How Web3 will force brands to redefine customer value

In the past, brands offered products and services in exchange for money. Lately, that is starting to change. As I discussed in my recent book ‘The Offer You Can’t Decline, this’ regular’ exchange is often no longer sufficient; Customers expect added value, both for their lives and for the world. Companies that meet this need are currently ‘just’ creating a competitive advantage for themselves, but I expect that at some point this will become the new standard for CX.

And this is where Web3 comes in. Companies have no choice but to provide additional value (beyond the product or service itself). This will speed up the process as it will cause a shift in the balance of power between brand and consumer. The reason for this is that data that was previously in the hands of companies will again be assigned to the user with Web3: The customer will now be able to choose whether brands are allowed to use their data or not.

I think this will change a lot in the way companies sell their offerings or how they organize their marketing because the principle of ‘give us your data’ and in return we will provide you with amazing products and services that you can buy ‘longer sufficiently. In fact, the value of this data for businesses is currently much greater than it is for consumers. And therefore, I am convinced that companies will have to increase the benefits they provide to consumers in different ways if they want to use that data for marketing, optimization or other processes.

Here are a few examples:

More personal value through data

This fits perfectly with min ‘partner in life’ model of The offer you can not refuse† It is a good way to expand the value beyond the traditional offering. The point here is to go beyond the customer journey and respond to life journey from your customer. What aspects of their lives provide negative or positive energy? What things cost them a lot of effort? If you can provide answers to these questions, you can optimize the emotional relationship with your customers.

A good example in my book is the Samsung refrigerator, which scans the contents to see what products are inside. This information is linked to a database of recipes, which allows the refrigerator to suggest specific meals based on the ingredients inside. If one or two of the ingredients for a particular recipe are missing, the refrigerator will automatically add them to your next shopping list. That way, the refrigerator owner gets help preparing the family menu for the next day. At the same time, the refrigerator also has the option of selecting the ingredients that are closest to their expiration date so that they can be used before it is too late. The refrigerator is a partner in determining the family’s diet as well as in combating expensive and environmentally friendly food waste.

This is a great way to convince the consumer to share the data they now want to own in the Web3 era. Why? Because it increases the value for both parties: both for brand and consumer.

2. More contextual value through data

Another model from The Offer You Can’t Refuse is that of “save the world† It is about companies taking their responsibility to do good for society as a whole. Every business has strengths that it can use to create social and ecological added value. They will have to look for concrete solutions and contributions that their company can have a real tangible effect with.

Lately, I have found it interesting to see how the sphere of influence of a brand or an organization is extended† In recent decades, most organizations have focused on the sphere of influence of their own company: their own organization, processes, employees, products, and their industry. Only a small minority spent time acting on the problems and challenges facing the world. You can see that this is now completely changing, especially with events like the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Companies no longer just keep an eye on what is happening in the world, but play an active and influential role in it. We are also seeing an increasing number of customers expecting organizations to become part of the solution and actively influence all sections of society and not just their own business and industry.

This broader contextual approach could also serve as an incentive to persuade Web3 users to share their data if they could help businesses, for example, fight deadly diseases, reduce carbon emissions or waste, better manage cities or fight inequality.

More economic value through data

This is probably the simplest exchange of value for data: Companies could offer users a micropayment in exchange for their data. This could, for example, work in R&D environments where brands need large amounts of personal data to create workable solutions. Think of pharmaceutical companies researching certain genetic (or other) diseases. Or smart city governments looking for ways to better optimize their architecture and urban planning.

This approach is likely to work better with one or two of the above models: if the consumer feels he or she may regain not only economic value for the data, but also personal, social, or environmental value.

4. More common value with smart contracts

As you may already know, I’m very excited about what NFTs can do for customer engagement and loyalty by creating a common interest in the customer. It could create new customer loyalty models and even brand new business models directly to the consumer. Imagine, for example, that a very talented singer does not manage to get a record deal, even though he has many fans on TikTok. He could then, for example, release a first album in the form of an NFT. The great thing about it is that the right fans could also access part of the revenue through a smart contract in this NFT. When you consider that in the old world, 90% of the value went to the record company and only 10% to the creative talent, this value distribution is pretty smart. Especially when one realizes that early fans in this way become super loyal ambassadors and shareholders with a common interest. Imagine how much they could earn if that singer was someone like Ed Sheeran or Rihanna. When the brand wins, the customer wins, and I love that.

This is clearly different from the previous three, as it is not exactly a way to convince consumers to share data. But like the examples above, it’s a really good way to create more value than was possible in the old world of Web2.

I’m always most excited when I see certain trends come together into something much larger than the sum of their parts, and this may just be one of them. There is a great personal, social and environmental need for brands that provide solutions to challenging, urgent and complex problems. And at the same time, you see this new kind of internet that is going to disrupt the data models (whether it is making money, optimizing or marketing) at many companies. They will have to come up with solutions that bring the balance back between the value for themselves and for the customer after it was out of balance with Web2. If the value is equal for both parties again, problem and opportunity could meet in a very interesting way.

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