Source: AdobeStock / wachiwit
Seattle-based major coffeehouse chain Starbucks is expanding its exposure to Web3 and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with the launch of the beta version of Starbucks Odyssey, a new loyalty program made available to a small group of waitlist members comprising customers and employees in the US.
“Selected participants will be able to engage in Starbucks Odyssey ‘Journeys’ which are a series of entertaining, interactive activities to earn collectible ‘Journey Stamps’ (NFTs) and Odyssey Points that will unlock access to exciting new benefits and experiences,” the company said in a statement.
Taking into consideration the company’s broad international presence, the program could bring the blockchain experience to a vast number of new users. The chain opened 763 net new stores in the fourth quarter of 2022, ending the period with 35,711 stores globally. Of these, 51% are company-operated, and 49% licensed, according to data from Starbucks.
The US chain says the program is “an extension of Starbucks Rewards, powered by Web3 technology, that unlocks access to exciting new benefits and experiences for members,” according to the statement.
“Once logged in, members can participate in ‘Journeys,’ which include a series of interactive activities to complete. The activities will range from taking a virtual tour of Starbucks coffee farm Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica, to trivia about Starbucks heritage, to playing interactive games,” the US business said. “Once a Journey is complete, members will be awarded with a collectable ‘Journey Stamp’ (a Polygon-based NFT) and bonus Points towards their overall Point total.”
The chain has sent out initial invitations to a small group of waitlist members and employees earlier this month, and starting in January 2023, monthly invitations are to be offered to a larger group of members on the wait list.
Brady Brewer, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Starbucks, commented that the latest initiative is part of efforts by the coffeehouse giant to harness emerging technology and make it easily accessible and approachable for a wide range of customers.
“Starbucks Rewards members are some of our most loyal and engaged customers, and Starbucks Odyssey is our next big innovation in loyalty to recognize, surprise and delight them. We are leveraging Web3 technology to reward and connect with our members in new ways, such as offering collectible, ownable digital stamps, a new digital community, and opening access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences – both physically and digitally,” Brewer said.
Shortly after the program’s beta launch, members will be enabled with access to the Starbucks Odyssey market powered by Nifty Gateway where they will be able to buy or sell Starbucks Odyssey digital collectible Stamps among members via thePolygon blockchain.
“Early next year, members will be able to purchase unique, one-of-a-kind ‘Limited-Edition Stamps’ (NFTs) through the Starbucks Odyssey market,” according to the statement. “Sales of Limited-Edition Stamps include a charitable components, with donations to causes that matter to Starbucks partners and Starbucks Rewards members.“