Let’s get technical for a minute because it seems the need for reciprocity is hardly wired within our DNA. When we receive a gift, the regions of the brain associated with emotion and decision making light up. In other words, receiving a gift triggers a conflict that must be resolved. And guess what? The easiest way to resolve it is to give something in return of equal or greater value. In psychology this is known as the theory of reciprocity or social reciprocity.
The coca-cola experiment is probably the most well known study on reciprocity. It was published in 1971 by Dennis Regan, a professor at Cornell University. Half of a group of strangers were offered a can of coke before asking them to buy tickets to a charity raffle. People who get a coke, bought twice as many raffle tickets as people who didn’t.
Giving creates an obligation in people’s minds and savvy marketers have understood it very well. When you receive a letter in the mail for donation, it usually comes with something for free. At a shopping mall or supermarkets, there is almost every time someone offering free bits. Go to a conference or a trade show and you would walk away with tons of freebies…. Examples are endless.
So why would NFTs be the perfect give away gift to prospects?
👉 The uniqueness of each NFT makes the beneficiaries feel special
👉 As most beneficiaries never owned an NFT you are offering them the possibility to try something new without directly pushing your product
👉 Our beneficiaries survey revealed they then feel educated about this new concept, associating your brand with a concrete and positive impact
👉 Lastly, as NFTs are rarely thrown away, they aren’t associated with cheap polluting goodies. On the contrary they enable you to keep the relationship going.
Since the coca-cola study there have been numerous experiments that confirmed that if you give, you shall receive. This is great if you give in a principal manner. One would argue this is where the slippery slope of ethics enters the equation. Over the years, Gary vee has become very vocal on this topic. Love him or hate him but no one can deny that giving and caring without asking in return hasn’t become his trademark. This ‘no expectation’ bit is certainly the hardest one - especially now that you know the psychology theory - but this is certainly where you get the greater outcome. My take is consumers have become much more educated (and spoiled) over the years so that the benefits of this technique will no longer work if the gesture isn’t genuinely authentic.
Given the combination of benefits of NFT goodies, I am not surprised to see them emerge more and more. It’s up to you to decide where you draw the ethical line. Just make sure to remain sincere so that it will never back fire.