Erik Weijers, 3 months ago

Starbucks reveals NFT loyalty program

Starbucks today introduced Starbucks Odyssey, that will launch later this year. It is the coffee chain’s first foray into web3 technology. Odyssey combines Starbucks Rewards loyalty program with an NFT platform and will give customers the chance to both earn and purchase digital assets that unlock experiences and rewards.

In the current, 'old-fashioned' rewards program, customers earn 'stars', which can be exchanged for perks, like free drinks. Starbucks envisions its new Odyssey as a way for its most loyal customers to earn a broader set of rewards while also building community.

No wallet or crypto currency

Members can access using their Starbucks Rewards login credentials. In other words, it requires no crypto wallet, like MetaMask, to take part. In the press release, Starbucks sells this as 'a fun and easy way for members to access this new technology'.

While it is understandable that Starbucks opted for this route - after all, for some customers, crypto tech will be too alien - it is still a pity. After all, will their customers, who pay for their NFT with their credit cards, really have 'access to this new technology' if they... don't use the technology? It's a bit like your toddler in the Ferriss wheel having access to car technology.

The NFT's: limited edition stamps

Once logged in, members can engage in Starbucks Odyssey ‘journeys,’ a series of activities, such as playing interactive games or taking on fun challenges to deepen their knowledge of coffee and Starbucks. Members will be rewarded for completing journeys with a digital collectable ‘journey stamp’ (NFT)

The online environment will have a built-in marketplace where members can purchase ‘limited-edition stamps’ (NFTs). The NFT collection will have in common with traditional collections, like CryptoPunks, that the different items have different degrees of rarity. In the case of Starbucks this rarity is expressed with a point value. Starbucks uses Polygon as the storage solution.

As the point value of these collected NFT stamps increase, users can unlock experiences. Starbucks give a few examples:

  • A virtual martini-making class
  • Access to unique merchandise and artist collaborations
  • Invitations to exclusive events at roasteries or even trips to a Starbucks coffee farm in Costa Rica

Conclusion

Starbucks is moving its traditional loyalty program into the metaverse. The new perks go beyond those you can earn with a traditional Starbucks Rewards account: they are interactive games, for example, and some of the rewards attached to the NFT's take place in the online world. It's a very interesting experiment by one of the world's biggest brands. We are curious to see if future versions will be truly 'crypto native', as in: let the customers really own their NFT's and allow them to move them out of the walled garden of Starbucks' online environment.

It's also bullish for Polygon (MATIC), which can host yet another big project and gain traffic and credibility.

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