NFT Loyalty Programs: Unveiling Digital Rewards and Customer Experiences
For tech enthusiasts, terms like NFTs, Blockchain and The Metaverse are familiar. Yet, the practical applications 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 (NFT) is a digital record that is entirely unique and irreplaceable. When you acquire an NFT, you secure both the original digital asset and exclusive ownership. Unlike easily duplicable media files, NFTs, tethered to the blockchain, carry a coded “stamp” signifying authenticity.
Drawing an analogy from the physical art world, where copies exist, but only the original artworks hold true value, NFTs' appeal lies in exclusivity.
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:
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 forging a new bond between customers and brands, creating emotionally-driven relationships that foster lasting loyalty.
Digitalizing Customer Loyalty: NFTs' Impact Across Industries
The digitization of customer loyalty has propelled us into an era where digital interaction with brands is the norm. NFT token rewards are steering us toward a realm where users anticipate digital experiences.
Traditional loyalty programs face limitations—points with expiry dates, lack of flexibility, and resistance to seamless digital integration. NFTs empower brands to create unique, unrestricted digital experiences, building an exclusive community of NFT owners.
LOYALTY PROGRAMS & NFTS: DIGITAL REWARDS FOR DIGITAL CUSTOMERS IN ALL INDUSTRIES
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.
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.
While some view NFTs as just a trend, their potential to revolutionize customer loyalty programs is undeniable. NFT token rewards can incentivize engagement, build lasting loyalty, and enhance brand equity. Early adoption is key to paving the way for the future of reward experiences in this evolving landscape.
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, you must 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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Senior Content Marketing Executive
Helen is our Senior Content Marketing Executive. She shares valuable information about the Future of Loyalty and will keep you up to date on the latest industry insights...