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Using Brand Tokens As A Part Of Your Digital Transformation


Serial Entrepreneur. Digital Award Winner, Mentor, Board Advisor, Founder and CEO of LookStyler, a global marketplace for fashion tourism.

In an address at Frankfurt, John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

The past couple of years have surely surprised us all. The world was hit by the pandemic, which also brought a new wave of digitalization. We witnessed the resurrection of cryptocurrency hype. Even many former skeptics are now starting to see the bright future and potential that digital currencies and cryptocurrencies bring to the world’s well-established financial systems.

But how does one define a cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrency is a digital asset based on a network that is decentralized across a large number of computers. This kind of virtual currency is almost impossible to counterfeit. It is based on blockchain technology, a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers. Cryptocurrency is not issued by any central authority, which means it is theoretically free of government interference.

Currently, thousands of different cryptocurrencies are traded publicly and their total value is in the trillions. The current most popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin and, keeping in mind its fluctuations, its value recently broke $2.5 trillion.

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Defining Brand Tokens

Both cryptocurrency and tokens are unique subclasses of digital assets that utilize cryptography, an advanced encryption technique that ensures the authenticity of crypto assets.

But what is the difference between a cryptocurrency and a token? Cryptocurrencies are native assets of blockchain, while tokens are built on existing blockchain and use smart contracts. Crypto tokens can represent tangible assets such as real estate, fashion and art or intangible assets like processing power or data storage space.

The biggest potential that the future of tokens brings is the possibility for each brand to create and launch its own token and thus add value to clients who can become a shareholder. Tokens can authenticate transactions, as well as act as actual investments. Imagine the world in which you can buy your favorite brand item, pay with its token and keep both the purchased item and the token as an investment. A step further would include buying the brand’s NFT as a collector’s piece.

Brand tokens are social tokens. These are digital assets backed by the reputation of a brand, an individual or a community. They are currently on the rise, and I believe they are set to be the next big thing in the cryptocurrency world.

Launching Tokens Linked To Your Brand

The advantages of a brand owning its own token are numerous. Recently, my fashion company decided to launch our own token. Customers can not only now make authenticated purchases with these tokens, but they can also hold onto our tokens and keep them as an investment. We are hoping this will help showcase designers in a unique light and lead to larger profits.

What many designers lack now is visibility and a digitally connected hub to help bring their local fashion taste to an international level. Their voices often get buried in an increasingly saturated market. My company plans to blend creative ideas from designers from all across the world into one global community with other creatives like stylists and artists. We will work on helping designers integrate aspects of various design cultures and local heritage pieces into unique global NFT products. International shoppers will thus have a wider selection of unique fashion pieces, and our hope is that these resulting physical and digital assets will appreciate in value over time.

If you decide to launch your own brand token, you will need to hire specialized blockchain developers. It is also important to build or already have built a community that will support your brand. I have found that the factors all entrepreneurs need to launch their own brand token include innovative ideas, a highly skilled team, strong advisors and a digitally connected community.

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We are entering the new era of mixing art, design and virtual assets all in one. NFTs bring democratization to creators and more trust to collectors. Diversity is key and that is what industries like the fashion world are craving.

The Future Of Brand Tokens

I see brand tokens as having the potential for better visibility for your brand, larger profits for creators, more authenticity for collectors, diversified investment opportunities for buyers and increased customer loyalty.

If you are a brand owner, you should start thinking about how your own brand token could engage your customer’s loyalty and increase your sales with the use of loyal points and gift cards.

But as brand tokens and NFTs are still a relatively new area, entrepreneurs need to work on finding the right experts who are willing to learn along with them. Innovation is about constant experience-seeking and continuous disruption of one’s own business. You should not fall into a trap of thinking that a certain business idea can last for years with no additional add-ons or pivots. In today’s rapidly changing global economy, constant disruption is key to entrepreneurial success.

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn

The new generation of customers are the millennials, Generation Z and Generation Alpha customers who care about being engaged with the world — virtually and physically. They care about green issues, sustainability, uniqueness, diversity, having a voice and being authentic. Old and rigid systems are now rapidly disintegrating.

A lesson to be learned is this: If you do not cater for the customers of tomorrow, your business will become obsolete. These are the market rules that apply for every business. In this new highly tech-powered and digitally enhanced future, there are new ways to engage with your customers. One way is with brand tokens.

However you decide to package your brand in order to take it with you in the new digital era, keep the words of Eric Pearson, CIO of International Hotel Group, in mind: “It’s no longer the big beating the small, but the fast beating the slow.”

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