Starbucks, the world’s largest coffeehouse chain, announced Monday its plans to offer customers NFT rewards through Ethereum scaling network Polygon. Being one of the first companies to integrate NFTs into a well-loved loyalty program, the company will create a Web3 community where members and partners (Starbucks employees) can engage in various new ways. The company will call it the Starbucks Odyssey program, which will launch later this year.
Both members and partners will have two ways of earning NFT rewards through the Starbucks Odyssey program. First, they can earn digital stamps as rewards. Second, they can purchase and trade limited-edition digital stamps. Each digital stamp can be minted as an NFT. However, the NFT rewards program is currently available only to Starbucks customers in the United States.
The Starbucks Odyssey Initiative
The Starbucks Odyssey program is not meant to replace the coffee giant’s existing Starbucks Rewards program. What it is is an extension of the current rewards program. There will be a Starbucks Odyssey app, which members can access using the login credentials they use for their Starbucks Rewards app.
Once logged into the Starbucks Odyssey app, members can earn “journey stamps,” which are in NFT form, by engaging in different “journeys.” These journeys are a series of activities like interactive games or fun challenges that deepen members’ knowledge of coffee and Starbucks. Completing journeys rewards members with collectible journey stamps.
The Starbucks Odyssey app will also feature a secondary marketplace where members can purchase limited-edition NFT stamps using credit cards. Yes, customers don’t need to own cryptocurrency to buy the NFT stamps or, as the company describes it, “claim an ownership stake in their loyalty to Starbucks.” Those with the NFT stamps can buy and sell them in this marketplace as they please.
“Starbucks has always served as the Third Place, a place between home and work where you feel the warmth of connection over coffee, community, and belonging. The Starbucks Odyssey experience will extend the Third Place connection to the digital world,” said Brady Brewer, Starbucks executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “For the first time, we are connecting our Starbucks Rewards loyalty program members not just to Starbucks but to each other.”
Starbucks NFT Rewards Perks
Through the Starbucks Odyssey experience, customers can unlock new and immersive coffee experiences using their NFT stamps.
“Leveraging Web3 technology will allow our members to access experiences and ownership that [were impossible]. Starbucks Odyssey will transcend the foundational benefits that our Starbucks Rewards members have come to love and unlock digital, physical, and experiential benefits that are uniquely Starbucks,” Brewer continued.
“By integrating into the Starbucks Rewards ecosystem and grounding the experience in coffee, connection, and community, we are entering the Web3 space differently than any other brand while deepening our members’ connection to Starbucks. Our vision is to create a place where our digital community can come together over coffee, engage in immersive experiences, and celebrate the heritage and future of Starbucks.”
Each NFT stamp includes a point value based on the stamp’s rarity. Collecting these NFT stamps will increase members’ points, boosting their level in the Starbucks Odyssey app. Accumulated points will unlock unique benefits and experiences for members—a virtual espresso martini-making class, exclusive merchandise and artist collaborations, exclusive access to private events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, and trips to Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica, to name a few.
The NFT stamps will feature iconic Starbucks artwork co-created by Starbucks partners and outside artists. Thanks to the Starbucks Odyssey program, members and partners will get the chance to access these treasured assets for the first time. Moreover, part of the proceeds from selling limited-edition NFT stamps will go toward causes that mean a lot to Starbucks Rewards members and partners.
Starbucks created a unique website on Monday where customers can sign up for the waitlist. Select waitlist members will receive invitations later this year. These waitlisted members will be among the first to explore the Starbucks Odyssey experience. Feedback from those who will get first dibs to Starbucks Odyssey would help the company improve this latest innovation tied to the Starbucks Rewards program.
Starbucks Odyssey and Polygon Collab
When Starbucks first teased its planned Web3 initiatives, not many, including employees, welcomed the idea with open arms. They were concerned about the environmental impact of NFT minting.
However, Starbucks is collaborating with Polygon for Starbucks Odyssey. Polygon is a proof-of-stake (PoS) network that doesn’t use mining, which means it is less energy-intensive than other NFT platforms aside from being faster and cheaper.
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