Big Brands Turn to Crypto Rewards: Aim to Attract Millions of New Users

Brands and businesses have implemented rewards programs for ages to retain their customers. Since loyal customers are very important to any business, it is no wonder that top brands are including nascent techs in retaining them.

One such solution that several companies are keen on, is implementing cryptocurrencies for customer loyalty rewards programs. This is despite the fact that the crypto earning online hype is still quite niche and has a long way to go when it comes to integrating into people’s everyday lives.

For instance, coffee retail giant, Starbucks, last month announced the integration of a new non-fungible token (NFT) offering to its popular rewards program. Dubbed Odyssey, the rewards program will enable customers to earn and buy digital assets or NFTs, that are tradable in its marketplace. The coffee chain announced that no cryptocurrency or wallet is required.

                                                                                                                                              Source: Starbucks

“By integrating into the Starbucks Rewards ecosystem, we are entering the Web3 space differently than any other brand, while deepening our members’ connection to Starbucks,” noted Brady Brewer, Starbucks EVP and chief marketing officer.

That said, in March, US burger chain Shake Shack began offering cryptocurrency rewards to customers through a digital wallet. The promotion noted that any Shake Shack purchases made by Cash App customers would earn 15% reward back in the form of bitcoin (BTC).

Per Shake Shack’s chief marketing officer, Jay Livingston, the reward scheme would attract consumers who are curious yet hesitant about crypto.

Yet another fast-food giant Burger King put crypto on the menu last year when it partnered with Robinhood crypto to launch the BK Royal Perks rewards program.

                                                                                                                                          Source: Burger King

Nevertheless, it is not only food chains serving up crypto, but a number of retailers have entered into the crypto rewards space. Fashion brand LK Bennett, beauty platform Glossybox and European protein supplement firm Myvegan are some of the brands that boast crypto cashback of up to 10%.

Why Cryptos Are the Next Big Thing in Rewards Marketing?

According to a Harvard Business Review report, generally, loyalty leaders grow revenues by roughly 2.5X times as fast as their industry peers.

When it comes to the relevancy of cryptocurrencies in 2022, top brands believe that the earlier you jump on the bandwagon, the better. Rewarding customers with cryptos and limited-edition NFTs can increase the engagement rate.

Additionally, Forbes stats note that 50% of consumers say their primary reason for joining a loyalty program is to earn rewards on everyday purchases. Having said, rewarding with crypto or NFT would drive customer advocacy, given more value with the current hype surrounding these asset classes.

The X-Factor is that, per empirical evidence, limited edition and the exclusivity of digital assets have more value than items that are available throughout the year.

For example, Binance’s mystery boxes can create a sense of urgency among customers, given its limited availability and thus can attract a wider audience, including customers outside of the company’s target group.

Crypto and Loyalty Rewards Go Hand-in-Hand

Loyalty marketing is rapidly evolving with top brands shifting their focus from traditional reward programs to remain relevant to the changing customer preferences.

It is inevitable that cryptocurrencies are a buzz these days and adapting it would allow companies to quickly engage and generate more customer satisfaction, without complicating their existing rewards programs.

In particular, crypto rewards will:

  • Allow businesses to leverage market trends like the nascent blockchain tech, and provide customers with more appealing incentives. This is because the power of marketing is now in the hands of customers too. Customers could earn incentives for completing specific tasks.
  • Offer brands another way to attract both existing crypto customers, as well as lure customers that are hesitant in cryptocurrencies.
  • Help eliminate costly inefficiencies in traditional loyalty programs, while offering consumers great value.
  • Bring innovative features together, such as crypto reward redemption using debit or credit cards, thus becoming very disruptive among market competitors.

According to trends forecaster WGSN, crypto rewards are said to be among the top trends for 2022. With a more fragmented retail landscape, especially winning Gen Z, crypto rewards bridge the gap, showing that they are current and relevant.

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