Q&A With qiibee
How does the qiibee token function within the platform and why is it needed?
qiibee: qiibee’s token economics are designed so that brands can easily issue their own tokens with the LoyaltyToken Protocol. To do so, they first need to specify their own loyalty tokens suited to their needs. After defining these parameters, the brands can then go to the public market, buy the respective amount of QBX needed, freeze these QBX in the smart contract and create their own branded loyalty tokens. The brand receives the own branded loyalty tokens on corporate wallet, meanwhile all loyalty tokens remain backed by QBX in the smart contract. Now the brand is ready to start their loyalty program on the blockchain as desired.
Customers can now get loyalty tokens via different ways in different loyalty programs, hold on to them, redeem, send to friends or even exchange into other cryptos or FIAT.
And, by structuring the use cases and lifecycle of QBX as described above, the demand from agencies & loyalty system providers reselling the QBX to their brand portfolio, brands & merchants buying QBX to create their own loyalty token and customers to use loyalty tokens is directly translated into demand for QBX on public exchanges.
What are the current issues facing the loyalty rewards market, and why is blockchain the ideal answer to solve these issues?
qiibee: According to Reuters & Affinity Capital Exchange (2017), an estimated $500 billion USD in points are left unredeemed by members. This figure clearly shows that brands have to make their programs more effective to really drive customer behavior. While loyalty programs have become fairly common, at the same time, customers increasingly expect more personalized and shared interactions across brands’ loyalty programs, which makes it essential for brands to rethink their loyalty strategies.
Loyalty is a tricky game for brands:
- High outstanding liabilities
- High customer acquisition costs
- Low engagement and redemption
- Low inter-operability of programs
Loyal customers have a hard time today as well:
- No real value of collected points
- Lock-in and low usability of points
- Fragmentation of loyalty market
- Exploitation of personal data
qiibee is therefore based on the blockchain for numerous reasons:
- It gives tokens real value; customers earn their tokens from the brands. After that, how they want to use those tokens is completely in their hands. They can exchange, trade, invest or cash out — they have total control over their tokens.
- It connects the loyalty market; this creates interoperability between various brands and programs, making their rewards programs even more rewarding.
- Later: It allows P2P exchange; customers can trade tokens without relying on the middleman.
- 100% certainty that the quantity and type of loyalty tokens earned cannot be deleted or manipulated.
- A traditional database belongs to someone. With a blockchain database, the foundation is independent — thus, it doesn’t belong to anyone, so competing brands don’t experience competing interests.
- Interoperability from different databases.
Establishing partnerships with brands who will implement the qiibee rewards system would seem to be a vital objective. What is your current strategy to acquire these partnerships and can you name some brands you have now, or plan to secure in the near future?
qiibee: To spur the adoption, qiibee is currently working with five marketing agencies, which make the loyalty programs part of their own portfolio, provides them with their marketing expertise and offer them to their existing brand clients. This approach has three main advantages: it allows for strong partnerships with interests that are aligned between the parties involved, fast scaling of sales pipeline via multiplicators and improving of the product offering based on bundled sales feedback from agencies.
qiibee already signed contracts with three big brands and already have eight additional confirmed token launches:
- Lattesso, second largest cold coffee producer in Switzerland with 2,800 point of sales
- Sausalito, biggest cocktail producer in Germany with five million customers
- Foodchain, Y Combinator backed start-up, with 900 locations in 73 countries
How will you deal with both retailers and consumers who do not want to hold digital tokens for any period of time due to high volatility?
qiibee: Most brands, in fact, do not want to have any volatility risk in their balance sheet. Therefore, we created different mechanisms which satisfy the specific needs of each brand. Brands can, for example, choose to issue their loyalty tokens just-in-time so that they never actually hold loyalty or qiibee tokens by themselves.
For customers, on the other hand is the volatility one of the main attractions of a blockchain-based loyalty program. Even if the initial reward is just marginal, it can increase in value and potentially give the customers a reward, which is worth their loyalty. In the case that the customer does not want that volatility, he can still just cash out his loyalty tokens and reward himself with small amounts of FIAT money.
The Qiibee app is currently live on both iOS and Android. What has been the reaction from both the retail and consumer community? What does your current user base look like now, and in the near future?
qiibee: We are getting awesome feedback from retail and community about our qiibee Wallet. People love the idea to actually have all their loyalty awards as an overview in one app, as well as being able to exchange these awards for each other. Based on the first campaign we did with Lattesso, we saw more then 10,000 Wallets being opened in around 1.5 months. If we keep adding more companies and growing at this pace, we will reach one million wallets in the next 12 months.
You’re a global company, are there any specific regions you are targeting first or that you have seen have the most growth over the past year?
qiibee: As described above, qiibee is working with five major marketing agencies which include qiibee in their portfolio and push loyalty on the blockchain across their brand clients. Four of these five marketing agencies are located in the DACH region, which is consequently also the market we target first. Through our Asia roadshow and the contacts knitted, we already established partnerships there and have a contract with a marketing agency based in Indonesia. The next step is to focus on the expansion to Asia and following the the global market.
What does the roadmap look like for 2018–19?
Tell us a little more about your team and why you feel they have the experience and skills needed to reach the goals you have mentioned above.
qiibee: The qiibee team currently consists of 19 full time employees working in product and tech (7), business development (7) and marketing (5). 70% of the team has been part of the foundation of a company before joining qiibee, including a loyalty company which has been built, developed and sold. Six developers with combined 41+ years of experience in tech provide sound blockchain experience (10+ years). The team is geographically diversified and offers insight from former working experience of the likes of BCG, CERN, FinLeap, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Amazon, Bloomberg and many more.
As a non-qiibee question, we like to ask for unique predictions for the ICO and cryptocurrency space in the future. Where do you see both in the next 3–5 years
qiibee: As we have seen in the last 12 months, a lot of maturity came into the space. Going from the Wild West to more traditional approaches. We believe the next few years will be the same for both areas, ICOs and cryptocurrency. On the one side, you will see more professionalism going into ICOs, treating them more like an IPO, from a projects and an investors side. On the other side you will see more stability in the price development of major currencies and maybe a completely new Top 10 list.
Source: ICO Alert