Web3 is Revolutionizing Consumer Loyalty
And More Lessons Learned at SXSW ‘23
By Cami Darling, Head of Marketing, Decasonic
Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Austin for South by Southwest (SXSW) - a conference typically known for gathering the best that tech, innovation, and entertainment have to offer. Naturally, as a consumer-focused web3 native venture fund, we were curious about what we’d see - and let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint.
Huge thanks to Midwest House, I was fortunate to participate on an official SXSW panel which highlighted Why The Midwest is Still In On Web3. Find my takeaways from the panel discussion + overall SXSW learnings below.
Still in on Web3 Panelists: Jonathan Gregis, Michael Morris, Cami Darling
SXSW Official: Still in on Web3
It was an honor to be Joined by Mike Morris and Marcie Bomberg-Montoya, Principals at Wipfli, and John Gregis, Lead Blockchain Engineer at LinkPool and co-founder of ATX DAO on stage at the Midwest House in Austin for an official SXSW panel discussion. Each panelist brought a unique perspective to the conversation with their individual expertise.
From an institutional lens, the Midwest, especially Chicago as it has the most diversified economy in the US, has a rich history of financial innovation. Many of the largest financial exchanges are located in the Midwest, providing sound financial infrastructure to founders looking for a place to build their business. The Midwest is also home to some of the top tier universities in the country, providing no shortage of consistent, eager, energized talent.
The consensus on this discourse is that while early adopters are residing on coasts, loyal, revenue-generating consumers reside in Middle America. If the ultimate goal is to reach mass adoption of web3, it’s important for both investors and operators to understand who they’re building for. Customer empathy is paramount.
Check out the full panel discussion on Youtube.
Meeting Consumers Where They’re At
This seems to finally be clicking for brands. It might sound like a novelty idea - but sometimes we get so excited about the possibilities, we forget to take baby steps. Maybe some do, but when it comes to mass-adoption (our MO), most consumers don’t need to know how their internet is working, they care about the experience it leaves them with.
While chatting it up with some web3 curious panel attendees, of course Starbucks was brought up. Big brands have been keeping their eyes on the coffee giant’s new Odyssey loyalty program, currently rolled out in beta using blockchain technology. The new program enables a more immersive, fun experience where users can earn digital collectibles, which can be exchanged for different merch items and benefits.
For full disclosure, Decasonic is an investor in Forum3, the company facilitating the Starbucks Odyssey experience, but we’re tipping our hats nonetheless.
A few lessons have been learned here:
Lose the jargon - The everyday consumer doesn’t need to memorize another acronym. ‘Digital Collectible’ works just fine!
Blockchain in the background - No need to force the blockchain on your customers - let them discover the awesomeness themselves! When the day comes, their data is safe on-chain.
Consumer empathy is king - The ‘WHY’ for whatever you’re shipping, should begin and end with your customer. Starbucks has stayed consistent with this for years netting them some of the most loyal customers in the game.
Quality Over Quantity
The world of web3 has evolved, and continues to evolve, dramatically fast. While many bad actors and, for lack of a better term, tourists, have been washed out of the space, we’re left with a silver lining: less quantity, more quality.
Despite the initial fervor surrounding NFT drops and the tracking of floor prices capturing significant attention, these brands are pushing beyond the hype and actively seeking avenues to forge enduring connections with their most devoted customers.
Central to this mission is their commitment to connecting fun to the brand experience, with the ultimate goal of deepening compelling interactions with consumers. These industry giants acknowledge that conventional web2 marketing methods are insufficient, and therefore, they are actively exploring innovative approaches that harness the potency of community building to further strengthen consumer relationships.
Decasonic is honored to be part of such a resilient ecosystem, and even more so to be working to build a sound, more immersive and sovereign internet experience for all.
Get in touch if what you’re building sounds like this.