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How Digital Assets Can Help Brands Attract Younger Customers


Greg Larson

Greg is an ethos content contributor, author, and web3 journalist who has contributed to more than 30 books, including Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestsellers. His most recent book, ‘Clubbie’, was featured in Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, and CBS Sports.

Greg is an ethos content contributor, author, and web3 journalist who has contributed to more than 30 books, including Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestsellers. His most recent book, ‘Clubbie’, was featured in Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, and CBS Sports.

As brands strive to reach younger audiences, they're faced with the challenge of breaking through the noise and capturing their attention. With a spending power of over $4 trillion globally, Gen Z (consisting of people born between 1997 and 2013) is a lucrative market for brands, but it's not easy to appeal to this digitally savvy generation.

Traditional marketing strategies have become less effective as these young customers become desensitized to ads, and they're more likely to seek out genuine connections and experiences with brands.

Enter digital assets (NFTs), a new and innovative way for brands to connect with Gen Z. While many brands are still trying to understand what digital assets are, their potential to captivate the attention of young customers should not be underestimated.

In fact, a recent survey found that only 19% of Gen Z respondents have already purchased digital assets, and yet Gen Z and Millennials combine to make up 94% of all cryptocurrency investors.

What does that mean? It means digital assets represent a wide open opportunity for brands to engage younger audiences. By leveraging the unique properties of digital assets, brands can offer younger consumers exactly what they crave.

Here’s are 5 ways brands can leverage digital assets to engage younger audiences:

Reward Customer Loyalty

Digital assets can serve as a tool for brands to reward customer loyalty. This can be achieved by designing unique digital assets that are exclusively available to customers who have met certain purchase requirements. Such a strategy can incentivize customers to make repeat purchases.

Starbucks has already implemented this approach through its blockchain-powered Odyssey loyalty program. Frequent visitors to the coffee chain can earn digital assets as rewards, which they can then sell to others within the community.

One of the main benefits of using digital assets as rewards is the creation of a marketplace for the brand's exclusive offerings. This incentivizes customers to market the brand on their own behalf, creating a cycle of marketing and loyalty that is self-sustaining.

Create A Sense of Exclusivity

One of the biggest draws of digital assets is their unique nature. By creating limited edition digital assets, brands can offer their customers a sense of exclusivity and make them feel like they are part of an elite group.

A big part of what’s brought Gen Z into the metaverse so far has been luxury fashion brands, such as Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana. D&G, for example, has used their digital assets as redemption tokens for real-life fashion items that can’t be purchased anywhere else.

Any brand selling physical items can follow this template as a method to engage younger audiences and their desire to join exclusive access to items nobody else can buy.

Create Engaging Experiences

One of the most exciting ways digital assets can help brands engage with their customers is by creating unique experiences that are exclusive to digital asset holders.

In late 2022, Lacoste did just that when it created a virtual store where customers could buy clothes. However, what made this store unique was that Lacoste digital asset holders had access to a secret room within the virtual store that was only accessible to them.

By offering a one-of-a-kind experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere, brands can create a deeper connection with their customers. This can be especially effective with younger generations who value experiences over material possessions. And the added exclusivity of the experience can make digital asset holders feel like they're part of an exclusive community, which can further incentivize their loyalty to the brand.

Support Social Causes

Younger consumers are increasingly interested in brands that support social causes. Digital assets can be used to create unique fundraising campaigns that support charities or social causes.

In summer 2022, the Australia Zoo launched and sold out two digital asset collections, with 100% of proceeds going towards zoo conservation projects. Similarly, Noora Health, a caregiving education charity, sold a single NFT for more than $4.4 million. With the funding, Noora Health was able to progress its mission of creating health literacy programs.

In the case of both the Australia Zoo and Noora Health, digital assets serve as a means to gather and mobilize a community to perform social good, which is something any brand can benefit from.

Tap Into The World of Gaming

The gaming industry has been an early adopter of digital assets. By partnering with gaming companies and creating in-game assets that can be sold as digital assets, brands can tap into a huge and engaged audience.

For example, F1 Delta Time, a blockchain-based racing game, was one of the first digital asset games. They leveraged the technology to sell virtual cars that could be raced in-game.

This highlights a key opportunity even for non-gaming brands. Any brand could partner with a game to create branded digital asset items.

For example, let’s say Fortnite turned its famous skins into digital assets. A fashion brand like Gucci might partner with Fortnite to create Gucci-specific digital asset skins that help younger customers engage with their brand.

Reach Younger Audiences With Digital Assets

Digital assets offer a new and exciting way for brands to engage with younger customers. By tapping into the world of gaming, supporting social causes, rewarding customer loyalty, and creating engaging experiences, brands can use digital assets to stand out and create a deeper connection with their customers.

As the world of web3 continues to evolve, digital assets will undoubtedly become an increasingly important part of the marketing mix. Brands that are quick to adopt and experiment with this technology will be well-positioned to capture the attention of younger audiences and stay ahead of the competition.