3 Smart Ways to Use NFTs to Grow Your Business How to use NFTs to launch club memberships, loyalty programs, and streamline ticketing.

By Girri M Palaniyapan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) entered the zeitgeist last year with trading volume hitting $17 billion last year. NFTs allow one to demonstrate ownership of a unique digital asset. Businesses spanning various sectors like entertainment, fashion and sports have begun NFTs. Recently, Starbucks announced plans to issue NFTs as part of its loyalty program later this year. Some other prominent companies which have issued their own NFTs include Nike, Adidas, Hasbro, Burger King, Taco Bell and Louis Vuitton. Here are 3 different ways you can use NFTs to grow your business

Launch Clubs with NFT Membership Passes

Your business can launch member-exclusive clubs to your superfans and use NFTs to gate access. To incentivize membership, you could offer discounts and exclusive access to specific items or services. Your company benefits from the initial mint revenue and the royalties from secondary sales of the NFTs. The NFTs will also aid your marketing efforts as members are more able to showcase their membership on social media platforms.

Related: A Modern Marketer's Guide to NFT Adoption and Branding

Using NFTs as proof of membership also benefits members. Members are freed from the burden of remembering their passwords or carrying with them physical cards; instead, they can simply demonstrate membership through the NFT in their digital wallet. Additionally, owning an NFT gives members a sense of ownership and increases their engagement with the community.

While NFTs are digital assets, analog businesses can also use this strategy too. In 2021, Gary Vaynerchuk together with David Rodolitz, Josh Capon and Conor Hanlon launched Flyfish Club, a private NFT-members-only restaurant. Flyfish Club NFT owners are given unlimited access to the New York City-based dining venue and other social experiences.

Sell NFT-based tickets

Your business could put tickets for events like live performances, conferences and sporting events on the blockchain and sell them as NFTs. Using NFT-based tickets helps businesses reduce ticket forgery and scams. The verifiable authenticity of tickets also supports a secondary market for tickets. Research indicates the resell-ability of tickets encourages attendees to buy in advance; this translates to greater revenues for event organizers.

Billionaire Mark Cuban shared that the Dallas Mavericks is exploring how they can turn their tickets into NFTs. He explained that NFT-based tickets will allow consumers to resell tickets while also allowing them to make a royalty.

Related: Make Your Brand a Household Name Using the Power of NFTs

Ticketmaster, using Dapper Labs' Flow blockchain, has already begun issuing tickets as NFTs for selected events, which would function as collectible memorabilia, but also as a shareable record of attendance. The ticketing giant in the pilot phase minted over five million NFTs, over a six-month period, some of which were automatically issued to attendees of specific events.

Create Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs offered to customers based on purchase history are popular among businesses because they increase customer engagement and retention. Companies could use NFTs as a way of tracking prior purchases and rewarding customers. Unlike traditional loyalty programs, NFT-focused loyalty programs allow customers to better showcase their connections- with the brand better; this in turn helps promote the business.

Customers would benefit from NFT-backed loyalty programs because they are able to transfer or purchase them from others. These functions are typically not available with traditional loyalty programs where the data resides solely within the company's database.

Burger King launched Royal Perks, an NFT-backed loyalty program. By scanning a QR code on every meal box, customers could receive one NFT game piece. Upon receiving 3 NFT game pieces, customers were programmatically granted a reward such as free Whooper sandwiches for a year, a call with celebrity artists, or a digital collectible NFT.

Related: Pharrell Williams, Contemporary Artist Nina Chanel Abney and Brand-Builder Shaun Neff Announce Launch of Game-Changing NFT Platform

Starbucks has also forayed into the NFT space with its Starbucks Odyssey, an extension of its Starbucks Rewards program. Now, it connects not only members to the business, but to each other and even employees – offering a chance to engage in a series of activities and challenges centered around the brand and all things coffee. Participants are rewarded with digital collectible 'journey stamps' (NFTs). There is also the option to purchase limited edition stamps through a built-in marketplace. The stamps can be sold, traded, or exchanged for premium benefits like unique merchandise and invitations to exclusive events and trips.

Adopting NFTs in Your Business

Most businesses don't need to build out their own NFTs from scratch. Instead, you can search for plug-and-play alternatives that allow them to create NFTs without any technical expertise. These solutions will be suitable for most businesses.

The possibilities with NFTs are endless and present a variety of new opportunities for businesses, small, emerging, or established. Club memberships, ticketing and marketing are just some ways you can use to grow your business. With advancements in technology, more potential applications will emerge.

It's always a good idea to pay attention to news and stories from the NFT space to see what's new and how other people are using the technology in their businesses.

Girri M Palaniyapan

Founder of Nivi.ai

Girri Palaniyapan is the founder of Nivi.ai.

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