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Consumer crypto is looking for its "a-ha" moment. Maybe loyalty programs could be that.

This is Testnet, where crypto-native marketing and growth experiments are tested live. Every week I review an aspect of a crypto brand's marketing strategy. Read the first post here.

Consumer crypto is looking for its "a-ha" moment. Maybe loyalty programs could be that.

Crypto is starved for simple, delightful use cases that people who don't spent hours on crypto twitter weekly can use. People have always talked about how loyalty programs could be put onchain, so it's easier to track and transfer your rewards rather than having them stuck inside a company's database. But there hasn't been a direct use case that shows why loyalty programs onchain work better than those offchain.

From Kohl's Cash to airline skymiles to credit card cash back, loyalty programs have been an extremely successful marketing tactic and business model. But they have yet to be successfully replicated with web3 tools. In fact, they are the opposite, as airdrop farming incentivizes people to farm until the airdrop, then move their capital to the next chain.

This week I'll be looking at Blackbird, an app that gives you access, points, and rewards for dining out. Rewards come in the form of $FLY tokens, which can be spent at restaurants part of the Blackbird program. Let's see how this tokenized rewards program tells its story.

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Blackbird: Be a regular, everywhere

The main section of the newsletter, I break down one web3 marketing experiment that I'm taking inspiration from.


The product: an app that makes it easy to earn loyalty points at restaurants

Blackbird is an app that makes it easy for you to earn rewards for being a regular at participating restaurants. When you enter the restaurant you tap your phone on the Blackbird puck. This will let the restaurant know that one of their regulars is attending, so you're more likely to get free stuff from the restaurant. You also accumulate $FLY tokens, Blackbird's native currency, that can be spent at restaurants.

Instead of having to go to chain restaurants to have any kind of rewards (buy 10 get 1 free? maybe?) you can get rewards at local restaurants through the blackbird network.


The theme: being a local is cool, and we help you do that

Blackbird is the cool kid of loyalty programs. They help you be a regular at any restaurant you go to that's part of their program. It reminds me a bit of Airbnb's marketing to stay in apartments and neighborhoods like a local, instead of being a more obvious tourist at hotels.

Their marketing makes you feel like you're going out to dinner with friends on a friday night in New York.


The story: eating out is cool—find your new spot, become a regular, and get rewarded.

Blackbird knows that New Yorkers eat out all the time—it's part of normal life. And it feels great to frequent cool, not-too-trendy, locals' restaurants and be known as a regular there. Blackbird makes it easier for you to do that by giving you the opportunity to get rewards at various restaurants. They're currently just in New York but are adding cities.


The tactics: Helpful marketing—Take Me to Your Spot videos and newsletter

I'm a fan of Blackbird's Take Me to Your Spot series, where local New Yorkers show you their favorite restaurant. These are short-form, tik tok videos that give you a taste of the restaurant but don't take too long to watch.

I like these because they're an example of helpful marketing. These are videos I want to bookmark and come back to later next time I'm in New York. They also have a newsletter that shares recent dining trends. Their marketing is around making content that is helpful and useful, so people watch and read it to serve a purpose. I'll definitely be adding this style of helpful marketing to my toolkit going forward!

Trad Tidbit: Consistency wins

Tactic or advice from traditional marketing or non-crypto-native marketing culture that I want to add to my toolkit.

Listening to this Modern Wisdom podcast episode, I was reminded of the importance of doing things consistently. If you do something consistently, you're probably going to get better at that thing over time. And if you maintain that consistency over months and years, you're likely to be in the top 10% of that thing, if not the top 1%.

The same applies to marketing. There's nothing that says "sloppy brand" faster than inconsistent messaging, visuals, tone, and style. Brand consistency is a fast way to win trust and be recognizable by potential clients.

Have a small team but want to look super polished? Keep your brand simple and don't overcomplicate the messaging or visuals. Being consistent is better than being flashy one day and bland the next.

Source: Mailchimp

This week's vibe: summer reading recs

Just for fun—it might be a photo, a meme, an idea, a recommendation, or whatever else I'm into right now.

Like everyone is these days, I'm trying to be on screens less and offline more. And since everyone seems to get more into books in the summer months, here are some I've loved recently.

And let me know what you're reading!

The Rigor of Angels by William Egginton

Good for you if you like: metaphysics, nature of reality, philosophy, history

(My favorite book I've read in awhile.)

Dive in.

Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

Good for you if you like: Environmental drama, unique settings (this is in the backcountry of New Zealand), cybersecurity, light thrillers.

Dive in.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Good for you if you like: poetic writing, apocalyptic settings, less plot more vibes

Dive in.

Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

Good for you if you like: NYC setting, rom-coms, upper class drama

Dive in.

Thanks for being here,

See you next week!

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