Starbucks on Thursday launched a beta test of its long-awaited Odyssey program, which combines customer loyalty rewards with non-fungible token (NFT) collection and other gamification elements.
Starbucks and its loyalty program
The popular coffeehouse chain has opened the Web3 extension of its Starbucks Rewards program to a “small group of waitlist members,” including employees and customers, allowing them to participate in interactive “journeys” to earn “journey stamps” in the form of polygonal NFTs.
The blockchain company announced in July the zero-knowledge Ethereum virtual machine protocol (zkEVM) to enable infinite scalability, making it a perfect platform for Starbucks’ NFT-based loyalty program.
In addition, users also earn “Odyssey Points” that will give them access to new perks and experiences in the future, such as virtual espresso martini-making courses, exclusive events and trips to Starbucks coffee roasters and farms.
— Chris🐐, 🗝 (@Chris_Hodltron) December 8, 2022
“Starbucks Odyssey is a great experience for the digital community where they can interact, meet and share the love of coffee.” “Starbucks is using Web3 to reward its partners,” the company explains.
The company says it will send monthly invitations to remaining waitlist members beginning in January.
Those invited to the beta launch will have access to the Starbucks Odyssey marketplace, where they will be able to sell and buy their collectible digital stamps.
According to Starbucks, Odyssey participants can buy stamps directly with a credit card, without the need for a cryptocurrency wallet or the use of cryptocurrencies.
Andy Sack, co-founder and co-CEO of Forum3, which helped make Odyssey a reality, explained that the idea came from a desire to “delight consumers with unique experiences,” so he launched Forum3 with former Starbucks chief digital officer Adam Brotman, who helped on Starbucks’ loyalty mobile app.
Custodial solutions from day1 for early onboarding it seems
already liking this and want to go get my first stamp pic.twitter.com/Oa0mHuYD2r
— Greg Norman Jr (@GregJrNorman) December 8, 2022
“Web2 brands are leveraging the goodness of Web3 to create what we call experiential loyalty.”
Customers will be able to earn collectible journey stamps, Starbucks’ nickname for NFTs, by completing videos and quizzes about coffee and the company’s history. The trips also include other activities, such as playing puzzles and trying new beverages the company wants to promote.
Customers earn their first NFTs, called stamps, after accumulating 500 points. NFT stamps can be used to unlock special experiences ranging from simple online perks, such as access to a virtual espresso-making course, to access to products offered by A-list celebrities.
The more points customers accumulate, the better the experiences, which can include real-world experiences such as access to special events. The points tally is reset to zero at the end of the year to start again in the new year.
Starbucks and the Web3
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, announced on Monday, April 4, the company’s plans to enter the NFT space in 2022.
Starbucks on Tuesday officially announced plans to create a series of NFT collections, according to a company blog post written by Brady Brewer, chief marketing officer, and Adam Brotman, consultant.
Starbucks Odyssey is the coffee chain’s first use of web technology3. The website will go live later this year.
Through the new experience, which combines the popular Starbucks Rewards loyalty program with an NFT platform, users can earn and purchase digital assets that unlock exclusive experiences and rewards.
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