evenFriday has a big dream. It’s born of a 120,000-strong organised community of active consumers and an in-house product authentication system. The independent Swiss brand has created a sister company to serve its blockchain-based digital community. Titled UPO7F, the project is as futuristic as it is intriguing. An acronym for the “United People of SevenFriday”, UPO7F will not be a closed community. It wants to invite all like-minded people to the party.
UPO7F is starting out as an inclusive members’ club, offering global events, collectibles, and non-fungible token (NFT) experiences accessible exclusively via an app. As a platform, it will collaborate with forward-thinking members of the community and feature digital and physical product drops or project launches that “fit the SevenFriday style and attitude”.
An acronym for the “United People of SevenFriday”, UPO7F will not be a closed community. It wants to invite all like-minded people to the party.
Banking on a decade of innovation
Since its inception a decade ago, SevenFriday has always leveraged cutting-edge technology. It was the first Swiss watch brand to launch on Instagram achieving instant success. Then, in 2016, the company developed an in-house product authentication system with the use of near-field communication (NFC) chips and a smartphone application (as Europa Star reported in an early interview). Initially conceived as an internal enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, the technological infrastructure has since spawned a full suite of backend and business-to-business solutions. The latest addition to the system is blockchain certification. “The whole development was massive. It was crazy for a small company like us. We developed everything from scratch, from the NFC chips to the scanning machine. It covers the whole lifetime of a product. There’s no system like that around. It was quite an investment,” says SevenFriday founder. Dan Niederer.
For SevenFriday watch owners, the app enabled them to receive support and privileges. It has since morphed into a mobile-based brand forum, where users can interact with each other and access community events. This year, the app released an entirely new gamification experience and the added functionality of ownership certificates in the form of NFTs minted on the blockchain. On top of the existing community engagement, the app now acts as a digital wallet for NFC-chipped products and membership tokens.
Blockchain, the metaverse, and white-label solutions
Since the new app version was released, SevenFriday’s global community has seen accelerated growth and taken on a life of its own. Recognising this, Niederer has a vision akin to blockchain’s decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) ideology. He wants to “empower people inside the community and ultimately, with a potential opportunity, to also give them ownership over their own community.” However, to reach this dreamland, Niederer first needs to ensure the community evolves beyond the SevenFriday brand. This is where the UPO7F project comes in - it’s an investment in developing the app into a platform.
Niederer’s goals may sound altruistic. But he understands that building a community takes a huge amount of effort and he’s open to fresh ideas: “We can work out a sales commission. Ultimately, the more interesting activities we have there, the more interesting it is for everybody in there. And it reflects positively on SevenFriday.”
In the future, he plans to collaborate with brands in sync with his goals to leverage the technology and to help expand the community. The time-tested system could be offered in different software modules, or as a full white-label service. Any products featured on the platform will also benefit from the NFC-certification solution. Furthermore, UPO7F will allow brands to tap into its “powerful community”. With an engaged audience of over 120,000 and counting, the platform offers an alternative to social media, which Niederer says “is getting more difficult and more expensive.”
UPO7F’s social spaces may also enter the metaverse. SevenFriday started its clubhouse-like “7F Space” pop-ups back in 2016. Reviving them in the virtual world would be a natural progression. For Niederer, there is business logic behind it: “I needed to branch out to give the business two chances to succeed, with blockchain and also out of blockchain.” Seeing the digital-native generation coming through, Niederer envisages, “This spin-off will become the owner of its own spaces in the metaverse as well as the real world. The community will decide. We will empower them to drive the project forward. Now we have blockchain technology to put the power back in their hands.” Six years in the making, UPO7F’s time has finally come.