11 Great NFT Utility Ideas For Developers To Consider (Updated 2023)

Launching an NFT project is about more than just creating some artwork and hoping for the best. A good project will need to market what it offers aside from the NFT, namely a good roadmap and utilities. Our article lists eleven NFT utility ideas you should consider for your next project.

nft utility ideas

Table of Contents

What is an NFT Utility?

A utility refers to what the NFT’s added value is – this could be a number of different things, but essentially they provide some type of value to either the NFT holders or a broader community.

NFTs with utilities can be considered to be functional NFTs that serve a specific purpose. Providing value is one quick way to foster a positive brand image and attract investors. Moreover, a realistic roadmap, on top of good utilities, lends your project the image of being an organised, long-term project fit for investment.

What can NFT Utilities do?

The utility of an NFT can be broken down into three types: benefits, usability, and profitability. These three types of utility combine to add value to the project, which may be either for the NFT holders or the broader community as is the case with charitable utilities.

Utilities often have tangible (concrete) benefits as well as intangible (or tacit) benefits. Tangible benefits include ownership of a high-value collectable or gaining a special item in a video game. Intangible benefits may include simply being part of a great community of like-minded people. You can also provide intangible benefits such as social status by simply owning your NFT and having the ability to flex it on Twitter.

Why Do You Need Utilities for Your NFT Project?

Okay, to be fair, you don’t absolutely need utilities to launch a successful project. Check out our Guide to CC0 NFT Projects – the common thread between many of them is not having a roadmap or a single utility, aside from being CC0! So if it is possible to be successful without one, why would you need one?

Utilities can help your project stand out from the crowd and that crowd is ever-growing! Competition is stiff and it often boils down to the extras that you offer your collectors which might have someone lean your way. Maybe a collector was also interested in donating to your charity of choice and decided your project best suited their investment needs at that moment. Or they may prefer projects with a fully-functional DAO where they could vote on the direction of the project.

Utility is more than just profit-generation for its community – it’s also about the type of community you foster and this is what a buyer will be considering when looking at your project.

Top 11 NFT Utility Ideas - Examples

1. Offer merchandise

It’s pretty obvious – offer your own merchandise! Well, this might be a bit overdone, but you can absolutely be creative about what types of merchandise you offer. Wearables that bear your project’s logo are a great conversation starter between your project community and the broader NFT community.

Don’t just stop at t-shirts though, do consider other items that your community might want and will catch the attention of others. Perhaps if you have a music-inspired project, you could offer your own set of customised earphones which are bound to be a hit with audiophiles!

2. Co-owning Metaverse real estate

The Metaverse is a great converging point for your community, providing a personalised place for NFT holders of all walks of life to hang out together. Besides, investing in the Metaverse could be a sound long-term investment for your project, so it serves two purposes at once.

The limits are endless too – you could host community events in the Metaverse and grant access to token holders if this is also something on your roadmap.

3. Profit-sharing with holders

Sharing profits with holders is a sure way of generating buzz about your project, especially in the early stages where any traction you can gain is critical. There are quite a few ways other projects have done this. Some go by a percentage of profit shared with all holders (ie. 70% profits distributed to all NFT holders). Another way you could do it is to host a giveaway of a percentage of your profits to holders when the project has met certain milestones, perhaps upon the project selling out.

4. Donate to charity

Community is at the heart of every successful NFT project and donating to worthy causes is a great way of bringing attention to the cause while doing something positive as a group. In fact, quite a number of successful NFT projects such as World of Women were primarily started with charity as their main goal. 

Be sure to check local laws about regulations for charitable donations and ensure that there’s a solid plan in place to ensure you can make your project’s donations in a transparent way.

5. Grant access to exclusive events/items

Similar to offering merch, you can be extremely creative with what types of exclusive events or items you offer. The simplest would be allowing holders special avatars in a videogame or access to an exclusive Discord channel. Most projects already have Discord channels, but you could offer a little bit extra with an exclusive Discord channel that would let holders chat with like-minded members, developers, and any other prominent figures in your community. Additionally, you could host a Metaverse event upon selling out or throw a party for reaching an anniversary and such. Exclusivity is key here.

What’s important is to periodically engage with your community and to offer items or events that they would be interested in.

6. Host a giveaway/airdrop

One common type of giveaway is to create an exclusive NFT collection, perhaps a hand-drawn derivative artwork, for NFT holders. Another common type of giveaway, especially in the early stages of many projects, is to give away a limited number of NFTs for free to early adopters. This is a highly effective strategy that most projects use in its early stages of marketing.

7. Offer a DAO

A DAO is a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation which grants voter rights on the direction of the project. Our article, The Complete Guide to DAOs gives a fully detailed explanation of what DAOs are and how they work.

Essentially, voter rights are granted to token or NFT holders, who are then allowed to vote on future community projects and have control over the treasury. They are able to make decisions on raising fees, donating to charities, starting new projects, investments, and more. In recent years, DAOs have gained popularity among collectors as they prefer the community to have some input on their investment.

8. Offer entertainment

One popular utility among NFT projects is on-chain games. Your NFT can essentially be your in-game NFT avatar or land. For example, Etherjump lets you build your own playable platform maps and let others play for free. To build a map, all your have to do is own one of the Etherjump plot NFTs. This is a great way to attract gaming enthusiasts!

9. Dining Experiences

Cafes or restaurants can essentially offer dining privileges to owners of your NFT. For example, NFT owners may be eligible for dining discounts or be given access to an exclusive menu. Don’t own a restaurant? Fret not, this is a great opportunity for you to reach out to business establishments and form partnerships. It could be a win-win for your holders and your partners!

10. Staking

Staking is a popular utility among successful NFT projects. In essence, holders can “stake” or lock their NFTs into a pool and earn utility tokens. The utility tokens can then be used for a variety of benefits such as obtaining allow-list opportunities, traded, or used in a game as in-game currency.

11. Education

We’ve seen popular projects such as Aloha Frens and ZenAcademy offer Web3 education access for holders of their NFTs. If you are passionate about cultivating the next generation of Web3 users, offering access to a learning portal on NFTs and Web3 can be a great utility to consider. This model works very well because you can token-gate your educational content easily on platforms such as highlight.xyz. Read more about created token-gated content in our guide here.

Frequently Asked Questions About NFT Utility

A utility refers to what the NFT’s added value is – this could be a number of different things, but essentially they provide some type of value to either the NFT holders or a broader community.

There are three types of NFT utilities: benefits, usability, and profitability. These add value to the project, which may be either for the NFT holders or the broader community such as with charitable projects.

Utilities can help your project stand out from the crowd! It often boils down to the extras that you offer your collectors which might have someone lean your way.

Some examples include DAOs, exclusive items, and charities. Check out our article for more examples!


NFT utilities offer value and could even help your project stand out in the crowd. A well-crafted roadmap and attractive utilities can draw in the buyer you’re looking for. Additionally, utilities such as events and merchandise can foster a stronger sense of community among holders. While you may not strictly need utilities for your project to be successful, it is something you can easily do that will add great value to your project.