC differ from CryptoPunks, if at all? This media assessment from ApeFest 2021 sums it up:
"Today, the punks are for art world snobs. The apes are for the sneakerheads and music fans. The investment is not just in the artwork, but in membership to a club...” Inverse.com
Now we will review the BAYC NFT brand in the context of 4 Ps to determine how it differs from others and where its strengths (and weaknesses) may lie.
Bored Ape Yacht Club Marketing Mix
BAYC NFTs confer significant membership value to holders. In addition to full commercial rights, holders receive benefits such as free NFT collectibles, access to VIP events with A-list entertainers, and over 10,000 APE tokens (the BAYC ecosystem crypto). Notable commercial uses of BAYC NFTs include themed restaurants, music NFTs, music videos, and blockchain-based books.
BAYC sold out in 12 hours at a relatively low price of $190 (0.08 ether) per NFT without significant advertising or promotion. The collection quickly gained momentum with notable auctions on Sotheby's and high profile holders such as Steph Curry. Currently, BAYC sits at a floor price of 57.5 ETH. Price is a significant differentiator for this luxury brand, so loss of VIP holders and/or reduction in floor price relative to competitive PFP NFTs would have a significant impact on the BAYC marketing strategy.
One of the defining characteristics of BAYC membership is access to an exclusive club composed of celebrities and other wealthy cool people. This access is not purely virtual, BAYC members revel in public displays of exclusivity such as the first-annual Ape Fest in New York. "The BAYC members eat bananas (seriously) and wear branded sweatshirts to show that they belong. Some are dressed in leather jackets or Hawaiian shirts that match their cartoon apes’ outfits so fellow club members can recognize them IRL." BAYC membership provides access to other physical places such as airline lounges and bars.
This Miami Art Week event announcement is an example of BAYC creating buzz amongst current holders:
Drinks on us at our Miami Art Week wrap party, Dec 3rd. 10pm till they kick us out. Apes get priority, good luck to everyone else. Special guests and ticketing info powered by @tokenproof coming soon! 📞 pic.twitter.com/mOHLqnAhLj
— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) November 15, 2022
Let’s go!!!!! See you there folks pic.twitter.com/YGlxhmG0LL
— BaronVonHustle.eth (@TheeHustleHouse) November 19, 2022
"A limited NFT collection where the token itself doubles as your membership to a swamp club for apes. The club is open! Ape in with us." Bored Ape Yacht Club
The BAYC brand was developed using digital marketing channels tied to in-real-life events and famous individuals. Unlike CryptoPunks, which embraced traditional public relations tactics, BAYC invested its brand building efforts into entertainment marketing. According to BAYC co-founder Wylie Aronow (Gordon Goner), "I kind of view us as a garage band that made it. And we're still just trying to keep that authenticity... We don't do a lot of PR, we don't do a ton of interviews..."
Putting It All Together
In summary, the Bored Ape Yacht Club target audience is composed of extroverted status seekers with high spending limits. The products are digital collectibles with proof of ownership, membership benefits (including additional NFT collectibles, invitations to exclusive events, Discord access, and APE tokens), priced to convey status, minted on the Ethereum blockchain, available on OpenSea, with an emphasis on entertainment marketing and high profile holders.
Join us for the next post in which we assess NFT brands using the Marketing Mix!