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RTFKT Helps Luxury Luggage Maker Rimowa Nail the All-Important NFT Drop FAQ

This article is the first in what will be a long-running series on best practices that enterprises and big brands should consider as they begin their blockchain strategies and go-to-market motions.


By David Berlind

Published:July 13, 2023

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4 min read

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Rimowa is a high-end luxury luggage manufacturer. One of Rimowa's luxury suitcases is minimally about US$900, but some models go for as much as $2,400 or more. RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”) is a non-fungible token (NFT) technology "studio" that helps big brands with their collectible NFT drops, most (if not all) of which are "phygital" in nature. This is the sort of drop where the brand mints an ERC-1155 token, sells it on the primary market to consumers, and then, as part of a "forging event," those consumers burn their ERC-1155 tokens, get an ERC-721 standard NFT token, and receive the physical item in the mail (in this case, a piece of Rimowa luggage that's the physical twin to the digital ERC-721 NFT). RTFKT does this for many of its clients. After they originally did it for Nike as a client, Nike turned around and acqui-hired the RTFKT team and rolled it into a special division of Nike called Nike Virtual Studios, which handles all of Nike's blockchain stuff. However, RTFKT still services other companies as well.

Figure 1: A screen grab of the multimedia NFT that was part of the original RTFKT x Rimowa NFT sale, which resembles the luggage that an owner of the NFT can forge (manufacturer) into a piece of Rimowa luggage that’s the physical “twin” to their digital NFT.

In this example, RKTFT has published an FAQ to help mortals (people who don't fully understand blockchain or NFTs) understand the ins and outs of participating in a drop of this nature and how "forging" (the part of the process where the physical item gets manufactured) works. For those just learning about the NFT world, the FAQ answers basic questions like What are forging events? and Are there countries RIMOWA does not ship to?  But it also delves into more advanced issues like how to connect the physical luggage to its respective digital collectible (i.e., NFT). For questions that are not specific to the Rimowa initiative, RTFKT also offers an excellent overview FAQ on its WTF page that answers fundamental questions like What are NFTs? and What is a Wallet in Web3?

Please note that the FAQ content of the afore-linked RFTKT x Rimowa page may have changed by the time you visit it and the FAQ section may no longer exist. If that’s the case, we have listed the questions, but not the answers below out of respect for fair use copyright law.

In this particular case, if you hold the ERC-1155 token, you own a right to forge the luggage. If you don't, you can still acquire it on the secondary market for about 1.2 ETH (US$2,283 at the time this article was written). In the area of other best practices, please note that RTFKT works with OpenSea and these listings include several hints including the blue check mark to indicate that these are authentic RTFKT tokens. Another Blockchain Journal observation is that scammers will list counterfeits designed to fool inexperienced buyers and that the marketplaces (e.g., OpenSea) are not well-policed to prevent this practice. For big brands, customer safety will be absolutely essential and rolls up to the trust that those brands spend their entire existence building. Every brand has to take a ridiculous amount of care not to blow that trust in a heartbeat because of a botched NFT drop.

Figure 2: Blue check marks are used on OpenSea’s NFT marketplace to help users identify authentic listings. Blockchain Journal has observed counterfeit NFTs on OpenSea that are designed to scam buyers.

Also worth noting is how the entire Rimowa X RTFKT web page has a dystopian degen feel. Rimowa is going after a segment of the market to which NFTs and digital twins have a strong appeal. This is probably one reason why Nike acqui-hired the RTFKT team. They're design geniuses and totally get branding and holistically ensuring that everything, even something as mundane as an FAQ, must ooze the brand.

Content-wise, FAQs like this are critical for enterprises and big brands that are looking to bridge their existing customer base into this new world of NFTs, whether they involve a phygital/digital-twin strategy or not. In Blockchain Journal’s research across big brands (Rimowa, Starbucks, Nike, Adidas, etc.), we see a range of quality in FAQ execution (everything from non-existent to well-done). But none earn a perfect score.

Longer term, BCJ will be building snackable and long-form go-to-market (GTM) playbook content that draws from observations like this across many individual efforts, highlighting the best of what we see. Within just this one use case — what we call the Loyalty and Customer Engagement 3.0 Use Case — this (an FAQ best practice) barely scratches the surface of the full go-to-market motion that big brands and enterprises must consider.

List of Questions found in the RTFKT x Rimowa FAQ

  • What are Forging Events?
  • What digital collectibles are eligible to participate in the RTFKT x RIMOWA Forging Event?
  • When is the RTFKT x RIMOWA Forging Event taking place?
  • Can I still get the digital collectible so I can partake in the Forging Event?
  • Is there a cost to participate in the Forging Event?
  • Where will the Forging Event take place?
  • When will the physical RTFKT x RIMOWA luggage be shipped?
  • What will happen to my Pre-Forging digital collectible after Forging?
  • For owners of pieces of luggage with different rarities, can suitcases of different rarities be redeemed at the same time, or multiple pieces of luggage at once?
  • Will I be able to connect my physical luggage to its respective digital collectible?
  • Are there countries RIMOWA does not ship to?
  • Will there be another future Forging Event for this collection?
  • What can I do with the digital collectibles?
  • If I want to directly mint off the smart contract, will I still be able to receive the physical suitcase?
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