The NFT Drop Beyond telcos
A few brands are already emerging as pioneers, offering the first concrete use cases in the market.
Yves Saint Laurent Beauté embarked on the adventure in June 2022. They organized a drop of "YSL Beauty Golden Blocks" NFTs, downloadable via a mobile app created for the occasion by Arianee, which served as an Ethereum blockchain-based wallet. The NFT holders could then access exclusive brand experiences, such as access to concerts and product previews. In January 2023, a new event around the Black Opium perfume allowed to renew the experience and entice a new audience - bottle buyers - to create their wallet to retrieve new NFTs, granting access to other benefits (promotions, creation of exclusive content, private sales, etc.). Through these activations, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté is exploring the possibilities of Web 3.0 and expanding its community without necessarily migrating into the metaverse. The brand manages to offer a differentiating and innovative customer experience and rewards its customers for their engagement.
With Decathlon, the use of NFTs also becomes immersive. A real object is linked to an NFT allowing interoperability with the virtual world and access to different experiences. In April 2022, the brand launched Barrio, a pair of sports shoes connected to an NFT with Séan Garnier. By connecting their NFT, customers can virtually access fun experiences such as a visit to a virtual locker room, a live video with the world champion, access to Decathlon's co-design room to participate in the creation of future products, etc. By exploring Web 3.0 and immersivity, the brand simplifies communication with customers by virtually placing it in a more "real" dimension, and creates communities around its brand by offering simultaneous access to these spaces, over the same period, to NFT holders.
On the telco side, brands must go beyond a simple presence as a retailer in the metaverse. By stimulating senses other than sight and hearing, immersivity greatly enhances the promises of engagement and closeness with the customer. Telcos must therefore seek out this potential today.
Through a simple virtual store, they can rely on a known customer relationship channel and easily attract their customers to explore the possibilities of the virtual world together. These immersive experiences can be multifaceted and combine real and virtual. They can include fun games, real strategic quests requiring player collaboration, or immersive exhibitions highlighting the telco operator's trade, from laying undersea cables to receiving Wi-Fi in homes.
To maximize the potential of these experiences, interactions must also be associated with the distribution of NFTs. In this way, they have the capacity to strengthen brand preference, connivance with customers, and among customers. Indeed, by bringing together a community of players, visitors, customers around the brand, telcos can create communities that adhere to rules, share common interests, whether intellectual, social, or playful, and lead to a reward or remuneration system. In Web 3.0, these communities are called DAOs or decentralized autonomous organizations. They can play a decisive role for brands because they replicate the strengths of a real community while creating value for brands. Customers engaged in a telco brand's DAO can become ambassadors, promote it, engage prospects, help other customers, all while being compensated for their actions in favor of the brand.
The Digital Wallet, the Key to Web 3.0 Opportunities
NFTs can also meet the challenges of zero-party data, that is, data that the customer voluntarily and proactively shares with the brand. This data has the advantage of being qualitative, relevant, economical, and in compliance with legislation.
By downloading an NFT to their wallet, the customer agrees to share the public address of their digital wallet. This is a voluntary act that then allows the brand to activate different customer relationship levers without having to ask the customer for their personal data.
A digital wallet also gives its user the ability to store various digital assets: NFTs, personal data, promotional coupons, event entry tickets, loyalty points, cryptocurrencies, etc. It is the permissions orchestrated by the user themselves that will allow the brand to access the various data stored on this wallet in exchange for something like a 100% personalized experience.
Arianee is now positioning itself as the Web 3.0 support solution for brands. The startup places the digital wallet at the heart of its experiences. It is the key to access, through the NFTs it contains, to real, virtual experiences and ensures the continuity of these journeys in different universes.
Leader Price has also partnered with Arianee and The Sandbox to launch the Club Leader Price. Store customers are offered an NFT via a QR Code received by email, taking the form of playful little characters (baker, delivery person, pastry chef, winemaker, etc.) during their grocery shopping. The brand thus invites its customers, by activating the QR Code, to connect to the Leader Price Wallet application, developed by Arianee, to access the NFT. These NFTs unlock promotions based on the associated profile: for example, delivery people will have promotions on deliveries. To avoid customer frustration over the random allocation of profiles, NFTs can be exchanged between holders to better match their needs, thus generating an interesting flow of information for the brand.
A New Marketing Form Based on Usage
These use cases around NFTs and digital wallets confirm the emergence of a new form of customer relationship marketing, no longer centered on the person, but on usage and behavior thanks to the voluntary sharing of information centralized on the wallet.
With Web 3.0, this voluntary data sharing will be crucial in creating value around the brand. Telco operators are therefore well advised to explore motivation levers for data sharing now. It can be an extension of current models with hyper-personalization, such as offering an "at the right price" offer based on the customer's actual consumption, or advantageous cross-sell offers based on partnerships identified through the sharing of a set of transactional or navigational data. For example, a telco operator partners with various partners (cinemas, SVOD platforms, digital kiosk, amusement parks, hotels or tourism agencies, etc.). By receiving the transactional or navigational data of a customer, he can identify a relevant cross-sell offer for his customer and propose an activation "at the right price" to reward him for his data sharing. The brand thus positions itself as a business contributor and actor in a global (multi-brand) and interoperable customer experience in the service of the customer.
