Building loyalty with Web3

Why Brands Keep Rolling Web3 into Their Marketing Mix

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July 26, 2023

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McDonald's recent debut of "McNuggets Land," isn't the brand's first venture into Web3. But why venture into Web3 again? Dive into why brands keep investing in Web3 and NFTs.

McDonald’s recently debuted “McNuggets Land” –  a Web3-powered metaverse launched to celebrate Chicken McNuggets’ 40th anniversary.  

While McDonald's recent foray into Web3 is indeed intriguing, it’s hardly pioneering at this point in 2023. Once little more than a buzzword, Web3 is establishing itself as the industry standard – reinventing the way businesses interact with their customers and making brand experiences more interactive, personalized, and rewarding. 

McNuggets Land isn't the fast-food giant's maiden voyage into Web3. They've previously explored this space, having launched several (meat-themed) NFT collections. Evidently, McDonald's sees the value in continuing to invest in Web3 technology.

As Sebastien Borget, co-founder and COO of The Sandbox (where McNuggets Land lives), recently said: 

“Web3 technology can deepen the relationship between users and many brands, and users are increasingly aware of the true value of displaying digital identities…”

While it's uncertain if McNuggets Land will outlive a real chicken, it's clear that brands that have successfully integrated Web3 are reaping the benefits. Let’s unpack what those benefits are. 

Customer loyalty, advocacy, and engagement

Perhaps the biggest draw of Web3 for brands is customer loyalty. Customer retention is big business – 80% of your future profits will come from just 20% of your existing customers. And customer acquisition costs have risen by more than 60% in the last five years. It just makes economic sense to appreciate your customers.

The Web3 infrastructure means you can reward your customers in novel ways. For example, the interoperable nature of blockchain makes it easy to create a co-branded loyalty or membership program; Digital tokens (NFTs) can act as digital collectibles, products, or memberships; And customers can trade rewards with each other, enhancing their perceived value.

Lacoste expanded its Web3 loyalty program in June by introducing rewards and co-creation features for its UNDW3 community. Lacoste's Web3 universe expansion grants its members exclusive entry to a world of "creative sessions, contests, video games, and interactive conversations. 

Starbucks started its foray into Web3 with Starbucks Odyssey – a Web3-powered loyalty program that incentivizes engaged customers with digital stamps

Starbucks Odyssey allows members to participate in a series of interactive activities called “journeys”. When you complete a journey, you’ll get a stamp – which is actually an NFT.  Odyssey has a built-in marketplace where members can buy, sell, and trade their stamps. Customers can redeem their stamps for online drink-making classes, unique merchandise (with artist collaboration), and even exclusive access to events. 

Target and engage new audiences 

Civiscience conducted an independent survey, asking a wide audience about their experience with NFTs. It found that many NFT buyers are from California, Hawaii, and Nevada. The 18-24 age demographic has the most experience with NFTs (14% have invested and 18% are interested), followed by the 24-34 age group (8% have invested and 11% are interested). 

In 2021, NFT profile pictures of CryptoPunks and Bored Apes were all the rage on Twitter (or “X” if that name change actually sticks). But the ways in which people engage with NFTs are shifting. It's becoming less common to see someone splurge $23.7 million on an NFT purely because it boasts a hat. 

The current flavor of NFTs is more like salt, than saffron – subtly integrating into our digital experiences without us even noticing. Take Dior as an example, they recently entered the Web3 space by launching a limited run of 470 B33 men’s sneakers, each paired with a digital twin. There was no explicit mention of wallets, crypto, blockchain, or NFTs. The process was as simple as signing up and registering.

Brands are increasingly introducing NFT collections with a clear long-term vision. They are continuously exploring novel ways to not only expand their reach but also deepen engagement with their audience.

Brand innovation and experimentation

Innovation remains the bedrock on which strong brands are built. And you don’t have to look far to see how Web3 technology is being used to shake things up. 

Red Bull Racing launched one-of-a-kind “Factory Pass” NFTs that can be used as exclusive event passes. Tom Brady created for buying and selling signatures of famous athletes. And NBA Top Shot was created for fans to buy, sell, and trade NBA-themed digital collectibles.

Brazilian company Nemus has been selling NFTs that represent different tracts of the Amazon rainforest. Owners of these NFTs will effectively sponsor different sections of the forest with the proceeds from the NFT going to preserve and develop the forest. The token owners will also get access to exclusive imagery and information on the progress of the preservation. Nemus Founder, Flavio de Meira Penna, hopes to raise enough money from the first collection of NFTs to buy additional land to preserve. Nemus said they sold 10% of an initial offer of tokens for 8,000 hectares on the first day

If you’re interested in testing the market to see how Web3 can increase customer loyalty or attract new customers, drop us a line

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