Kazm attended D2’s Decentralized Summit last week in NYC. Unlike other web3 conferences, D2 focused on how traditional brands and businesses (think FedEx, PacSun, Mattel) are leveraging web3. The use cases spanned digital assets, blockchain, NFTs, and the metaverse.
These weren’t hypothetical use cases - these tactics have been successfully deployed for supply chain management, brand building, ticketing, collectibles, and more. Here are some highlights:
FedEx started with a specific goal: minimize claims on lost packages. With operations in 220 countries, there are many middle men between supply and demand. They realized that peer-to-peer networks can reduce costs while improving traceability.
What They Are Doing
- Each physical package is assigned a blockchain-based digital twin.
- The physical package is scanned through a normal supply chain:
- Raw → Manufacturing → Pickup → Origin → Hub → Destination
- Blockchain data from the digitized twin captures provenance, traceability, and chain of custody.
Key Insight: To convince the C-suite, think about the value case for blockchain for your business and quantify it. In FedEx’s case this was in terms of a reduction in days outstanding and claims.
“We’re quite confident that blockchain has big implications in supply chain, transportation, and logistics. It’s the next frontier that’s going to completely change worldwide supply chains.” - Frederick Smith, FedEx Founder & Chairman
PacSun wants to be where their customers are and evolve as they do. They realize digital touch points are increasingly important for retailers and aren’t limited to traditional ecommerce.
What They Did
- Launched Pac Mall Rats, their own NFT series at the beginning of 2022. Each NFT represents a PacSun mall presence or standalone retail store.
- Introduced PACWORLD, an interactive mall on Roblox following the success of offering digital items on Roblox.
Key Insight: Their web3 efforts are less about revenue generation and more about aligning a brand attitude to their customers.
“As we are catering to a fully digital generation, we recognize that Gen Z values community and accessibility more than any other generation, and we joined Roblox to further build that connectivity with our consumers. Considering that they leverage Roblox as a point of socialization, we knew that in order to further our strong emotional resonance as a brand, we needed to continue to build alongside them in the gaming world.” - Brie Olson, President of PacSun
Following the massive success of Top Shot, the NBA has experimented with web3 for turning cost centers into revenue generators and for re-imagining the seat license.
Cost Centers → Revenue Centers
- Out-of-home marketing, like decor & signage, is a large expense for the NBA with limited ability to measure attribution.
- The question became “How can we turn landmarks into purchasable digital art installations?” by enhancing traditional branding with innovative NFT elements.
- At each installation, they used a QR code that opened a Shopify commerce page where you could buy the digital and physical art.
- Results According to the NBA, 4,000 NFTs sold with $20 avg. purchase price, over 80% of available NFTs were purchased.
Re-imagining the Seat License
- One big problem the NBA (and all ticketing based sports & entertainment) face is that they can’t tell who their top fans actually are.
- To solve this problem, the NBA launched an NFT auction in collaboration with Dapper Labs that gives NFT holders the ultimate all-star VIP experience.
- Perks include tickets to the next 5 all-star games, locker room access, Zoom meetings with execs, and more.
- A single NFT was auctioned each day for 30 days.
- Results According to the NBA,
- Identified top global fans
- $1.5M revenue in 30 days, with avg. NFT price ~$60k
- Data capture from bids and discussions in Discord and from primary and secondary auctions
- 11,000 marketable leads
- As a toy company, Mattel needs to release entirely new products every year, increasingly with a digital component.
- They are very focused on web3 as they continue to find ways to marry physical toys with digital experiences.
- Mattel has always seen themselves ahead of the curve, releasing a proto-VR headset in 1939, the first talking doll in 1960, and an electric handheld game in 1977.
What They Did
- Roblox is massive. The average user session on Roblox is 2.6 hours, vs 1.5 hours on TikTok. Roblox has 55M DAUs, vs ~10k DAUs for Decentraland.
- The potential for high yields from DeFi assets is on the decline due to rising interest rates per Brandon Arvanaghi, Founder and CEO of Meow.
- The portability of digital assets turns customers into promoters per David Kristal, Founder and CEO of Augeo.
- The 4 Ps Framework (Personas, Perspectives, Process and Product) helped MGM identify their first web3 project: NFT ticketing for Jabbawockeez per 0LABS.
- LaLiga is launching a closed beta for their NFT platform, Golazos, which follows the format of NBA Top Shot and NFL All Day.
- People are finally earning rewards for rent payments using BILT.
Traditional brands are already leveraging blockchain and web3 technologies across a variety of use-cases. Here’s the most frequent advice we heard:
- Focus on the cohesive story for your brand -“Why is this relevant for my customers?”
- Think in terms of objectives and impact to functional areas, then prioritize accordingly. Projects that can improve payments or engagement or back-of-house operations are very different. What does your business actually need to focus on?
- Don’t focus on revenue generation (yet). Right now, NFTs offer a lower cost of acquisition and strong brand building.
- Getting NFTs in the hands of customers was Chapter 1. Chapter 2 will be about creating utility and granting access.