Starbucks Debuts NFT Loyalty Program for Beta Testing

The company is extending its popular loyalty program to the blockchain as part of its strategy for embracing web3 technologies.
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Quick take:

  • Starbucks has rolled out its web3 loyalty program and NFT community for beta testing.
  • Dubbed Starbucks Odyssey, the program includes coffee-themed NFTs that can be used for real-world experiences.
  • The new program is built on the Polygon blockchain.

Starbucks is rolling out its web3 loyalty program and NFT community for beta testing. The global restaurant chain first announced the project in September as part of its web3 strategy.

The company says it sees the web3 royalty program as an extension of its existing customer reward program. The NFT project is built on the Layer 2 Ethereum scaling protocol, Polygon.

Polygon’s blockchain has emerged as an entry point for web3 and traditional brands looking to pivot to web3.

The blockchain company announced the zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) protocol in July to enable infinite scalability, which makes it a perfect platform for Starbucks’s NFT-based loyalty program.

Starbucks is looking to onboard its massive customer base to web3 with its new rewards program. According to the announcement on Thursday, the Starbucks Odyssey program includes coffee-themed non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that be used for real-life experiences.

An NFT is a blockchain-based file representing proof of ownership of a digital collectible, merchandise, digital artwork, or JPEG. 

NFTs can be used to tie real-life assets and experiences to the blockchain by pairing the twin products using a cryptographic chip. This application allows brands to use NFTs as gateways to exclusive events or limited-edition merchandise offerings.

Starbucks envisions its web3 loyalty program as a way to earn a wide variety of rewards beyond regular perks like free drinks.

The company is introducing a new platform where customers will be able to interact through activities called “Journeys”.

Customers will earn collectible journey stamps, Starbucks’ moniker for NFTs, upon completing videos and quizzes about coffee and the company’s history. Journeys also include other activities like playing puzzles and trying out new drinks the company wants to promote.

Customers earn their first NFTs called stamps after earning 500 points. The Stamps NFTs can be used to unlock special experiences that range from simple online perks like access to a virtual class about making an expresso, all the way to gaining access to merchandise offered by A-list celebrities.

The more points customers gain the better the experiences, which could include real-world experiences like access to special events. The points tally reset to zero at the end of the year to start afresh in the new year.


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