Starbucks has tapped popular scaling solution Polygon as its blockchain provider for what the coffee giant is calling a Web3 "odyssey." The new initiative will allow Starbucks Rewards loyalty program members and Starbucks partners (employees) in the US to earn and purchase digital collectible stamps in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The company said the membership program will unlock access to "immersive coffee experiences: from unique merchandise and artist collaborations to invitations to exclusive events."
"Leveraging Web3 technology will allow our members to access experiences and ownership that were not possible before. 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," a Starbucks blog post read.
The Starbucks NFT launch is an extension of the Starbucks Rewards collection program, and customers will use their login credentials to access them. The traditional version of the loyalty program allows Starbucks customers to top it with a certain amount of money and pay for their drinks with access to free drinks and free WiFi. This program was launched in 2008 and was overhauled in 2010 with the launch of the company's mobile app.
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 collectible 'journey stamp' (NFT).
"Each digital collectable stamp will include a point value based on its rarity, and the stamps can be bought or sold among members within the marketplace, with ownership secured on a blockchain," said Starbucks.
Brady Brewer, CMO at Starbucks, told TechCrunch that the company has been planning this initiative for at least six months. The company has been fast at accepting technological innovation, particularly related to cryptocurrency and digital assets.
Brewer claims their investment in NFTs is part of a strategy to enhance its business model and growth its existing loyalty program. In addition, the company executive emphasised the potential for Polygon NFTs to foster communities and give them access to exclusive products.
However, the company won't advertise the use of blockchain technology in its loyalty program.
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