Customer retention has long been affected by the quality of a brand's loyalty program. But a seismic shift is underway as customer expectations are rapidly changing. Find out how big brands like Adidas, Lacoste, and Starbucks have turned to NFTs and Web3 to give their customers bigger and better rewards.
Loyalty programs have been the backbone of customer retention and engagement for decades. But the recent breakthrough of NFTs and Web3 is unlocking fresh, avenues for brands to take their loyalty initiatives to the next level.
Countless household brands like Adidas, Lacoste, and Starbucks have invested in NFTs over the last few years. While these initiatives differ in subtle ways, they all share a common thread: Leveraging NFTs (and Web3) to enhance customer loyalty.
Here’s a quick overview of how six big brands are using NFTs to enhance their loyalty programs.
Lacoste expanded its Web3 loyalty program in June by introducing rewards and co-creation features for its UNDW3 community. The UNDW3 collection launched in June 2022 and consisted of 11,212 crocodile profile picture NFTs that sold out in 8 hours.
Lacoste's Web3 universe expansion grants its members exclusive entry to a world of "creative sessions, contests, video games, and interactive conversations.
In a press release, Lacoste stated that they “firmly believe” that the future of brand loyalty extends beyond transactional interactions. According to Catherine Spindler, Lacoste's deputy CEO, their recent launch aligns with their long-term Web3 vision:
“Pioneering the concept of a dynamic NFT within our industry is a testament to our bold vision”... “Beyond the fleeting trends surrounding NFTs and the metaverse, we see blockchain as an accelerator, ushering in a more inclusive and experiential digital realm. By rewarding co-creators and fostering horizontal relationships with our customers, we invite them into our creative process."
NBA Top Shots
Whether it was Kobe’s 81-point game or Jordan’s final shot with the Chicago Bulls, most basketball fans can recall those unforgettable moments where the fate of a game hangs in a few decisive seconds. But what if you could collect and save these moments?
Dapper Labs partnered with the NBA to develop Top Shots which allows you to buy, sell, and trade iconic NBA moments.
Members are rewarded with prizes, merch, and more for attending these special events. Ultimately, the Top Shot NFTs are designed to fit right into a Basketball fan's established interests and expand upon the sports collectible card industry.
Community members organize meetups and watch parties spearheaded by team captains. We’ve stressed the importance of community building for customer loyalty before (here). But in short: Brand communities inspire customers to actively engage with your brand.
Starbucks launched its NFT-based loyalty program, Starbucks Odyssey, with the aim of enhancing its already immensely popular rewards program.
Starbucks Odyssey members can earn stamps, essentially NFTs, by taking quizzes, solving puzzles, or watching videos. Each stamp holds a designated point value that can be redeemed for exclusive experiences and rewards. Through the use of blockchain technology, participants have complete ownership over their rewards, points, and stamps.
Commenting on the Odyssey program's launch, Starbucks stated:
“Starbucks Rewards members are some of our most loyal and engaged customers, and Starbucks Odyssey is our next big innovation in loyalty to recognize, surprise, and delight them. We are leveraging Web3 technology to reward and connect with our members in new ways.”
Adidas is popular enough in the physical world, so why would that be any different in the virtual one?
Adidas virtual gear lets your avatar wear original Adidas outfits in the Metaverse. An integral part of Adidas’ Web3 initiative is establishing and fostering community growth on Twitter and their private Discord server.
As thanks for being part of their community, Adidas lets you attend sponsored events, pitch new ideas, and contribute to the project goals.
Coca-Cola is one of the most iconic and recognizable brands in the physical and virtual worlds. Its NFT collection includes a unique Coca-Cola bubble jacket NFT with a unique code to a wearable version in the Decentraland virtual social platform.
Their community is integrated with the Decentraland platform and organizes events within the virtual space. Members get virtual outfits, physical vintage coolers, and more for being part of the community.
Dolce&Gabbana launched an NFT collection aimed at bridging the gap between fashion in the physical and virtual realms, while also strengthening its devoted fan base. (Why not light two candles with one match?)
The D&G NFTs take the form of colored boxes that grant members access to their exclusive community and numerous rewards. Being part of the DGFamily group allows members to receive either physical or virtual apparel drops, access to exclusive virtual events, and even real-life experiences.
The brand emphasized that its new community represents a cornerstone of its DNA: A family or community of people who share passions and values.These colored boxes now serve as ticketing for IRL events, and NFT holders are periodically rewarded with exclusive brand drops, available solely to them.