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Back in edition #10 – so far, one of my favorites – we talked a lot about Open Loyalty. I recommend you check it out for more context on this topic.

Nonetheless, as usual, when it comes to The Wild West of Web3, things move fast. So here is an updated view on what is going on, and some insights to help you and your business grow in this industry.

LFG!

PS.: You’ll see some boxes with “Step 1”, “Step 2”, etc. It’s just a “little” bonus 😃 

The current state of traditional loyalty programs

“So Web2 loyalty programs are dead, right?”

I would not dare say that traditional retention/engagement programs are doomed.

Well, at least not now.

Many of the world’s largest companies still rely on Web2-based programs and, as flawed as they usually are, we can’t say they’re done.

But – and there’s always a but… – Traditional loyalty programs are often plagued with several challenges that hinder their effectiveness and ability to fully engage customers.

One of the main issues is that they often operate in silos, leading to a fragmented customer experience. For instance, points earned in-store might not be usable online, causing frustration for customers seeking seamless integration.

Another common issue is that customers tend to feel the rewards aren’t worth it. Quick fact: US citizens accumulate around $50bn in rewards points and miles each year, but nearly one-third never gets claimed.

But here are some shocking numbers (sauce: insomnia labs):

Marketers around the world spend around $80 Billion 🤯 every year on consumer loyalty programs

That means approximately 600 bucks per consumer for the average business.

65% of consumers demand (loyalty) rewards from brands they purchase

58% fail to redeem or use loyalty points that they earned

I believe we can agree here that the current format is far from being efficient.
The good news? Companies are always looking for ways to increase their revenues and create better relationships with their customers.

So if you can create solutions for this growing demand, you’ll certainly have a spotlight on you within this growing market – and I’ll be here to help you with that.

Step 1: Yeah, the traditional “loyalty” program from your favorite airline may give you 5000 points that you’ll never use.

Open Loyalty:
Customer engagement in the Web3 era

In edition #10, I shared the image below:

This remains my point of view

This is something I have been saying for a while now. Much more than “How do we ‘use Web3’ in our company”, the question should be:

“What can Web3 do to help you fix Engagement, Loyalty, and Growth problems?”

Through Open Loyalty, Web3 offers the opportunity to address these challenges and revolutionize customer loyalty programs.

By harnessing the power of blockchain, tokenization, gamified experiences, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Open Loyalty programs can provide unique and exclusive benefits to loyal customers, fostering more profound engagement, trust, and innovation.

A great way to understand how blockchain can change the Loyalty game

On top of that, when a brand offers rewards that are truly ownable, tradeable, upgradeable, and collectible, this can transform conventional transactional rewards/customer engagement into a more immersive experience.

Other interesting concepts facilitated by Web3 are “Open Ecosystems and Token Gating”.

The first (also called “Interoperability”) was covered in edition #10. As for the latter, its main benefit is creating a sense of belonging/exclusivity. From an exclusive member-only Discord, to money-can’t-buy experiences.

Imagine you hold a Red Bull NFT (this is only an example) and get access to a Racing event for holders only. That’s the type of thing that can create unforgettable moments and strengthen the bond between brand and customer.

So my insight here is: don’t “force” Web3 into your client’s/business’s flow. Instead, help them understand what Web3 can bring to the table and help solve those Engagement, Loyalty, and Growth problems.

And to help you with that, let’s explore some cool stuff already going on…

Step 2: Web3-based solutions facilitate dynamic, engaging, gamified interactions, with real-time, valuable prizes.

Spotlight: Boba Guys

Such a cool logo 😁 

“But Borgo, my business has nothing to do with tech, let alone Web3. Are you crazy?”

Well, what about a bubble milk tea shop that announced a Web3-ready solution?

By mixing up the traditional loyalty system with something fresh, built on the Solana platform, the company launched the Boba Guys passports where each purchase at any of their stores turns into points for customers.

Let’s dive in:

🍵 The digital shift

Each transaction brews points that unlock and upgrade Mystery Boxes. Think of these boxes like your favorite game loot – packed with everything from discounts to special prizes.

