NFTs as Loyalty Programs: A New Era of Customer Experience

NEST®
6 min readMay 2

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NFTs as Loyalty Programs

In the vast and competitive world of business, a company’s success is measured by its ability to attract and retain loyal customers. Consumer loyalty is not something that can be bought or forced. It is something that must be earned by providing exceptional customer experiences that leave a lasting impression. Brands that understand this fundamental principle recognize the importance of recognizing and rewarding their customers’ commitment.

Today, loyalty and rewards programs have become a cornerstone of the ideal consumer experience. Companies understand that the benefits of retaining existing customers far outweigh the cost of acquiring new ones. Hence, many businesses incentivize their customers through loyalty programs to keep them coming back for more.

However, the loyalty programs of today are set to evolve into something much more profound and transformative. As the world moves towards web3 and blockchain technology, the next wave of loyalty programs will be defined by new features and capabilities that will revolutionize the way businesses interact with their customers.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the world of NFTs and explore how they can be used as loyalty programs. But first, let’s lay the groundwork and understand why loyalty programs are so crucial to the success of businesses in today’s world.

Loyalty Program Defined

Businesses seek to woo customers with alluring rewards and incentives that would keep them coming back for more. The key to this enchantment is the mystical art of customer loyalty programs.

These programs are more than just a simple exchange of goods and services; they are a carefully crafted strategy that entices customers to return by offering them rewards, discounts, and other enticing incentives. The ultimate goal is to build brand loyalty and create a sense of appreciation and value for the customer.

For those who are most loyal to a brand, there is an unspoken bond that connects them to the brand. They desire to feel valued, but they also want to add value in return. A customer loyalty program is the perfect opportunity for brands to make customers feel appreciated and encourage them to stay loyal.

But, it’s not just about providing exclusive perks. Building a loyalty program also involves creating the right kind of exposure for your brand. Customers join loyalty programs to earn rewards on everyday purchases, have early access to upcoming sales, and exclusive merchandise. They also want to save money and get the best value for their investment.

Crafting an effective customer loyalty program can be a challenge, but when done right, it can be a potent tool for growing your business and strengthening customer relationships.

What Role Does NFT Play In This?

It is said that current loyalty programs can lose their shine if customers forget they exist or stop using them. NFTs can help us pave the way for more exciting and enchanting digital interactions with customers.

The beauty of non-fungible tokens lies in their modular and adaptable design. They can be used to verify ownership of a product, incentivize purchases, restrict access to members-only, gamify brand interactions, and create a unique identity for the customer within the brand’s community.

These NFTs have the power to boost loyalty and encourage members to keep holding onto them, in the hopes of receiving even more perks and benefits in the future. And there’s an added bonus — NFTs can also protect against fraudulent actors, providing validation and peace of mind for both the brand and the consumer.

NFTs can be redeemed for physical products, traded for digital assets like music or art, gain exclusive access to events, purchase digital assets in games or the metaverse, and so much more. The possibilities are endless!

Through the power of NFTs, the value system for consumers can be dramatically increased while making things safer and easier to use.

Some Examples of Loyalty Programs Using NFTs

Starbucks

In a land where the aroma of coffee fills the air, a giant known as Starbucks unveiled its latest creation: the Odyssey program. This program was not your typical loyalty scheme, for it took customers on a journey through interesting tasks and interactive games, testing their knowledge about coffee and rewarding them with precious NFTs.

To take part in this adventure, customers needed only a credit card and a thirst for knowledge; no crypto wallet or cryptocurrency required. Through an integrated marketplace within the Odyssey app, members could even purchase exclusive NFTs to add to their collection.

Each NFT stamp, valuable in its own right, was given a point value depending on its rarity. Members could buy, sell, and trade them with ease, all while a blockchain verified their ownership. As they gathered these stamps through the program, their points accumulated, granting them access to perks like exclusive merchandise, collaborations, and even virtual workshops like the coveted espresso martini workshop.

But that was just the beginning. The most loyal of customers could even receive invitations to special events at locations like the Starbucks Reserve Roasteries or a tour of the Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee plantation in Costa Rica. It was a loyalty program like no other, and Starbucks customers were thrilled to be a part of the adventure.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton has always been known for its innovation and willingness to experiment with new technologies. This time, they’ve set their sights on NFTs, introducing them into their standalone mobile application game called “Louis: The Game.”

The game allowed players to explore the brand’s history using their brand-inspired avatar Vivienne. Players can earn free NFTs while collecting postcards, which unlocks new levels and features in the game. These NFTs feature Vivienne in different outfits and can be used as PFPs and transferred throughout virtual and social media platforms. A certain number of NFTs collected in the game can be used to enter an NFT raffle to win one of the ten coveted NFTs.

With over 2 million app downloads, “Louis: The Game” has already captured the attention of fashion and gaming enthusiasts alike, and with the introduction of NFTs, Louis Vuitton has taken their game to a whole new level of exclusivity and luxury.

Benefits of Using NFTs in Loyalty Programs

Innovative and cutting-edge, NFTs bring a new level of excitement and engagement to loyalty programs that can captivate younger audiences who are well-versed in digital currencies. With an air of exclusivity, NFTs create a unique experience that can lead to customer loyalty and retention.

Beyond just engaging customers, NFTs provide security by being tamper-proof, thereby reducing the risk of fraud and ensuring rewards are accurately tracked and managed, especially for more complex programs. The most exciting advantage is that NFTs can even provide brands with the opportunity to monetize their loyalty programs by creating exclusive NFTs that can be sold as limited editions, thereby creating an additional revenue stream while providing a unique value proposition to their customers.

Final Thoughts

Businesses are realizing that they could use NFTs to reward their customers with exclusive perks and incentives. As more people embrace blockchain technology, marketers have learned the importance of understanding the value exchange and ROI.

NFTs provide a unique key to unlock access to a brand’s privileges, making them a powerful tool to engage with younger generations. By offering discounts, exclusive events, limited-edition products, and giveaways, NFT rewards offer a way to mainstream businesses and expand their reach.

The foundation of an NFT loyalty program is utility value, and with careful planning, brands can tap into the growing popularity of NFTs and create a loyal customer base.

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