Inspiration Station: How Web3 Offers Brands Unique Opportunities

What is Web3?


By simple definition, Web3 is a decentralized online ecosystem powered by the blockchain. But it is also an opportunity for brands to expand and reach beyond the traditional boundaries of the world wide web as it has existed up until now.

Web3 is challenging to define because it’s in its infancy, in the midst of becoming itself, and so the sharper contours of Web3 are still being mapped out in real-time.

It’s an opportunity for new intimacies and modes of expression between brands and consumers. If Web3 lives up to its potential, it will mean more power to the people, users, and brands shrewd enough to adapt to this new way of engaging with the market.

As utopian and bizarrely futuristic as Web3 can sound in the abstract, it isn’t the Matrix – there is much about the constellation of NFTs, cryptocurrency, blockchain, and the metaverse that is not only exciting but actionable and helpful for brands as well as consumers. It allows for a greater diversity of thought, more vibrant creativity, and more trust between the brand and the user. Essentially, the digital playing field has become a little more level.

Let’s explore how brands are embracing Web3 and putting their spin on it to tailor it to their audiences.

Web3 Creates Business Opportunities

JPMorgan sees the metaverse as a $1 trillion market opportunity.

JPMorgan became the first bank to enter the metaverse by opening the Onyx Lounge in the Decentraland metaverse. Other brands like Samsung opened a version of its New York store in Decentraland. Decentraland is a browser-based 3D virtual world in which users can buy plots of land in the form of NFTs and interact and transact with other users through 3D avatars.

Upon entry, lounge visitors are greeted by a dynamic roaming tiger, a floating portrait of the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, and a spiral staircase.

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Metaverse Bank

Starbucks turns to Web3 to strengthen its community

Starbucks has leveraged Web3 technology to enhance its existing customer rewards program and created a dedicated space to interact with its customers. The brand launched its Starbucks Odyssey experience – a blockchain-backed reward program. Members can build up ‘journey stamps’ (NFTs) by playing interactive games, completing challenges, and interacting with the brand.

The stamps can be redeemed for more than just coffee coupons; customers may win access to experiences, from espresso martini-making classes to trips to the Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica.

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Web3 Creates Social Opportunities

Social VR offers an immersive platform for people to interact, form relationships, and build intimate connections with brands.

People typically use three leading platforms for social VR – AltSpaceVR, VRChat, and Rec Room. Other platforms are emerging, like Meta Horizon and Roblox. Each platform is tailored to a specific audience; for instance, professionals regularly use AltspaceVR, while VRChat is more playful, and Rec Room is more of a game-based platform.

Social VR is a supportive environment, unlike traditional gaming platforms, which are notorious for their toxic culture. Players in social VR communities tend to be happy to offer help and support, using social VR to find friends and build online communities that align with their identities
and interests.

What are the implications for brands?

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Web3 Creates Entertainment Opportunities

TV show you can only watch if you own their NFT non-commercial rights to do whatever.

Stoner Cats is a TV show pioneering how digital communities can access content in the new era of Web3. Stoner Cats, led by Mila Kunis, releases its episodes in a new, ground-breaking format. The only way to watch Stoner Cats is if you own a Stoner Cats NFT Token. If you own the collectible NFT, you gain membership that gives you admission to the show, plus access to exclusive and fun perks.

With blockchain technology, there’s a new way for fans to engage directly with the content they want to watch and be a part of the content creation process, including behind-the-scenes access, storyboarding sessions with the creators, and voting on story elements for emerging episodes. As an NFT holder, you have personal, non-commercial rights to do whatever you want with your specific 2D non-animated Stoner Cat NFT image.

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Stoner Cats

The world’s first interactive dating show where the community decides what happens.

Mad Realities is reimagining entertainment for the modern world – building the “Netflix of Web3” with help from an investor, Paris Hilton. Their shows focus on shared experience, co-creation, and ownership. A membership pass is your key to the first decentralized entertainment platform, starting with the world’s first interactive Web3 dating show, Proof of Love, or “The Blockchain Bachelorette.”

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Web3 Dating

Virtual Influencers Are on the Rise

As virtual worlds gain momentum, brands are exploring how to present themselves online. Virtual influencers are becoming more commonplace with global followings. Virtual influencers experience on average 3x engagement from fans than your typical influencer.

What are virtual influencers?

A virtual influencer is a digital character created in computer graphics software, given a personality defined by a first-person view of the world and made accessible on media platforms.

How are brands using virtual influencers?

As digital humans, their existence is a technological innovation in itself. In Samsung’s #TeamGalaxy campaign, Miquela was featured alongside Millie Bobby Brown, Steve Aoki, and gamer Ninja. Under the slogan #DoWhatYouCant, Samsung linked into Miquela’s infinite potential.

LG introduced its own virtual influencer, Reah Keem. She is a traveler and DJ with an upcoming album. LG’s choice not to use her as an advertising opportunity from the get-go allows her to gain credibility and establish authenticity.

Hyundai partnered with a digital supermodel, Shudu, to launch their eco-friendly fashion platform Re:Style. Shudu was decked out in the collection, which uses recycled materials from Hyundai’s manufacturing process.

Virtual Influencer

Sustainability in Web3

How are brands offsetting their emissions?

Ethereum formerly used an energy-intensive process called “proof-of-work” to power its cryptocurrency transactions. Through a new method, dubbed “proof-of-stake,” the computational energy needed to solve the math problem behind each transaction is no longer an issue. The switch from proof of work to proof of stake will reduce the overall energy consumption of Ethereum by 99.9% or more.

The fossil fuel company Shell may not be the first brand one thinks of when considering sustainability, but they’re using the advent of Web3 as an opportunity to get more green. In their attempt to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Shell is utilizing AI, blockchain, and the whole of Web3 itself. They have created a blockchain system that tracks how green energy is used. Efficiency is literally judged through the application of blockchain – the cornerstone of Web3.

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Web3 sustainability

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