Save up points and you can upgrade your mystery box for a better shot at a better reward.

🌟 Quests, Points, and Surprises

Here’s where it gets even more interesting. Boba Guys has spiced up the deal with special Quests. So yes, they gamified the whole experience.

Customers get to do fun stuff, like trying out new seasonal flavors or sharing their moments on social media, and bag extra points.

It’s like adding a dash of adventure to their tea-drinking routine. And as customers gather points, they climb through the loyalty tiers, unlocking stuff better stuff.

Exclusive prizes, a gamified journey, and a great interface

“That’s cute. But what about DA NUMBERS?”

Chill, Mr. KPI 😅.

💼 Business-Savvy recipes

In just five weeks, a single store saw a 67% hike in monthly visits and a 65% rise in customer spending, thanks to this program.

And here’s my favorite part: every dollar spent on rewards is bringing back $9 in sales. That’s some serious business brewing. (sauce)

So what can we learn from this experience?

💡 Don’t overcomplicate: If you think about it, they are not reinventing the wheel, but rather. Don’t create new problems/obstacles for your customers just because Web3 “sounds cool”.

💡 Interactive customer experience: They engage with quests and gamified choices, elevating the fun. Better than collecting stamps, right?

💡 Progressive reward system: Customers can climb tiers, unlocking exclusives. People love earning points, going up on leaderboards, etc. Incentivize that.

💡 The tech behind it: The company made a strategic choice for an efficient, community-focused tech.
That doesn’t mean that SOL is the best blockchain, but it shows that each business should evaluate its needs and act accordingly, even when choosing which blockchain to use (Ethereum, Solana, Matic, etc.).

So yes, Boba Guys sells tea-based drinks, but meanwhile, they’re successfully experimenting with a new approach to customer loyalty.

What about you? Do you feel ready to lead businesses into Web3?
If not, stay tuned: something is brewing…

Step 3: The interactions must be easy. Don’t create new obstacles. And who doesn’t love upgrades, right?

Doubling down on Web3:
The future of Nike’s .SWOOSH

In October-23, I mentioned Nike’s .Swoosh as a great example of creating a platform that empowers its community to contribute to the brand’s future – which has everything to do with Web3.

Now, it’s time for an update on how they’re sprinting ahead in this digital environment:

They’ve been all in, exploring virtual products, embracing co-creation, and pushing the boundaries of self-expression.

Workshops across the globe, exclusive collections dropping, and even a world in Fortnite with “Airphoria” – all connecting the dots between the virtual and the real.

Something that stands out is Nike’s take on in-game wearables. We’re talking about virtual gear you can sport in your favorite games, seamlessly linked to unlocking actual Nike apparel and footwear.

They announced that by collecting digital items users are lining up for some exclusive physical drops.

From a “learning”/application perspective: if your business allows such a scenario, blending physical and digital stuff tends to be one of the best ways to create true connections with your audience, especially with younger generations ✍️✍️✍️.

And for the creators, Nike is setting up a way for them to move digital collectibles into their own wallets, opening doors for trading while ensuring creators get their share. It’s a smart move, keeping the focus on creativity and storytelling.

I always say that Web3 facilitates WIN-WIN-WIN situations, and that’s another great example. If you are a professional aiming to seize Web3 opportunities, take notes on this.

Stay tuned, because in the Web3 race, Nike is a name to keep a close eye on.

Step 4: I would love to see my favorite brands offering more dynamic rewards. Like the really big ones, you know?!”

BorgoAcademy Community

You help me build this, so I want to give you back.

In this section, I’ll answer questions and discuss ideas sent by you, my fellow Web3 partners.

I have been talking about Open Loyalty for quite some time. More specifically on LinkedIn, I’ve published several posts covering this topic (including here and here).

As said before I do read your replies and I truly appreciate the time you spend engaging with my content.

Let’s now expand on some interesting thoughts people shared about this exciting topic:

“Genuine connections”

100%, Jean-Gabriel!

