As an innovation agency, we are often asked by clients to help them leverage new technology to achieve growth. More and more these questions have involved blockchain technology—and the innovative opportunities it can unlock.
What the Heck is Blockchain, Anyway?
In its simplest form, blockchain is a series of linked data sources that are unable to be changed and are viewable by anyone. The result is a secure, unchangeable record that is public and available to all. This transparency and permanence has the power to change every business from institutions of higher learning to a rural chicken farm.
With that in mind, here are four ways that brands can use blockchain technology to spur innovation and growth.
1. Use Blockchain to Boost Your Supply Chain
Imagine that a business is created to sell handmade goods from around the world. Blockchain can empower this business with the ability to source, track and pay for those goods from a multitude of suppliers—all with little effort. This digital connection to an infinite supply of goods empowers the business to expertly cater to the niche desires of their consumers.
Could blockchain technology help make the world your manufacturing plant and allow your business to offer micro-niche products that better satisfy customer needs?
2. Use Blockchain to Influence Consumer Behavior
Blockchain technology is being used to encourage individual behavior through rewards. For example, there are apps that doctors can utilize to track and reward patients for completing tasks like attending weigh-ins or completing an exercise class. Digital ledgers supported by blockchain give doctors proof of patient progress and a way to distribute crypto-rewards, keeping patients engaged and on-track to accomplish their goals.
This reward-for-behavior structure could completely change the way brands think about advertising and attracting consumers’ attention. Imagine opting in to view a brand’s content in exchange for that brand agreeing to pay your streaming service bill with crypto rewards. Financially rewarding people for their time and attention could help brands empower their customers to essentially become paid spokespeople for your brand and products.
3. Use Blockchain to Take Cause Marketing to a Whole New Level
Ben & Jerry’s recently partnered with a company called Poseidon to launch a campaign where partial carbon credits are built into every scoop or pint of ice cream they sell. Previously, carbon credits were only available in massive quantities and sold to large companies, but blockchain technology enables micro transactions that make them available to individual consumers by allowing them to purchase pieces of a whole credit.
Could blockchain technology facilitate a new type of cause marketing for your brand? One where individuals can combine their earnings to do more good or choose where to invest them based on their passion and personal beliefs—thereby giving your brand a competitive edge on sustainability?
4. Use Blockchain to Increase Consumer Loyalty
Loyalty and mobile wallet platforms like Loyyal use blockchain technology to allow for the combination of money, loyalty programs, gift cards and more—all into one. Platforms like this offer more flexibility and an increased ability for customization. This means they have the advantage of being able to support loyalty programs that include multiple brands and operate independently of specific retailers.
Could blockchain technology help your company create a loyalty program that rewards people for purchasing your products, regardless of retailer? This type of program could allow for rewards to be passively collected and result in increased brand loyalty.
As consumers demand more customization and brands race to respond, solutions that leverage blockchain will become more common with companies both big and small. Today the opportunities are wide open for experimentation. If you are looking for innovative ways for your brand to facilitate unique consumer connections, a blockchain solution may provide the competitive edge you are looking for.
Research support and additional reporting provided by Catherine Salzman.
Edited by Adam Siegel. In addition to being the Editor of The Accelerator, Adam is a Creative Director at Seed Strategy where he draws upon his diverse experience in advertising, research and innovation to craft breakthrough creative and winning concept copy.