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Starbucks NFT Loyalty Program or Virtual Adidas Clothing: Explore big brands in Web3

May 11, 2023
News, Community, Education

Why are Web2 companies like Starbucks, Adidas, or Reddit suddenly experimenting with NFTs and Metaverse? Find out what is behind the recent interest in Web3.

The shift from Web2 to Web3 is revolutionizing digital interaction, and major brands are eager to embrace its potential. As the internet evolves from a centralized model to a decentralized, user-centric one, top corporations are adopting Web3 technologies to stay competitive. In this article, we'll explore how leading brands navigate the Web3 landscape, seizing opportunities, and shaping the future of the Internet.

TL;DR:

  • Many of the major Web2 brands are starting to engage in the Web3 narrative in order to enhance user experience and explore new revenue streams.
  • Web2 brands have been experimenting particularly with NFTs since the year 2021 and started researching the space even sooner.
  • A strong position has been claimed by Adidas and Nike, whose metaverse initiatives have caused a lot of hype in popular culture.
  • Starbucks is experimenting with mass user acquisition into Web3 with their Odyssey NFT-based loyalty program built on Polygon.

Key Differences between Web2 and Web3

Web2 and Web3 are two different internet eras. Web2, the current version, has centralized platforms like social media and e-commerce sites controlled by a few large corporations. They often use your data and give you limited control.

Web3, the future of the internet, is decentralized and relies heavily on blockchain technology. It emphasizes user ownership, privacy, and security, putting you in control of your data and digital assets. Web3 creates a more transparent, user-friendly, and fair online experience for everyone.

How Big Brands Benefit from Web3

It may come as a bit of a surprise that traditional Web2 centralized companies are suddenly so eager to engage in the field of Web3. Apparently, they recognize the overall trend of decentralization and ownership to be significant and want a piece of the cake for themselves. 

Here are some examples of how Web3 can be beneficial for big companies: 

  • Consumer Trust: Decentralized technologies promote transparency and security, fostering trust in products and services.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Web3 enables personalized experiences, driving customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  • New Revenue Streams: Tokenization and NFTs open up innovative revenue models and monetization opportunities.
  • Competitive Edge: Early Web3 adoption establishes brands as leaders in the space, granting a competitive advantage.

Nike .SWOOSH

At the end of 2022, Nike launched its own NFT experience platform called .SWOOSH. They use Polygon infrastructure and unique assets to secure their spot within the emerging Web3 market.

The .SWOOSH platform will serve as a hub for distributing and creating virtual clothing assets, which may be later used by in-game avatars. Nike is encouraging customers to participate in their projects as co-creators, earning creators royalty revenue.

NFTs will also be tied to some degree of physical-world utility, such as new products or exclusive events.

Starbucks Odyssey

By the end of 2022, Starbucks has introduced its Web3-based loyalty program, Starbucks Odyssey, taking customers on engaging journeys through the history of coffee and the Starbucks brand. Connected to the existing loyalty program, Odyssey is user-friendly and requires no prior Web3 knowledge. 

Customers earn Timestamp NFTs on the Polygon network by completing journeys, which grant exclusive benefits such as free drinks and special events. These NFTs can be traded on the upcoming Odyssey Marketplace, set to launch in 2023, showcasing Web3's potential to revolutionize traditional loyalty programs.

Wrigleys Juicyverse

Wrigley, an American multinational chewing gum company, is planning its entry into Web3 through NFTs and a Metaverse called "Juicyverse," according to a recent USPTO patent filing. The patent outlines the company's intentions to leverage Web3 technology to offer fans digital collectibles featuring artwork, apparel, confectionery, candy, or snacks, as well as NFT-backed media like audio and video recordings. 

Furthermore, Wrigley aims to issue both virtual and physical candy backed by NFTs and provide "non-downloadable crypto-collectible software" for uploading, modifying, sharing, and viewing digital collectibles.

Reddit CryptoSnoos

Reddit is venturing into the Web3 space by introducing CryptoSnoos, a collection of NFT-based avatars built on Polygon. These unique avatars stand out from the existing Reddit avatars as they come with specific benefits and rarity that enhance the user experience on the platform.

By owning a CryptoSnoo, users can make their comments stand out, add a special card to their profile picture, and have complete ownership of their avatar. That means the avatar NFT may be freely traded on NFT marketplaces. The original drop occurred on OpenSea in 2021 and was sold out instantly.

Budweiser Budverse

Budweiser began its Web3 journey in August 2021 with the purchase of the beer.eth domain for 30 ETH ($95,000 at the time) and a rocket NFT for 8 ETH. In November 2021, the company released its first set of NFTs, Budverse Cans: Heritage Edition, consisting of 1,936 NFTs, celebrating the year when Budweiser first introduced beer in cans.

Additionally, Budweiser partnered with FIFA to release a live scoreboard NFT collection on October 14., 2022, connecting fans with real-time updates on their favorite country football teams' tournament scores.

Adidas Into the Metaverse and ALTS

Adidas has adopted a concise strategy to enter the Web3 market, focusing on collaborations, NFT collections, and virtual experiences. Partnering with prominent Web3 brands like Bored Ape Yacht Club and PUNKS Comic, Adidas launched its "Into the Metaverse" NFT collection in three phases:

  • Phase 1: The release of the first NFT collection called Into the Metaverse in collaboration with BAYC and PUNKS Comic. By burning the phase 1 NFT, users transitioned into the next phase.
  • Phase 2: Physical products were redeemed upon burning the NFTs from the previous phase. Users were airdropped a mysterious capsule, which contained pieces of virtual apparel. By burning the phase 2 NFTs, users transitioned into phase 3.
  • Phase 3: Reveal of the ALTS by Adidas. Unique representation of users' identity, integrated with their ongoing loyalty program.

The Bottom Line

Seeing traditional brands make moves in the direction of Web3 is an important indication of the overall market trend. Some of the major companies recognized this trend early and are trying to secure a spot for themselves in this emerging space.

While posing some new opportunities for marketing activities and revenue streams, the entrance of centralized companies into a decentralized space of Web3 still seems kind of counterintuitive. Maybe their presence is just an attempt to gain a portion of the Web3 traffic without developing any practical solutions. 

On the brighter side, big companies in Web3 are causing a lot of newcomers to look into this world, which may ultimately lead to faster adoption. Over time probably even centralized companies may develop real practical applications utilizing blockchain and Web3, however, we are most probably not there yet.

Disclaimer: The content of this piece reflects the writer's opinion. This article is not intended to provide financial advice and is meant solely for entertainment and educational purposes. Investing in cryptocurrency involves significant risk. Capital is at risk, and returns are not guaranteed. Always conduct your own research.

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