The famous coffeehouse chain, Starbucks, has announced its non-fungible token (NFT) program launched on Polygon‘s blockchain and titled Starbucks Odyssey.
The goal is to offer added value to existing Starbucks Rewards Members loyalty card members, who will now be able to buy and earn NFTs for new activities organized in the metaverse.
To begin with, the program will be open only to US citizens, both for customers and employees of the company. This is certainly one of the first companies to integrate NFTs into a large-scale loyalty program and thus being able to create a large community to engage.
To start being part of the program, a whitelist of sorts is open as of today, 12 September for customers and partners. NFTs will be made available by the end of 2022. It is not yet known when this initiative will also be opened to Europe and the rest of the world, where Starbucks is present.
Starbucks as a kind of metaverse
Brady Brewer, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Starbucks, explained that the coffee shops they operate are like places suspended between two worlds, a kind of metaverse of reality, wanting to draw a parallel.
“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. For the first time we are connecting our Starbucks Rewards loyalty program members not just to Starbucks, but to each other,”
he in fact stated.
How the Reward Odyssey program for NFTs works
As mentioned, the NFT-related program, Starbucks Odyssey, is an extension of the regular Starbucks Rewards, so customers will be able to log in using the same credentials.
By accessing the program, there will be a series of activities such as interactive games or fun challenges to deepen their knowledge of coffee and Starbucks. Members will be rewarded for completing these virtual trips with a “travel stamp” to collect in the form of NFTs.
Members can also purchase NFTs on a marketplace that will be integrated on the Starbucks Odyssey website and can be paid for by credit card, thus not needing to own cryptocurrencies.
“Leveraging Web3 technology will allow our members to access experiences and ownership that was 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,” continued Brewer. “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,”
What is the purpose of Starbucks NFTs
Each NFT will have a different rarity: as they are collected, the points of members increase, unlocking access to unique benefits and experiences never before offered.
NFTs will give access to unique products and artist collaborations, invitations to exclusive events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, or even trips to the Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica.
Each NFT will represent art created by Starbucks artists and partners.
Charity and sustainability: why Polygon
A portion of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to support causes important to Starbucks partners and Starbucks Rewards members.
In addition, the company explains in the press release that it chose to use Polygon because it is based on Proof of Stake and not Proof of Work, which consumes more energy instead.
“Building Starbucks Odyssey using technology that aligns with Starbucks sustainability aspirations and commitments is a top priority. Starbucks is committed to reducing its carbon, water and waste footprints and is taking a thoughtful and thorough approach as the company works towards the launch later this year,”
NFTs as loyalty vouchers: not only Starbucks
As explained, Starbucks is one of the first companies to use non-fungible tokens for its large-scale loyalty program, but it is actually not the only company to do so.
In 2021, McDonald’s had also launched its own collection of NFTs by giving them away to its customers in a giveaway and specifically in the States to celebrate McRib’s 40th anniversary, although in this case it was a momentary promotion and not long-lasting