What Are NFT Loyalty Program Rewards? The Rise of Digital Experiences & Customer Loyalty
For those who keep up with innovations in the technology world, NFTs, Blockchain and The Metaverse are familiar terms. But the real-world use cases of digital tokens are still a bit obscure. In this article, we will explain the exciting potential of NFTs in creating the reward experiences of the future. Ready to be part of this new tech universe? Let’s get into it.
What are NFTs and which brands are using them?
A non-fungible token is a digital record that is totally unique, unreplicable, and irreplaceable.
When you purchase an NFT, you get two types of authentication: 1) the digital asset is the original version, and 2) you are the only owner of it. Sure, you can easily duplicate media files, but NFTs are attached to the blockchain, so there is a coded “stamp” attached to each one that signals its authenticity.
Take an analogy from the physical art world; there are many copies of famous Picasso paintings, but only the original artworks are considered truly valuable. It’s this sense of exclusivity that makes NFTs so popular. Unique ownership of NFTs also provides a feeling of status and their scarcity further drives engagement in people who don’t want to miss out.
To break this down further, it’s important to understand that NFTs don’t just have to be images. Any kind of digital media can be made into an NFT: art, videos, music, and even tweets. These digital assets can be used to give owners access to exclusive rewards. Let’s take a look at some popular NFT examples that have been released in the past 12 months:
NFT rewards examples
- Tweets: The CEO of Twitter’s first tweet sold for an eye-watering $3 million dollars
- Virtual furniture: Argentinian designer Andres Reisinger sold digital furniture that can be used in virtual worlds like Minecraft and Decentraland.
- Sporting videos: A famous clip of Lebron James dunking against the Houston Rockets sold for $387,000 to a fan who wanted to “own the NBA’s best plays”.
- Kings of Leon were the first music band to release an album as an NFT. After 2 weeks of sales, any unsold NFTs were permanently deleted with no more being made. The one-time-only album NFTs gave owners access to benefits like front-row seats to concerts. This example shows how digital tokens can be used as ‘tickets’ into real-life experiences.
- Beauty brand Clinique ran a competition for its loyalty program members, offering a limited-edition NFT to 3 lucky winners which gives them access to various products each year for the next decade.
NFTs are paving the way for a new relationship between customers and brands.
When done correctly, the potential of using NFT tokens in creating one-of-a-kind rewards experiences is huge. This is because they create an emotional connection. Our experience shows that emotionally-driven relationships between businesses and consumers create lasting loyalty. Businesses need to be able to create a reward experience that customers cannot get anywhere else. It’s an opportunity that simply can’t be missed.
LOYALTY PROGRAMS & NFTS: DIGITAL REWARDS FOR DIGITAL CUSTOMERS IN ALL INDUSTRIES
The digitalization of customer loyalty has moved us into a world where customers expect to interact with brands on digital platforms. In the F&B industry, for example, customer experience relies heavily on technology. The introduction of NFT token rewards is further pushing us into a world where users expect to receive digital experiences.
The problem with traditional loyalty programs today is that many of them are restricted to redeeming points in exchange for brand-specific rewards. Most rewards have expiration dates, little flexibility, and cannot be transferred. On top of that, some loyalty programs out there still rely on physical cards, and can’t seamlessly integrate into the digital world.
NFTs allow brands to create unique experiences without being restricted to traditional formats. Businesses can essentially make anything into a digital token, with any kind of reward or experience attached to it. As a result, an exclusive community of NFT-owners is built.
ENTER: NFT LOYALTY PROGRAMS
USE CASE EXAMPLE: NFTS LOYALTY PROGRAMS, AIRLINES, AND THE METAVERSE
An exciting use-case example comes when you apply the above ideas to airline loyalty programs. Most airline loyalty programs today are miles-based frequent flyer schemes that offer passengers discounted prices the more they fly with a particular airline. Offering NFTs would give customers access to unique experiences, such as exclusive flight destinations.
Airlines could also team up with other brands to create reward experiences at the airport: NFT-owners-only access to Chanel’s new perfume, Nike’s latest sneaker drop, or a limited-edition in-flight entertainment movie. As passengers climb up the tiers of a frequent flyer program, they can unlock more valuable NFTs, giving them further incentives to stay loyal. The possibilities are endless.
Software company Kambr gives the example of integrating an entire frequent flyer program into the metaverse. Many travelers are keen to access exclusive lounges before they board a plane – but what if lounge access is not limited to the airport? Airlines can create ‘digital lounges’ in the metaverse to incentivize customers to engage with their brand outside of traveling.
This would be a great way for airline brands to cut back on the sustainability issues that miles-based frequent flyer loyalty programs present; customers can be incentivized to interact with a brand without taking high-emission flights. To find out more about sustainability and rewards in the airline industry, take a look at our guide Climate Rewards: Incentivizing Loyalty Travellers to Choose Sustainable Actions.
A virtual airport experience in the metaverse could also integrate gamification. People who spend time in digital airport lounges can play games to compete for NFT rewards. Prizes could range from discounted flight tickets to gifts from partnered brands. But how do we convince people to spend time in a digital environment like a virtual airport lounge?
It’s all about creating an engaging and unique experience. Most customers choose who to fly with based on destination and price, so there’s little incentive to stay loyal to a particular airline. But as younger generations take up more of the travel industry customer base, digital experiences will become an expectation. According to Kenneth Change, VP of Marketing and IT at Korean Air, “We need to realize that Gen Z is coming up very quickly and the way they travel is different. If we’re going to provide a product to them, they are not making decisions based on pricing or timelines. They’re more about the experience”.
Data will be key in the creation of these digital experiences. Brands that have loyalty programs already in place can collate information about each user to understand what each segment would like to experience. Young travelers, for example, might be keen to meet with peers in virtual lounges and compete in games with NFT rewards for fun, whereas business travelers may want to take the opportunity to network with other professionals who belong to the same frequent-flyer tier before their business trip.
THE FUTURE OF CUSTOMER LOYALTY WILL BE TOKENIZED
Some people still see NFTs as over-hyped collectibles, but they do have the potential to radically change the way customer loyalty works. Maintaining the uniqueness of NFTs is essential – they are not intended to be mass-produced. Their limited nature drives their value; NFT token rewards should only be given to those who achieve the highest tier in your loyalty program, for example. This will drive engagement and also ensure your most important customers are rewarded for their participation.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?
There’s still a way to go until we’re completely immersed in the meta-world, but the adoption of NFT token rewards by major brands suggests it’s time to get involved. The use of digital assets will continue to grow into the loyalty space, and we haven’t even scratched the surface of the potential use-cases that can be created. We are seeing more and more brands investing in digital platforms and assets to revolutionize the way they connect with customers, creating a new form of brand loyalty. Are you ready to be part of the new tech universe?
NFT token rewards and digital experiences can ultimately be used to encourage engagement and long-term loyalty, as well as grow brand equity. From being able to own a piece of brand history, to gaining access to exclusive experiences, there are so many opportunities for brands to give their customers something memorable.
If you’re looking to step into this new world, it’s important that you move quickly. Early adoption will see brands paving the way for what the future of reward experiences looks like.
White Label Loyalty is excited to be powering use cases that blend NFTs, the blockchain, and the metaverse into the customer loyalty experience. One such company is setting up a metaverse accessible via a cryptocurrency which allows customers to earn NFT token rewards and experiences. White Label Loyalty is the engine that allows them to do this.
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Creative & Content Marketing Executive
Helen is our Creative & Content Marketing Executive. She shares valuable information about the Future of Loyalty and will keep you up to date on the latest industry insights...