Harnessing blockchain for brand transparency

Harnessing blockchain for brand transparency

There’s much talk about blockchain when it comes to financial security, decentralising ledgers and also in trading in the burgeoning cryptocurrency landscape (if you’re still unclear about what blockchain is, download our one-pager here!).  

However, one of the more interesting insights to emerge is how blockchain technology is transforming supply chains for the better. Blockchain allows for unprecedented product traceability – a plus for consumers given that brand transparency is in high demand. This means that businesses will now have to hold themselves accountable like never before, and prove that they practice what they preach in order to retain consumer confidence. 

Telling a story

Blockchain tech is the game-changing shift in digitising supply chains, which still tends to exist as silos. With more global connections and more complicated steps in manufacturing and sourcing supplies, blockchain tech allows for product information to exist in one unbreakable chain of data, authorising each transaction and making them easier to trace, which is a win for businesses as it improves production and delivery efficiency, and for consumers who can easily understand the stories behind and the journey of the products they buy.  

Proof of provenance makes for a very effective digital marketing opportunity. San Diego-based Bumble Bee Foods was one of the first known companies around the world to harness blockchain for storytelling. QR codes printed on the labels of their tins of yellowfin tuna led consumers to detailed information about the journey of the fish from capture to preparation and packaging, verifying authenticity, fair-trade and sustainable practices. Trials of blockchain systems are underway in Australia’s wine and agricultural sectors, so we should expect to see this sort of knowledge available to consumers more in the near future.  

Proof of authenticity

Transparency isn’t just to the benefit of consumers. Not only does blockchain make the manufacturing process more efficient and easier to trace, it also means that businesses can be assured that their customers are guaranteed authenticity. Take the luxury goods market, where brands wage a perpetual war against counterfeit producers, costing brands tens of millions of dollars a year. A transaction documenting a luxury item and its owner can be proved authentic immediately, because the event (transaction) is registered on a blockchain, which cannot be tampered with. It may be that we also start to see luxury items come with corresponding digital items known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), so that consumers can reap the benefits of a tangible asset – a key desire among HNWI – and secure an appreciating asset in the digital space. 

Blockchain is only in its infancy, so we’re only just seeing the benefits of what it can do. Given the move to a hybrid digitised world it seems that the earlier businesses and brands move to embrace its potential, the better. Get in touch if you and your team want to explore the incredible opportunities to grow! 

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