A few months ago, Dunkin’ Donuts announced its “improved” loyalty program that was “driven and designed around member feedback.” So naturally, when learning about these changes, customers were pissed. And what do you do when you get angry? Take to social media of course.
Leaving the Dunkin’ drama aside, this episode highlights how the foundation of many brands’ relationships with customers is focused on transactions. While brands will say they love their customers, it’s not all customers they love. Objectively, it makes sense to focus on how customers transact with you, right? However, loyalty is fickle, a constant moving target that varies wildly by customer. It’s driven by individual customer needs and is earned and re-earned over time. When these relationships are built around transactions, it makes it harder to keep customers - especially when changes to that model are needed. That’s not to say Dunkin’ Donuts and others don’t have their brand loyalists, but when the math on their points and rewards changes, so does their loyalty.
As a collective technology, the blockchain, Web3, and NFTs, are often categorized as here to replace what exists today. That’s not necessarily the case. I don’t see points, miles and the other loyalty currencies disappearing any time soon. It’s just that the model is tired, far too transactional and usually leaves customers wanting for more - and I’m not referring to more points.
Web3 brings inherent qualities that can evolve how brands approach customer engagement. There are many ways brands can approach Web3 (we outlined them in a series of recent posts). Often, hyperbole in communication for this revolutionary technology and how it will change the world makes it difficult to understand that practical, here and now benefits.
Breaking it down, here are 4 distinct ways Web3 can bring more value to a brand’s customer engagement strategy:
Although many programs look and sound the same, there should be no one-size-fits-all approach to a brand’s customer loyalty strategy. The same idea applies to Web3! The technology is built for creativity. The recent slowdown in the NFT market, and the broader uncertainty surrounding the crypto space in general is causing many brands to take a pause (especially compared to the rush we saw over the last two years). I welcome this. It gives time for brands to be more thoughtful, to learn and apply this technology in a smart way that delivers value back to the brand and the customer. We’re just getting started in fully unlocking what this technology can mean for brands and their customers.
Jon Parise is the cofounder and Chief Revenue Officer at Gigantik.Through technology solutions and strategic consulting, Gigantik helps brands create meaningful web3 engagements that deliver shared value between them and their customers.
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