The recent post on how companies will use blockchains to sell supply chain credibility generated some great comments and feedback.
One of the things that came back to me was: "Hey Jeremy, give me some examples."
So, let's think about this.
I'm sitting at a Starbucks right now. They aren't shy about promoting the fair-trade, organically sourced, etc. element to their coffee.
But how do you actually KNOW that everything they are saying is true?
You don't. They know and you know that words like "fair trade" and "organic" are going to get more people to buy their stuff.
However, a Starbucks supply chain blockchain which would be open for investigation by any customer would give you the ability to track the actual beans used in your cup of coffee that day back to the farm where it was grown.
Imagine FedEx tracking, but not just from the company's warehouse to your door...instead, you are tracking a batch of beans from a farm.
Then, if you really wanted to get sexy about it, you could look at the supply chain blockchain for the farm where the coffee is grown.
This would allow you to see that the farm actually doesn't buy pesticides or that its workers are, in fact, paid what you consider to be a fair wage.
If this seems like a lot of work...it is (now), but imagine a world where it wouldn't be.
You could set criteria for the types of purchases you want to make (inline with your values) and then, before you bought that cup of coffee, your "Values App" would notify you that "yes, this store-today- is in line w/how you want to live your life," or it's not.
You can, of course, decide to overwrite or change your actions or values in either way (I don't care), but you would KNOW...Starbucks actually DOES have fair trade coffee.
And you, if this is important to you, would be willing to pay more for that.
Knowing that the creation of the coffee, from farm to table (as it were) is in line w/how you want to live your life at each and every step of the way then becomes a true differentiator for Starbucks (in this case) or any brand.
And that's really defensible as well.
More to come....