Starbucks Marks Foray Into Web3 With Starbucks Odyssey

Starbucks has announced the unveiling of Starbucks Odyssey, an NFT-based loyalty program powered by the Polygon network. 

The loyalty program will allow customers to purchase collectible stamps in the form of NFTs, offering benefits and other immersive experiences. 

First Foray Into Web3 Technology 

The Starbucks Odyssey program, set to launch later this year, marks the coffee chain’s first foray into building using Web3 technology. The new experience will look to marry the coffee chain’s hugely successful Starbucks Reward loyalty program with an NFT platform, enabling customers to earn and purchase digital assets. These digital assets can then be used to unlock rewards and exclusive experiences. 

The company had earlier teased plans about building with Web3 to investors back in May when it announced plans to launch a host of NFT collections that provide users with “unique experiences, community building, and customer engagement.” Now that the program has been announced, users must join a waitlist to access the program. The company also stated that the new experience would build on its already existing Starbucks Rewards model, in which customers can exchange “stars” in exchange for perks such as free coffee. 

The company is describing the Odyssey program as a way for customers to earn more rewards while also helping to build the community. 

Building An Experienced Team 

Starbucks announced that it was bringing in Adam Brotman, the developer of its Mobile Order and Pay system and the Starbucks app. Brotman is now the co-founder of Forum3, a web3 loyalty startup, and will act as a special advisor. Brotman’s team has been working with the coffee chain’s marketing, loyalty, and technology teams on the Starbucks Odyssey program. Starbucks has been exploring blockchain and its associated technologies for a couple of years and has been working on the Odyssey program for six months. 

Brady Brewer, CMO, revealed that the company wanted to invest in blockchain for quite some time but wanted to find a concrete method of using the technology to enhance its business and expand its already existing loyalty program. Starbucks wanted to make NFTs the gateway to the digital community but has obscured the exact nature of the technology in order to bring in more customers to the Web3 platform. Brewer explained further, 

“It happens to be built on blockchain and web3 technologies, but the customer — to be honest — may very well not even know that what they’re doing is interacting with blockchain technology. It’s just the enabler.”

Engaging With Odyssey 

To use the Starbucks Odyssey experience users will be required to log in to the web app using their existing loyalty program credentials. Once they have logged in, they will be able to engage in various activities called “journeys” by Starbucks. These activities include playing games or completing challenges designed to increase user knowledge of the Starbucks brand or coffee in general. 

As users complete more of these “journeys,” they will be able to collect collectibles in the form of NFTs. However, Odyssey does not call these collectibles NFTs, instead calling them “journey stamps.” Starbucks will also make available a set of limited-edition NFTs for purchase in the Starbucks Odyssey web app, which the users can purchase through their debit or credit card. Users will not require any crypto wallet, with the company stating that this would make it easy for consumers to engage with Web3 and lower the entry barrier. 

Tight-Lipped About Details 

Starbucks is holding its cards close to its chest and has not yet shared any details about how much they would cost or about their availability at launch. The company has stated that these decisions are still being ironed out. We know from the public domain that the NFTs (stamps) will include a point value system based on their rarity and can be purchased or sold by Starbucks Odyssey members in the marketplace, with all details secured on the Polygon blockchain. 

The artwork related to the NFTs is being created by Starbucks in partnership with outside artists, with a portion of the proceeds generated from the sale of these collectibles being donated to support various causes chosen by Starbucks employees and customers.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. 

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