Consumer loyalty programs embrace NFTs

Written By Julie Bacon

Loyalty has always been the holy grail of consumer brands, and Budweiser is one of many brands banking on NFTs to cement buyer relationships.

Investor-backed Hang is the latest B2B-focused start-up to assist companies in replacing their traditional loyalty programs with NFTs. Pinkberry and Bleacher Report join Budweiser and music festival groups Bonnaroo and Superfly in reinventing membership and loyalty programs.

Customer acquisition costs continue to rise, and brands look to increase lifetime customer value and harness loyalty rather than convert new buyers. Brands have long accomplished this with membership and loyalty programs, but those too are losing their allure. That’s where Hang comes in and uses the appeal of NFTs to reward consumers for their brand loyalty.

Hang just announced the close of its Series A round of $16M led by crypto venture firm Paradigm. Other Hang investors include Tiger Global, Warby Parker, Allbirds, and Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures.

One of the challenges in converting loyalty programs to NFTs is introducing blockchain where customers once used email. Hang’s solution bridges this perceived gap by allowing buyers to sign up using email and credit card – things they are already comfortable sharing.

Hang envisions brands converting customer data into cryptocurrency to complete the NFT transaction underpinning the reward redemption. The company believes that the long-term success and adoption of NFT beyond artists and collectors will hinge on integrating standard technologies.

Hang’s clients are counting on this integration of the familiar with the next-generation reward systems to cement customer loyalty and create differentiators over competitors. By sweetening membership and loyalty programs with NFTs, brands are banking on the future of cryptocurrency and consumer demand for digital assets.

Including NFTs as loyalty perks give brands and consumers more options and potentially more reasons for buyers to interact with brands – something brands desperately need in fracturing markets. Brands can issue NFTs as perks while allowing consumers to trade up or take other actions that inevitably strengthen brand loyalty. Hang and other companies are betting that’s true.

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