A 2021 Gartner report placed emerging technologies like NFTs, Web3, and the Metaverse at the top of what it called a “Hype Cycle;” The moment when technological development receives tremendous positive and negative publicity, attracting some brands while scaring others. Undreamed-of a few years back, NFTs and other Web3 applications made headlines as skeptics questioned their viability.
While the debate about their future raged, forward-thinking brands sought ways to use these technologies in new and valuable ways. Traditional businesses now face the dilemma of how to approach a rapidly shifting consumer landscape. Gigster’s Director of Blockchain, Cory Hymel, recently engaged Trevor Dudeck, CEO, and Co-founder of Lemonade on how companies can reshape their approach in the face of new opportunities in the era of Web3.
Nike is among many brands that have created a reputation of availing meaningful revenue from integrating NFTs into their business through their Cryptokick businesses. As other companies embrace the transition from Web2 e-commerce to Web3, it’s already apparent that brands cannot afford to leave consumers behind.
While some companies may have taken a wait-and-see approach, Dudeck believes those ready to onboard the NFT promise must deal with the question of how to deploy Web3 to benefit both consumers and businesses. For brands that wish to unlock the immense potential of Web3, NFTs and the Metaverse, Dudeck proposes the following strategies on involving their consumers:
Most consumers loathe or have little interest in the idea of blockchain NFTs and Web3 because their mention only brings to mind expensive cartoon JPEGs, hexagon profile photos, and private Discord servers. The media hype surrounding these technologies has mainly been about direct scams or new tools for the rich and famous to show off.
Since most arguments against Web3 are anchored on misinformation, it’s the business of brands that have ‘seen the light’ to showcase what problems it can solve. While most existing Web3 apps and protocols gravitate around finance and gaming, brands must educate potential consumers on real-world utilities and improvements to Web2 limitations to successfully onboard them.
Consumer education is the most important tool for Web3 adoption as merely creating a competitive edge against rivals won’t sell with Web3. We’re past the stage where brands simply exchanged products and services for customers’ money. Companies must simplify the concept of Web3 and show it creates extra value for the customer.
By triggering the shift in power from the brand to the consumer concerning how data, which was in the hands of companies in the Web2 era, users must understand how they can benefit individually. Having empowered consumers who know the value of their data will create a shift in how brands market themselves to boost their advantages.
The transition to a decentralized internet as envisioned by Web3 has happened faster than anticipated, where startups created communities of developers. Like developer communities played a role in earlier crypto communities, Web3 communities will help developers and consumers learn how to replace traditional business models on Web3 platforms.
Web3 and the underlying blockchain technologies are still evolving, meaning that brands and consumers require a learning curve to acquaint themselves with the emerging hurdles before they can experience mainstream adoption. The simple rule for companies to focus on is:
Since Web3, NFTs and the Metaverse, and the entire concept of a decentralized internet is still a bit nebulous and probably here to stay, Dudeck opines that companies can enjoy the journey if they deliberately avoid rushing into anything without sufficient information. If you’re still figuring out where we are and where we’re going, listen to Dudeck explain the strategies you can adopt to avoid being left behind.