At The Metaverse Insider, we had the pleasure of interviewing Charles Stanton, CMO at Forj – a subsidiary of Animoca brands at the forefront of NFT technology. With the mission of porting new audiences into the Web 3.0 space, Forj rebranded itself into what we know today – entering the worlds of music, entertainment, collectibles, and gaming.
Charles comes from a rich background in marketing, having worked for major UK brands like British Gas and the National Lottery. In having a lot of experience in helping brands and consumers enter different spaces, we were excited to understand Charles’ perspectives on the Metaverse and how Forj is positioning itself for its eventual mass adoption.
Forging the path for creators and fans in Web 3.0
Charles explained that when the project was first founded, the focus was on exploring use cases for NFTs as a financial instrument. However, they later found their niche in working with big brands in the world of collectibles. The name “Bondly Finance” didn’t adequately represent their direction and the audience they wanted to attract:
“We want a brand that reflects the kind of energy, excitement, and the opportunity for fans to try and experiment doing new things – the very name Forj actually came about from the feeling of what the word Forj encapsulates”.
They wanted a brand that creates new opportunities in the world of Web 3.0 technology – creating new experiences and forging relationships between fans and creators. They believe in the democratization of creativity, where fans can also be creators – utilizing NFTs and other technologies in the Metaverse to create unique experiences. Overall, Forj is pushing the agenda of co-creation and wants to appeal to audiences in that way.
Using brands as a gateway
“Our vision is around onboarding audiences into the Metaverse and using brands as that gateway.”
Charles discussed the potential of the Metaverse for both fans and creators alike, stating that it offers an opportunity for interaction in ways that are difficult to conceptualize. He believes that brands can act as a gateway to onboard audiences into the Metaverse. However, in the future, Charles suggests that the focus should be on co-creation between fans and intellectual property (IP) in the metaverse.
He uses the example of their “Monkeying Around” experience, which utilized the Bored Ape IP to showcase how fans and IP can be brought to life through interactive gamified experiences in the Metaverse. Check out what this experience entails at forj.network.
Charles and his team are also working on many more projects with big brands, including Polygon, Crust, and Anchor, which will be released in the coming months. It is safe to say that we are excited to see what unfolds.
How is Forj strategically positioned for a mainstream Metaverse and what partnerships are driving this?
Forj’s positioning within the Animoca brands ecosystem places it in a very unique position; Animoca holds or is a majority owner of various Metaverse projects and has significant investments across the entire ecosystem, including over 50 different Metaverse projects.
Charles also talks to us about Metaprints, a Forj-owned brand focused on Metaverse creation and adoption, which came about because of the realization that there was a need for infrastructure to help bridge Metaverses together. Charles emphasizes the importance of creating meaningful experiences across different Metaverse platforms, each having its own audience, quirks, and utilities. This is a key feature of their offering – highlighting Forj as a leader in the industry.
Furthermore, Charles discussed their experience working with the Bored Ape project and how it showcased the potential of using intellectual property in the Metaverse. They also mentioned their focus on onboarding audiences for Web 3.0 brands; they are more likely to be interested in Metaverse engagement, which in turn could drive Metaverse adoption. Forj is also in talks with various Web 2.0 brands, but it can take longer for these brands to enter the space as they need to understand the potential and strategic positioning within their business model:
“By using these Web 3.0 brands and their audiences to showcase the potential of these partnerships, we can obviously use that as a means of onboarding traditional brands. I can’t mention names, but you know, everything from alcohol companies to large accountancy firms, and everything in between. There are lots and lots of opportunities.”
What can we expect from Forj in the coming years?
It is clear that Forj’s focus for the coming years is on interoperability, which involves improving the technologies that allow brands to move seamlessly between different Metaverse platforms – aiming to provide products and technologies at the forefront of this field. In the longer term, Forj has its sights on targeting the porting of mass audiences into the Metaverse – whilst providing viable use cases and rationale around the concept.
Ultimately, Forj’s goals are around interoperability and mass participation – and The Metaverse Insider is looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this exciting company.