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One month into 2023, and we’re starting to get an idea of what the year ahead will hold. In 2022, we saw how Gen Z consumers backed brands that aligned with their values. For this increasingly influential demographic, digital-first experiences, transparency and agency in the future of the brands they interact with are essential. For businesses in sectors like luxury goods and gaming, where this demographic is becoming more and more prevalent, understanding and catering to these needs should be a huge priority in 2023. Here are some of the ways we see innovative technologies like blockchain transforming these sectors in the year to come.
From gaming communities to community-led gaming
Gamers are seeking more influence within the games they play. Gaming has become increasingly social, with platforms like Twitch attracting millions of daily users. However, with the rise of this community has come a desire for a greater steer in the development of games. Gamers have grown accustomed to sharing their thoughts and feelings about games, hoping that their feedback is heard.
In 2023, decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) could give these communities a voice. There is no third-party authority in a DAO. Instead, power is distributed across stakeholders who collectively cast votes. Whether they clock extensive play time, unlock specific in-game items, or simply have a desire to influence game development, players can become stakeholders in their favourite games. Players can obtain or earn a governance token within the game and use it to vote on both game development and community decisions. The issuance of tokens, recording of votes and overall results is facilitated by blockchain technology. Because of the transparent nature of blockchain technology, all stakeholders have access to the same, real-time record of events, so it can also ensure that results are demonstrably fair.
Gaming studios and developers who successfully implement DAOs in their games will not only foster a more committed and invested user base, but also have direct access to community feedback. With this insight, they can improve games and create new ones based on player needs and preferences. In this way, integrating a DAO with gameplay could be a way for studios to win players over in 2023 and beyond.
Sustainable supply chain, backed by blockchain
Last November, online searches for the term "greenwashing" reached a record high. Recently, a new term has emerged: "greenhushing." Some businesses are reluctant to discuss their sustainability initiatives for fear of scrutiny, but regardless of whether you're greenwashing or greenhushing, Gen Z are watching. This new wave of consumers are diligent in their research of brands, with 43% of Gen-Z fashion consumers actively seeking companies with a strong sustainability reputation.
Therefore, in 2023, expect an increase in the use of Digital Product Passports. These certificates serve as verification of authenticity, with the added security and transparency of blockchain. From proving the origin of a product to tracking the materials used in luxury goods, they provide customers with peace of mind about the provenance of their purchases, while also protecting retailers from counterfeiting.
Luxury brands that are genuinely committed to sustainability can verify their efforts through the use of blockchain technology. By storing credentials on blockchain at each step of the supply chain and manufacture, including details of where raw materials were sourced, and in what quantities, an immutable record can be created that is stored as a digital twin of the finished product. This will allow them to avoid the embarrassment of discovering ethical lapses in their supply chain and instead offer customers a valuable "passport" that increases resale value, appeals to eco-conscious consumers, and provides a cost-effective way to increase revenue. Digital Product Passports are not just a trend in luxury fashion - they are a critical component of the future of luxury commerce.
2023 will be a big year for blockchain adoption. As decentralisation becomes more mainstream, and solutions like DAOs and Digital Product Passports are more commonplace, even more consumers will recognize the benefits of blockchain technology, beyond just cryptocurrencies. To improve customer experience this year, business leaders should embrace blockchain, develop novel solutions, and look forward to a prosperous new year.