“Accumulate 10 stamps and you get extra fries for free” might have worked in the past (and to be fair it still does for many businesses), but if we really want to take the brand-customer to the next level, genuine connections is the way to go.

We have discussed many ways to make this happen. Now, it’s your turn to put them into action (and I’m here if you need help).

You are still early!

Complementing my reply: even though MANY brands are already transitioning into/experimenting with Web3-based loyalty solutions, we are still super early.

Whether you are a marketing or tech professional (or anything else to be honest), there are many opportunities yet to be explored – and many challenges to be solved.

In other words, I strongly believe now it’s the perfect time to create a unique set of skills and place yourself and/or your business ahead in the Web3 revolution.

WIN-WIN-WIN (That’s the definition of Web’3’, right?)

Imagine that HODL Airlines awarded one of its most loyal customers, Joe Hurst, with an amazing deal (flights+VIP lounge+accomodation) for a weekend break in Bali. For the sake of this example, let’s pretend this package costs $100 bucks in our platform.

(The narrator says: this package was delivered as an NFT into Joe’s wallet).

For some reason, Joe won’t be able to get on that plane. But instead of just watching this deal expire, he can list this NFT on XYZ Market and somebody with the necessary availability may buy it for $90 bucks.

→ XYZ Market: gets a % of the transaction (so part of the $90 goes to them);

→ Joe, instead of losing his reward, gets $80+ (whatever amount after the platform fees);

→ Buyer: Gets a $100-worth deal for only $90;

→ HODL Airlines: Still rewarded a loyal customer (that ended up making money out of it), while has the chance to impress/acquire a new different/new customer.

Now, just from this example, imagine the amount of solutions we can build together.

My personal mission is to empower the next generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs to excel in the ever-evolving internet.

Step 5: Upgrade, trade, collect, and OWN your prizes.

We’ve talked a lot about Open Loyalty and different ways to build a thriving community for your brand, right?

From my experience, one of the best ways for brands to narrow the gap between them and their customers is by changing how this connection happens.

What I mean is that instead of looking at them as just walking dollars, a collaborative approach tends to create a healthier, long-lasting relationship. Instead of one-time buyers, you’ll have fans, partners, and a rich community.

And below you’ll find a great example of “bringing them together” – especially because it takes place in an industry known for the nearly nonexistent company-client collaboration.

Early disclaimer: The section below is sponsored.

I do share their vision for a decentralized industry and think they are building something truly interesting, but I’ll always keep being 100% transparent with you.

Spotlight: Film.io

Being involved in Web3 daily means that I read and listen a lot about smart contracts, protocols, hardware, and many other tech-related stuff – and that’s cool.

However, what really drives me in this industry is seeing all these things being used to solve real-world problems.

And if it’s related to a creative segment, even better.

So today I present you Film.io, the world’s most powerful decentralized filmmaking ecosystem.

Let’s dive in:

🎬️ A new dawn for filmmakers and fans

You know the drill in Hollywood: a tight circle calling the shots, while many creative gems never see the light of day.

In short, Film.io is here to change that.

Film.io is placing Hollywood decision-making onto the blockchain and into the hands of creators and fans. Here, filmmakers find their community, fans become part of the story, and investors get the data they need to back winning projects.

🎬️ The Secret Sauce: Community powered by Blockchain

At the heart of Film.io is the $FAN Token, the key that unlocks a world where fans and creators drive the narrative.

It’s a place where each person’s voice counts, not just their dollars.

With over 200 feature-length films already on the platform, and more than 19MM FAN Token staked to date, the community is in the director’s chair, helping greenlight the projects they believe in.

This amazing group of film and TV lovers who joined during the Early Access beta period in June 2023 is the key factor and the driving force behind the Film.io platform technology, tokenomics, and collaborative design.

🎬️ Power to the People

Picture this: in Web3, DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization, and aims to help make decisions in a bottom-up management approach.

Having launched the world’s first filmmaking industry DAO, Film.io replaces centralized power with transparency and inclusivity by handing over the governance of the industry.

