“There is no influence like the influence of habit.”

Gilbert Parker


Blockchains and tokens unleash a powerful new incentive structure that could evolve to craft near-perfect alignment between action and reward. They could become a key tool for capturing attention and shaping behavior. But they also give new power to the crowd, which will, in turn, influence the shape of business.

Tokens are a flexible, high-fidelity incentive mechanism that could be used to shape and reward behavior. Companies will eventually learn how to use tokens to align interests, but it is a two-way equation: the community will also learn they can shape the business.

Tokens have the potential to be leveraged creatively to drive engagement, and could solve some of the most challenging problems facing marketing executives. But tokens will be most interesting when used to motivate an entire community to contribute to advancing a product, a business, or a mission—or as a mechanism for aligning the interests of various parties within an ecosystem.

In fact, by their very nature, successful tokens don’t live in silos—they break the boundaries of brand and business. Businesses that want to leverage these tokens will find it demands a shift in how they think about success and will require new kinds of collaboration.

The Setting

The Steady Extinction of the Loyal Customer

Winning the attention, engagement, and loyalty of today’s consumers is a continual and difficult battle ...

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