The latest loyalty trend: Web 3.0

by Lauren Venter: Consultant at Truth.
Loyalty trends need to always be about personalisation or omnichannel experience (meaning engaging your members across all touchpoints and them having the same experience against all touch points) or gamification etc. And now looking to the future, there is a trend that some are unable to comprehend while some have fully adopted. This is web 3.0.

Firstly, it is worth defining what web 3.0 encompasses. Some simply interpret it to include cryptocurrencies, the metaverse and NFTs. It is still early days, so no matter what loyalty strategy a business follows, it will need to be aware that segments of its customer base will willingly engage while others will be sceptical, ill informed and unlikely to engage. At the Comarch User Group in Paris, we heard Laura Ducournau from Velvet Consulting mention that growth statistics show a higher adoption rate of NFTs, crypto trading and metaverse engagement year on year.

Early adopting brands like Starbucks, Burger King and Club Paris St Germain already use cryptocurrencies within their loyalty value propositions. Before brands launch into deeper investment, it is worth measuring whether consumers want their loyalty programmes to adopt such benefits.

In addition, the younger consumer is more likely to engage with the metaverse: “More than half (57%) of the consumers under the age of 44 consider the availability of metaverse brand interactions impactful to their loyalty decisions.”

Some brands have made positive inroads. I’ll start with Lacoste and its launch of web 3.0 UNDW3 loyalty programme. Card holders can accrue exclusive rewards by solving quests linked to Lacoste’s history and engaging with Lacoste. The Lacoste UNDW3 card’s ultimate aim is to co-create its brand of tomorrow. The more members engage in the community, the more decision-making power they have in the future of the brand. They earn points that are displayed on the site’s leaderboard. The card itself is a dynamic NFT, allowing card holders to purchase limited edition merchandise and access physical events, like Roland Garros.

Starbucks is mentioned as an early loyalty adopter in the blockchain and NFT community. It launched its Odyssey Rewards for members to engage in Odyssey Journeys and collect digital stamps (NFTs). Odyssey Journeys include activities like a virtual tour of a Starbucks coffee farm in Costa Rica, or interactive games. The NFTs become a currency to unlock Starbucks experiences that are not available anywhere else. Such experiences include a virtual espresso-martini making class and highest level rewards like a trip to the Costa Rica Starbucks coffee farm.

In South Africa, we have seen Nedbank dabble in the metaverse by securing a “12x12 village in Ubuntuland – a village on Africarare – Africa’s first metaverse”. The bank mentioned it has established its presence as the first African financial services organisation to enter the metaverse. We understand that the reasoning for this move was for Nedbank to be the leaders in digital, discover new ways of connecting with its members and new ways of banking. Nedbank has mentioned they would like to offer its members virtual experiences.

Watch this space! More and more brands will integrate web 3.0 into their core loyalty programme in fascinating ways.

Useful resources:
A boutique consultancy specialising in customer centricity and loyalty programme design.
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