Brands are finding new ways beyond ad campaigns to connect with consumers by positioning themselves at the forefront of cultural and tech trends. Furniture giant Ikea launched Space10, its internal innovation team, at the end of 2015 and Unilever collaborated with startups through the Unilever Foundry, which piloted in 2014. More recently, fast-food companies such as KFC, Domino’s and Burger King have upped their presence in the testing of product prototypes and the trialing of new ways to interact with consumers.
The new branded currency
Brands are exploring the possibilities of blockchain as a seamless and safe way to make digital transactions. Last month KFC Canada released the Bitcoin Bucket. Sales were tracked live on Facebook and the promotion sold out almost immediately. In August 2017, Burger King Russia launched the WhopperCoin, a “blockchain loyalty program.” Customers receive a virtual WhopperCoin with every Whopper they purchase and these can be traded or cashed in for burgers.