“Huuum… Sounds interesting. But how does that actually work?”

The $FAN Token is used for governance, awards, and gamification across the platform. Community members are encouraged to stake FAN Token into film and TV ideas that they like.

Usually, anyone who joins Film.io receives an initial FAN Token grant of 100 $FAN (keep this number in mind – more on that later).

Once you have joined, your first task in the platform is to uplevel your DAO Membership level to Bronze. You do that by staking your $FAN Token into the films and TV ideas submitted by Creators on the platform.

When you stake $FAN token into projects two things happen:

Firstly, you get access to collaborate and engage with the project creator.

So yes, you can get closer to the mind(s) behind the project(s) you believe in. How cool is that?

Secondly, you receive weekly interest payments for your staked Tokens. This is a mechanism designed to reward and provide ongoing FAN Token grants to the most engaged and contributing community members.

 

“What about the creators?“

Creators can submit their projects onto the Film.io platform and fans can vote on the projects with their FAN Tokens (DAOs for the win!).

Based on the votes from the participants, the project passes through an internal “Proof of Adoption” mechanism and qualifies for the Go Score, which represents metrics regarding fan involvement and a host of other in-platform gamified engagements that are engineered to better predict a project’s success long before production costs are incurred.

As more people vote for the project the better the Go Score and more possibilities are unlocked for the creators such as:

Funding

Production

Distribution

If you are a filmmaker, I invite you to keep an eye for the Go Score™ Creator Challenge (spoiler: there’s even a $10,000 grant that will be awarded)

“Diego, you asked me to keep the ‘100 $FAN’ in my mind. What for?”

Well, my friends, Pink Beanie got your back:

Sign up for a Filmio VIP offer through this link and claim 250 $FAN Tokens instead of the usual 100 😎.

And last, but not least:

If you happen to be attending Sundance tomorrow, Film.io is set to make a splash with an activation at The Marquis Park City on the evening of January 21st during their “The Premiere Series”.

Headlined by The Black Keys, the concert event will take place at Park City’s newest music venue from the heart of historic Main Street, in partnership with renowned entertainment company LNE Presents.

 

🎬️ 🎥 📽️ 

This is what being at the forefront of a creative revolution looks like. Whether you’re backing visionary projects or bringing your own story to life, Film.io is something I’d certainly check out.

Dive in, stake, vote, create, and explore what a decentralized filmmaking ecosystem can bring to the entertainment industry.

Before we proceed: Have you read all the “Steps”? If so, do you remember all of them?

Take your time to revisit them if needed. I’ll wait.

🕛️ 

🕐️ 

🕑️ 

🕒️ 

🕓️ 

Here’s a great example of a company that seems to be following all the necessary steps to position itself as a reference in the Web3 space.

Visa & Web3:
A huge step towards mass adoption

We all know Visa, right?

Instead of talking about the company itself, let’s see what they are doing Web3-wise:

This giant company is making headlines in the creative community with its bold venture into Web3.

Considering how big Visa is, I truly see this as a significant leap into the future of customer engagement. Visa’s Blockchain-based Loyalty Engagement Solution, may redefine the traditional loyalty program landscape, bringing an element of adventure and excitement to the (usually boring) “task” of collecting rewards.

Instead of accumulating points just because you’re invited to embark on a virtual treasure hunt. Visa’s platform is all about gamified journeys and immersive experiences.

At the core of Visa’s new solution is a revolutionary Web3 wallet feature. Customers can now engage across multiple dimensions – from participating in virtual adventures to unlocking exclusive digital content and even redeeming real-world rewards.

Visa’s integration of the digital wallet into its loyalty program is a strategic move that enhances customer experiences, making them more memorable and personalized.

I believe 2024 is the year we’ll see more industry giants pivoting towards immersive, blockchain-powered solutions.
And let’s be honest: with initiatives led by Visa, Nike, Starbucks, Adidas, and other giants, it’s hard to argue against that.

See you soon.

#LFGrow
Diego Borgo

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