Starbucks Brewing Web3 Loyalty Program and its Impact on the Future of NFTs

Published: December 12, 2022

min read

When it comes to digital innovation, Starbucks has remained a pioneer. Its latest Web3 Loyalty Program, named Starbucks Odyssey is one such novel attempt in integrating NFTs and blockchain technology into its existing rewards facility. With this move, Starbucks has officially set off on its Web3 Journey.

The coffee giant has announced the beta launch of this loyalty program in January 2023 where it will allow a select group of US members to collect NFTs and points to unlock new benefits and experiences.

Members can participate in ‘Journeys,’ which include a series of interactive activities to complete. Once a journey is complete, members can accrue Journey Stamp (NFTs) or points at different levels and continue.

Activities will include taking a virtual tour of a coffee farm, learning about Starbucks history, and playing interactive games. The rewards for collecting stamps include virtual espresso martini-making classes, access to merchandise and artist collaborations and invites to events at Starbucks stores and coffee farms.

Marketers and industry observers stated that they are watching the rollout of the program as it could be a bellwether for the future of NFTs – its role in community building, fan engagement, and loyalty. Now that brands have begun exploring new ways to make digital assets and NFTs more useful, this could indeed be the tipping point of experimentation.

The Starbucks Odyssey launch is a litmus test for Web3’s readiness to help a major QSR brand take customer engagement to the next level, said Israel Mirksy, a partner at the innovation firm House of Attention. As much as it is a test of the brand’s ability to build compelling experiences on top of that foundation.

In addition to this Starbucks Odyssey also has a market powered by Nifty Gateway where users can buy or sell Starbucks Odyssey digital collectible Stamps among members.

Will NFTs Evolve Beyond Collectibles to Foster Brand Loyalty and Consumer Engagement?

Amid concerns about a volatile crypto market and fading interest in collectible NFTs, brands are experimenting with new ways to evolve NFTs. From being novel collectibles that are just sold or given away, NFTs can be integrated into more parts of the business. In doing so, companies can continue to move into the Web3 world and activate loyal communities.

NFTs are much more than investment and trading opportunities. Characteristics like uniqueness, transparency, and ownership can make NFTs an ideal branding, marketing, and community-building tool as well. As it turns out, NFTs present endless possibilities. They have enormous potential to build an expanded, shared-ownership model for loyalty, providing unique experiences, community building, storytelling, and customer engagement.

Not just that, NFTs are also being seen as a part of advertising commercials and campaigns. Recently, Adidas featured its NFT, Indigo Herz in its FIFA world cup commercial. This got audiences raving as many were surprised by the sudden appearance of an NFT in a commercial. In another approach, brands are leveraging NFTs in unusual and creative ways.

Since NFTs can take the form of any piece of digital content, including memes, tweets, and more, they can be used across marketing campaigns with great versatility. Today NFTs may be associated with expensive digital art and collectibles. But soon more creative and unusual use cases for the tokens may emerge in the future.

Thanks to the global interest they’ve generated, NFTs may indeed open up new ways of engagement and consumer interaction. The future of NFT is brimming with new hopes on the horizon. Instead of waiting on the sidelines to watch what other popular brands are doing, it may be time for companies to experiment and take the plunge. While the technology is still in its infancy, it may just be a matter of time before it goes mainstream!


Pete Johnson

Pete is a MarTech expert guru with a knack for getting diverse MarTech solutions work for brands. He has a wealth of experience in working with a plethora of MarTech platforms that dive Personalized Omnichannel Experiences. When he's not at work, you can find him playing basketball or listening to jazz.


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