Where is Starbucks’ NFT odyssey heading?
Starbucks is revamping its loyalty program and working an NFT platform into the mix, although it is not using that acronym to describe its digital art offerings.
Starbucks recently announced its new digital community called Starbucks Odyssey, which will launch later this year, according to TechCrunch. Users will be able to log in with their loyalty app credentials, then take part in games and challenges referred to in-app as “journeys.”
Visitors who successfully meet objectives and complete journeys will be rewarded with NFTs (that can also be purchased and traded on a marketplace). The digital collectibles will be referred to as “journey stamps” within the platform.
Visitors will also be able to unlock perks by accumulating stamps. Starbucks is envisioning the perks as bigger than the free drinks and food typical of loyalty programs. Anticipated rewards include access to classes or unique merchandise or, at the higher end, invitations to exclusive and even international events. The highest tier rewards are expected to go to those who purchase the most expensive NFTs, but lower tiers will be accessible to those who earn their stamps in-app.
A number of retailers and brands have begun experimenting with “Web 3” technologies like NFTs.
Pacsun late last year offered its first collection and followed that up this year with two series of “Mall Rats” NFTs, which depict cartoon rats wearing Pacsun products. One of the Mall Rats collections was done in conjunction with Reebok.
And Nike went as far as to acquire an NFT creation studio called RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”), which established itself selling virtual sneakers made in collaboration with artists for tens of thousands of dollars.
But NFTs have also proven controversial for a number of reasons. In the world of art collecting, some have grown skeptical as to whether “owning” an NFT is truly comparable to owning an original piece of art.
The amount of energy required to mint NFTs has also raised environmental concerns. The UK branch of the World Wildlife Foundation came under fire from conservationists for launching an NFT line, which it quickly canceled due to backlash, Climate Change News reported. The cancellation created an opposite backlash from NFT collectors.
- Starbucks details its blockchain-based loyalty platform and NFT community, Starbucks Odyssey – TechCrunch
- Starbucks Brewing Revolutionary Web3 Experience for its Starbucks Rewards Members – Starbucks blog
- Is Pacsun’s mall on Roblox the start of something metaversally big? – RetailWire
- Why did Nike buy a crypto collectibles studio? – RetailWire
- WWF-UK ends sale of NFTs after backlash, angering the crypto community – Climate Change News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see Starbucks’ implementation of NFTs as being worth the company’s investment given the controversy surrounding the technology? What other ways might a retailer use “Web 3” tech to improve its loyalty program?