Telco operators can also rely on the context of the climate emergency to reinforce the interest in data sharing, particularly the consumption of equipment. The customer can thus register as an actor in the creation of a second-hand market dedicated to the sharing of unused internet data and transferred to people in need. Sharing can be motivated by the distribution of "green actors" NFTs or by integration into "digital inclusion" DAOs aimed at supporting populations in need on digital.
Another interesting counterpart to customer data sharing can be based on the exploitation of digital twins. A digital twin is a digital representation of a good, here a box for example. In exchange for sharing analytical data related to their boxes (navigational, transactional, energy, etc.), customers can feed a digital twin and benefit from increased monitoring of their equipment's performance to prevent bugs and anticipate necessary evolutions or technician interventions at their home.
Web 3.0 encourages the development of these new business models thanks to blockchain and the transparency it induces on the processing of information. Customers have more control over their data but also more visibility on their exploitation. Brands must now register in this new paradigm, motivate the transfer of data, and offer a precise vision of its use.
Loyalty Programs Export to Web 3.0
Some brands have already integrated the mindset changes inherent to Web 3.0 and pushed exploration further by offering loyalty programs based on NFTs. This is the case with Starbucks, which creates an extension to its Starbucks Rewards program with Starbucks Odyssey. The brand offers a new digital space where the Starbucks community can come together over a coffee and engage in immersive experiences.
Starbucks Odyssey promises to be easily accessible via an app while relying on Web 3.0 technologies (Polygon blockchain). Customers can discover fun activities such as games, contests, information, etc. giving access to NFT collections. These NFTs are purchasable and exchangeable and promise exclusive benefits and experiences such as espresso martini making classes or a trip to Costa Rica to discover the Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm. The program is only in beta version but the first NFTs have already demonstrated their interest and value by displaying a floor price of $350 a few dozen minutes after their launch. There is no doubt that this rewarding loyalty program for the customer will be able to engage its community.
This kind of program can generate strong interest among telcos. The sector faces a standardization of its offers and services and must propose strong markers of differentiation. Building a blockchain-based loyalty program, generating NFTs and associated with levels and rewards would allow to register the customer relationship in the long term and encourage customer engagement. The loyalty program is all the more interesting as it incorporates the various codes of Web 3.0: blockchain, NFTs, tokens, DAO, zero party data, immersivity while being part of the real world.
This may therefore be the opportunity for telcos to propose a cross-program with partners to capitalize on the potential of Web 3.0 and become a key player in a more global customer experience.
Web 3.0 thus allows a new form of digital customer relationship, unique and mixing real and virtual, to emerge while meeting the need for customer anonymization, control over personal data, belonging, value sharing and escape... It is necessary to democratize this new environment and engage its customers by offering them advantages, a community space and animate it to hope to receive feedback. This response will ultimately be one of the only ways for brands to understand their customers and improve their experience, without going through third-party cookies.
Web 3.0 is a decentralized architecture but also a philosophy where control of personal data is returned to the user, usage rewarded, thus giving value back to interactions. It is not just a technological evolution or a change in customer usage, but the synergy of these two factors. However, it is important to keep in mind that the challenges around digital inclusion are still present and that user support towards these new uses will be necessary. The development of Web 3.0 could also be slowed down by the environmental cost of this transformation. Indeed, the bandwidth required for the operation of the blockchain remains considerable and multiplies the carbon impact of digital, already significant.
Currently, a multitude of Web 3.0 projects are underway, but exploration will certainly not only take place on the brand and user side, states and regulators will also have to intervene to clean up the potential and frame the use of this digital evolution. Psycho-social risks may exist and it is important to protect the various stakeholders as much as possible from the risks of identity theft, anonymization of avatars, harassment, etc.
- YSL Beauté unveils NFTs for the launch of Black Opium (jai-un-pote-dans-la.com)
- YSL Beauté enters Web 3.0 with NFTs and a wallet – La Réclame (lareclame.fr)
- Casino tests NFTs as a loyalty tool for its Club Leader Price customers - La Revue du Digital
- Brands launching NFTs to retain their customers | Le Hub (laposte.fr)
- Sporty dive into the metaverse with Decathlon | Majorel (lesechos.fr)
- Starbucks sold 2,000 NFTs in 20 minutes — coffee not included - The Verge
- Sale of the first Starbucks Odyssey NFTs - Coins.fr
- Wallets and tokens are the keys that allow you to move from one world to another, from physical to digital to immersive (journalduluxe.fr)
- Arianee partners with Wunderman Thompson for a more virtuous Web 3.0 (jai-un-pote-dans-la.com)