The commodity of loyalty
Customer loyalty is a valuable commodity, but it is also one that cannot be purchased. Businesses as diverse as Apple and Nike have long understood the value of customer loyalty in building their brand identities, and loyalty programs have been part of the equation for quite some time now.
Customers have come to see these loyalty programs as a regular part of doing business, but until now, monetizing that loyalty has been a real struggle. Now a new startup is trying to change all that. By linking loyalty programs and harnessing the power of the blockchain, qiibee is ready to shake things up.
Gabriele Giancola, co-founder and CEO of qiibee, explained,
“We are creating a blockchain-powered loyalty ecosystem which solves the problem of a highly fragmented, operationally inefficient loyalty market by providing a loyalty platform and developer interface on which every loyalty application can be tokenized. By doing so, we are able to connect a fragmented market, increase its efficiencies, as well as cut out the central data authority. Furthermore, by disrupting the $300bn loyalty market, we are driving the adoption of cryptocurrencies by opening up the crypto community to millions of mainstream users. The qiibee mission is to become the go-to crypto loyalty community, bridging the gap between the innovative blockchain industry and the thriving loyalty sector,”
Revolutionizing the outdated loyalty market
By harnessing the power of the blockchain, qiibee hopes to change the way the world does business. And by transforming the loyalty marketplace, the company hopes to similarly transform a large number of brands, businesses, and retailers. Giancola, who sees enormous potential in this previously untapped marketplace, said,
“qiibee aims to transform the loyalty market, which will in turn transform and allow a large number of brands, companies and retailers that operate within this market to evolve as well.”
However, the qiibee team recognizes that there is still a long way to go. Loyalty programs may have been around for some time, but until now much of their power has gone untapped.
“The loyalty system market faces major challenges, from high fragmentation and operational inefficiencies to concerns with centralization and data ownership. By creating a loyalty platform and a developer interface, we not only provide organizations and brands with the opportunity to tokenize their own applications, but the ability to revolutionize the outdated market as well,”
The need to update and modernize a currently fragmented loyalty program market is apparent, especially to those in the business community. It was these inefficiencies that led to the creation of qiibee in the first place. Asked about how qiibee came to be, Giancola said:
“qiibee started its journey in the loyalty market by building traction with a multi-branded, multi-activity loyalty program which brands could use to reward their users for activities such as shopping, or creating and engaging with content. The qiibee prototype was launched in late-2016 with a Swiss user base of 100,000, making up approximately 1% of all Swiss internet users. We have also established brand partnerships with more than 900 renowned local, national and international brands including Subway, Burger King, and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). We believe that loyalty program owners, companies or developers should have the freedom to build a bespoke application that meets their needs,”
The tokenization of loyalty programs
It is easy to see the power of this innovation, and now that qiibee is creating a decentralized loyalty ecosystem, things could be changing fast. With qiibee in their corner, business owners can use a developer kit and platform that will decentralize and tokenize their loyalty programs. This will essentially turn the entire loyalty ecosystem into a connected marketplace, one facilitated by the state-of-the-art qiibee wallet.
By using the qiibee wallet, customers can easily store all of their loyalty tokens. More importantly, customers can exchange the tokens they earn within the qiibee community, further enhancing their value and the value of the brands involved. The Zug-based company continues to explore new partnerships and strategic relationships, and that hard work is already starting to pay off.
“With our wallet, customers can exchange their loyalty tokens and trade them for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether. To further strengthen our brand proposition, we recently partnered with Lattesso, a producer of chilled coffee and milk drinks, in order to transform its customer loyalty program and reach 3 million customers in 7 countries who will be rewarded with cryptocurrencies. qiibee also partnered with Indorse, the decentralized social network for professionals, in order to reward employees. By creating team member reward and recognition programs, these collaborations allow employees to better demonstrate their milestones and achievements, while incentivizing individuals to improve their performance,”
“Additionally, we closed strategic partnerships with marketing agencies that serve as a multiplier on the brand distribution side and help us to scale our platform quickly to mass adoption. To show our commitment to business growth, we also fully invested the US$3m seed round funding into expanding the team and developing our platform.”
The team at qiibee expect to see blockchain-based loyalty programs flourish, and the marketplace created by these programs to grow with them. With its strong track record and by pursuing valuable, strategic partnerships wherever and whenever possible, qiibee hopes to gain first mover advantage – and alter the retail landscape in the process.