Embracing the Future: How Web3 Will Shape the Way Consumers Engage with Brands

Web3 is going to transform marketing. Buckle Up!

From loyalty rewards and gaming to financial services, multiple use cases for blockchain technology are demonstrating the unique capabilities of a shared, programmable data layer for the internet.

Gradually, then suddenly, consumer behaviors will evolve. Marketing is going to be at the forefront of this paradigm shift. In this post, we will explore the three major attributes of Web3 that will shape the way brands engage with their audience.

Ryan Report is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

There are three key transformations marketers and brands should prepare for:

  1. Identity  

  2. Governance

  3. Onchain Data


In the future, people will access government services, commerce, and their finances using a blockchain-based digital identity.

A blockchain digital identity is a major improvement over the current model of digital identity because it transfers control of identity credentials from big companies to individuals. Today, people rely on federated identity solutions to attest to their credentials so they can access services on the web. Blockchain-based digital identity puts people back in control of these credentials. If you control the private keys to your crypto wallet, you control the credentials associated with your digital identity. If we built the internet from scratch, we’d have an identity layer for individuals, controlled by individuals.

The Internet was built without a way to know who and what you are connecting to.

-Kim Cameron, Chief Architecture of Identity, Microsoft

Additionally, using zero-knowledge cryptography, a credential verifier can confirm you have a credential without needing additional private information. This will enhance privacy.

While many consumers will appreciate the benefits of having control over their digital identities, mass adoption will be driven by fraud reduction, reduced customer onboarding costs associated with passwordless login, and auto authentication.

As AI improvements make it harder to stop fraud, blockchain-based digital identity provides a “proof of humanity” solution that can be used across applications and services. AI will be one of the main drivers of blockchain-based identity adoption.

Consumers won’t have to manage logins for every e-commerce site, get their university to email confirmation that they hold a degree, or get their bank statement to apply for a loan. By removing friction to access applications and services, consumer adoption will increase for blockchain-based digital identity.

Brands, such as e-commerce sites, will be the first to enable blockchain-based identity solutions to remove the tedious need for maintaining unique customer accounts for every retailer. From there, banks, hotels, and airlines will empower users to own their credentials. Over time, I predict blockchain-based identity will become the preferred way consumers want to engage with brands.


We spend too much time in digital spaces to not get to vote on how they operate. Web3 gives users the ability to vote and be owners of the applications and services we use. This is a superpower. Imagine if you could VOTE on Twitter’s content moderation policy or the revenue share agreement for Creators. New applications and services will be built to allow users to vote on how the services operate, using tokens/NFTs. This is happening already in many DAOs. In the future, I expect brands to offer governance over certain services, policies, and brand decisions to their most loyal customers, powered by tokens and NFTs. For example, if your most loyalty customers have an onchain digital collectible token, you can allow them to vote on which charity your corporate social responsibility budget will be allocated towards. 

On Chain Data

The estimated value of redeemable loyalty rewards in the US, including airline miles, coupons, and punch cards, is $40 billion USD. With a super low 20% redemption rate, $32 billion in rewards are unredeemed and going to waste.

Without sharing any state secrets, Starbucks isn’t the only brand excited about web3 loyalty rewards. Fashion brands, restaurant chains, hotels, and airlines are all actively developing a web3 strategy for loyalty rewards to unlock the power of secondary markets for rewards and make multi-company rewards more seamless.

As MPC wallets, and better UX in self-custodial wallets, abstract away the complexity of owning and using NFT loyalty rewards, there’s going to be a lot of onchain data that can be used to personalize the experience for consumers. With zero-knowledge proofs, this data can be privacy enhanced.

Brands that understand this opportunity are going to be able to deliver superior customer experiences and offers that can reduce customer acquisition costs.

How to future-proof a brand?

The only way to future-proof a brand is through active investment in experimentation.

Here’s a lightweight approach to test the waters.

Token-Enabled Utility Marketing

With a small budget, a brand can offer an active NFT community a token-enabled reward for joining their loyalty program. As an example, a luxury hotel could offer y00ts holders a raffle ticket for a free 3-night stay for signing up for their program. The first 10 people to sign up could get a 20% discount on their next booking at the hotel. The winner of the raffle would be airdropped an NFT that grants them three free nights at the hotel. The earned media generated from this exercise would be significant.

The hotel could use Spindl.xyz to perform attribution to measure the CAC of driving new members to sign up for the loyalty program. The goal would be to see how many new loyalty members a brand signs up for in exchange for offering this reward. The brand could also look at the earned media generated from this offer.

The small cost of this marketing exercise would uplevel the marketers involved. Specifically, the marketers who execute this campaign would develop wallet awareness, track onchain data, and learn how to acquire new loyalty membership by stacking rewards onto an existing NFT community.

Right now, it’s wise to experiment, learn and develop new skills. It’s more fun to lead than to play catch-up.