While many nonfungible token projects are still losing money due to the bear market, a number of businesses have started using digital assets to solve real-world problems.
NFTs for premium account models or loyalty programs, in particular, is gathering steam. According to Forrester's 2023 NFT and metaverse predictions report, "Brands will pivot from 'cool' non-fungible tokens towards loyalty. They will shift their focus in 2023 to NFTs associated with loyalty, brand experience, and widening customer relationships."
Digital assets use cases like these are already being implemented. Starbucks, for example, recently announced an NFT-based loyalty program. Industry experts have also begun to explain why subscription-based services should use to improve brand-consumer relationships.
Wellness club memberships
Although the idea of using NFTs for loyalty programs or membership models is new, popular industries are starting to recognize their potential. The billion-dollar fitness industry may be the next to adopt NFT-based memberships, as a few forward-thinking gym owners have already begun investigating this model.
Deni Zulic, CEO and founder of Global Fit Club, a blockchain-based fitness platform, told Cointelegraph that the company would soon offer memberships to give users access to a full suite of fitness services. He described that Global Fit Club is collaborating with well-known fitness centers such as Anytime Fitness and F45 Training to provide members with additional benefits when they have a membership.
While the concept of Global Fit Club is novel, he explained that an NFT-membership model could address many of the challenges currently confronting the fitness industry. He noted, for example, that gym membership prices fluctuate over time, which can cause financial difficulties for gymgoers.
Zulic believes that a gym membership could address this issue because members can buy the nonfungible token at its base price and then continue to reap the benefits in perpetuity. He also stated that if a member cancels their membership, they may be able to resell their NFT and even profit depending on the asset's value over time.
Furthermore, while some gyms have loyalty programs that enable members to earn rewards for working out, he stated that memberships could ensure that crypto payments are sent directly to a user's wallet when mobility is tracked.
To Zulic's point, according to one survey, 67% of gym members never use their membership. New research shows Americans waste $397 million annually on unutilized gym memberships. A cryptocurrency-based incentive program could very well solve this issue.
He stated that Global Fit Club intends to launch in the first quarter of 2023. As a result, it remains to be seen whether NFTs will actually solve the problems associated with traditional gym memberships. Meanwhile, industry experts in the wellness sector are beginning to recognize the potential of NFT membership models.
Errico recently joined the council of advisers for Rafi Lounge, a Malibu, California-based wellness and fitness space that is currently providing NFT memberships. Rafi Anteby, the founder of Rafi Lounge, told Cointelegraph that, despite the fact that the company has been in operation for over two years, he only recently realized the need for a more efficient membership model.
Anteby has begun pre-selling a small number of NFT memberships to existing members to address these issues. On the other hand, Anteby hopes that Rafi Lounge members will keep their memberships, mentioning that community building is important with this model.
More importantly, Anteby stated that NFT-based memberships could provide greater security because verification is based purely on the nonfungible token.
Some industry professionals, however, are skeptical of NFT membership models that can be resold on secondary markets such as OpenSea. NFTs have progressed to be more than just investment vehicles, according to Lee Hnetinka, founder and CEO of FastAF, an NFT platform focused on utility.
Hnetinka went on to say that while NFT membership has a number of advantages, he appears to believe the most important thing to consider for mass adoption is interoperability. Hnetinka, for example, suggested that certain fitness clubs with NFT memberships consider providing members with access to additional health apps or other gyms.
Micah Archibald, CEO of Ninja Media and a Spinning spin instructor, also told Cointelegraph that even though the concept of NFT-based gym memberships may not catch on right away, she sees value in providing members with access to fitness trackers if they own certain NFTs.
She does not believe many gyms can develop the technology and infrastructure required to incorporate digital assets into their membership models.
With this in mind, Zulic stated that Global Fit Club is in charge of implementing the technology.
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