This past year, NFTs have become a real hype. If you’re not familiar with the concept: they are ‘one-of-a-kind’ assets in the digital world that can be bought and sold like any other piece of property but lack a tangible form of their own. People really started to notice the phenomenon with the sale of Mike Winkelmann’s – aka Beeple’s – digital piece of art ‘EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS’ for a whopping $69,346,250. And then or course there was Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, who sold his first tweet “just setting up my twttr” as an NFT for over $2.9 million.
The NFT trend is still mostly a gimmick but I believe that they hold the promise to move beyond the current ‘exciting’ collectibles phase and fundamentally change the customer loyalty landscape. The reason is that they can hold smart contracts, which could play an important role in boosting customer engagement. Kings of Leon, for instance, were the first band to release an album as an NFT and their tokens - also including 18 unique-looking golden tickets - unlock special perks like limited-edition vinyl and front row seats to future concerts. Not surprisingly, CX guru Gary V, is also experimenting heavily with this: his VeeFriends collection of NFT animal drawings includes a smart contract offering, for instance, exclusive access to his events.
But the most interesting potential of NFTs truly lies in the concept of branded economies, which could trigger a genuine paradigm shift in customer loyalty. Today, most loyalty systems are out of balance: we all know that more benefits go to the company than to the customer. NFTs, on the other hand, will involve the customers a lot more, who will then become part of the journey. For instance, as a frequent flyer, if I had an NFT stake in a company, we will both have a shared interest instead of contradictory ones. If the company does well, the value of the NFT will rise and then I will do well too. If they win, I win. If they lose, I do too. And so, as a customer, I benefit when the brand performs better, making me an ambassador.
Keep an eye on NFTs. They have extraordinary potential to disrupt the future of marketing.
By Steven Van Belleghem
Keywords: Customer Experience, Leadership, Marketing