Starbucks will work with second-layer Ethereum solution Polygon on its non-fungible token (NFT) loyalty program, called “Odyssey.” Announced more than 5 months ago, the move coincides with the return of company founder Howard Schultz as CEO and with internal issues.
So, “Starbucks Odyssey” aims to give customers a new experience and possibly alleviate some of these internal issues. According to a report by Techcrunch, the company’s Starbucks Rewards loyalty program will be expanded with an NFT marketplace built on this blockchain platform.
This way, customers will have access to exclusive digital assets that will provide them with additional rewards. The report claims that Starbucks is inviting investors to take a look at its new Polygon-based loyalty program, saying it will complement the current, highly successful rewards model.
The traditional program allows Starbucks customers to top it up with a certain amount of cash and pay for their drinks with access to free drinks and free WiFi. This program was launched in 2008 and was revamped in 2010 with the launch of the company’s mobile application.
As seen in the image below, provided by Alex Johnson, the program awarded customers points, gave people an easy way to include and store payment methods, and preload their cards with credit. money to “save them time”. The new NFT program aims to push these limits.
Starbucks adopts the Polygon blockchain
According to the report, the company named Adam Brotman, the creator of their mobile ordering and payment system and 2010 mobile application, as a special advisor. Brotman works with several Starbucks teams specializing in marketing, loyalty and technology.
Brady Brewer, CMO at Starbucks, told TechCrunch the company has been planning this move for at least six months. The company quickly embraced technological innovation, especially related to cryptocurrency and digital assets.
As Bitcoinist reported in 2019, Starbucks was one of the first companies to partner with crypto exchanges, such as Bakkt, and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to create a global digital asset platform. . Until now, the main focus of the company has been payments.
Brewer says its investment in NFTs is part of a strategy to improve its business model and grow its existing loyalty program. Additionally, the company executive highlighted the potential of Polygon’s NFTs to foster communities and give them access to exclusive products.
However, the company will not announce the use of blockchain technology in its loyalty program. Brewer said:
It happens to be built on blockchain and web3 technologies, but the client – to be honest – may not even know that what they are doing interacts with blockchain technology. It’s just the catalyst.
Why is this Polygon partnership important to the Starbucks loyalty program?
To access the Polygon NFT platform, Starbucks users will need to log into the web application with their current loyalty program credentials, according to the report. In it, users will have access to certain activities which, when completed, will allow them to earn digital assets called “travel stamps”.
NFTs have been widely adopted by many legacy industries, but people have been reluctant to adopt them due to alleged green concerns. Thus, Starbucks appears to be introducing the technology without explicitly informing its users to avoid any potential backlash.
The new NFT loyalty program will launch later this year, Starbucks has yet to reveal the cost of its digital assets and other key details on the platform. On how NFT will help the company transform its popular loyalty program, Brewer added:
There will be lots of ways for people to earn (rewards) without having to spend a lot of money. We want to make this super easy and accessible. There will be many daily experiences that customers can earn like virtual classes or access to limited edition products, for example. The range of experiences will be quite broad and very accessible