June 23, 2023

5 Frameworks for Brand Loyalty in Web3: Part 1

NFTs and web3 have been widely promoted as a disruptive force for customer engagement and loyalty. We are, however, still very early and there have been few legacy brands that have proven this concept...

5 Frameworks for Brand Loyalty in Web3: Part 1

NFTs and web3 have been widely promoted as a disruptive force for customer engagement and loyalty. We are, however, still very early and there have been few legacy brands that have proven this concept. By and large, the loyalty marketing industry has not changed in the last 20 years — points or cash back programs still rule the day.

Many marketing teams are intrigued by the idea of NFTs and web3 but are confused about where to start and, perhaps more importantly, may be waiting to see other brands prove this out first. Legacy brands are typically very committed to their loyalty programs and these programs are viewed as a key lever in their marketing strategy. Integrating NFTs, let alone moving fully into web3, is often a journey that requires education about the technology, processes and best practices in this nascent domain.

Given this, we have developed this series of articles to provide five frameworks for understanding how web3 can play a role in developing brand loyalty. These frameworks will help you make sense the current web3 brand loyalty landscape, distilling complex ideas into easy to understand concepts.

Listed below are the five frameworks we’ll be positing:

  • NFTs are a Passing Phase
  • Complementary Digital Collectibles
  • The Digital Asset Product Ecosystem
  • Token-Based Integration
  • Decentralize Everything

Over the coming weeks, we will look to break down each of these topics in a concise manner. The goal of this series is to help conceptualize these frameworks and figure out what approaches make the most sense for your brand, as well as providing insight into some of the associated considerations and risks of each.

NFTs are a Passing Phase

Although the first NFT was created in 2014, NFTs captured the attention of a mainstream audience during the early 2020s. Much of this attention was drawn from collections of generative art projects that were typically minted on the Ethereum blockchain and often used digitally created faces of characters as the basis of the art. As the public curiosity of NFTs grew, so did the prices that people were willing to pay for them. Thus the concept of the ‘overpriced JPEG’ was born.

Early 2022 is when this pattern started to change. A combination of the macro-economic climate and the unsustainable levels of investment into the space lead to a transition from the peak of inflated expectations to the trough of disillusionment. The price of popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum steadily declined, as did trading activity and floor prices of top-selling NFT collections. What remained, however, was the appetite for developing and experimenting with smart contracts and blockchain technology.

NFTs currently sit somewhere between the Peak of Inflated Expectations and the Trough of Disillusionment on the Gartner Hype Cycle

As a brand, it is easy to dismiss NFTs as a fad given this change in market activity. It’s even easier when the media spreads notions of these blockchain-based assets being primarily used for money laundering and ponzi schemes, all while destroying the environment.

In reality, however, both the market and technologies are maturing in the same way the internet did after the dot com bust. Although retail investment has declined, the amount of new crypto wallets being created and smart contracts being deployed are increasing. Simultaneously, there is much attention being paid to fraud detection, and many forms of NFT transactions have less environmental impact than a single Google search.

Time series chart of daily transactions on the Ethereum Blockchain

Time series chart of active wallet addresses on the Ethereum Blockchain

Cumulative chart of total quantity of wallets on the Ethereum Blockchain

Now is the time that the products, platforms and programs that will power the future of brand loyalty are being developed. If you take the ‘wait and see’ approach, you risk losing your competitive advantage, not simply because you’ll immediately slide to the right of the adoption curve, but because innovation is a demand generator in the growing NFT ownerbase. The more time you wait, the more time other brands have to innovate, and the harder it will be to develop strategies that aren’t copycat versions of your competitors.

Meta Mike leads Partner Success at GigLabs and has a passion for contributing to the education and enablement of the open metaverse. Gigantik is an end-to-end web3 engagement platform and marketplace provider built for enterprise brands. It empowers marketing teams to own the experience of creating, selling, and distributing NFTs while enabling them to generate repeatable customer loyalty campaigns and activations using built-in utility tools. Gigantik provides a seamless end-user experience and onboarding using credit card and wallet integrations.

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