Starbucks launched a beta version of Starbucks Odyssey, an NFT-infused extension of the brand’s existing and wildly successful loyalty program. The extension launched for select members only on December 8.
Considering half of Starbucks’ sales are already coming through its reward program, it only made sense for the brand to extend the existing program with a web3-based reward system. Starbucks Odyssey gained a lot of traction when it was first announced during the company earnings call in August.
Due to the success of the existing loyalty program, Starbucks might be the perfect brand to launch a web3 integration that everyone’s been waiting for. The marketing industry is keeping close attention to Starbucks Odyssey, hoping to finally get a case study proving that NFT integrations are possible and that there is a market for them.
However, saying that “everyone’s been waiting for” web3 integrations might be overstating the situation. NFT daily average sales declined 92% between September 2021 and May 2022. A Forrester study from spring this year found that 72% of consumers have never heard of NFTs in the first place.
With “crypto winter” only getting colder, FTX crumbling to pieces and the general distrust towards anything crypto, the marketing industry might have to wait a bit longer before it can derive any meaningful conclusions about the role of NFTs in advertising.
Regardless of what happens to cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology has a lot to offer to both brands and customers, and big companies such as Starbucks could be the ones to define meaningful interactions between the physical and digital.
In this case, Starbucks Odyssey members can partake in interactive experiences or “journeys” that earn them a digital NFT “Journey Stamp” and bonus points toward overall rewards totals. Starbucks hammers away the point that crypto does not equal NFT by allowing Starbucks Odyssey interactions without a crypto wallet. All that is required is a credit card and a Starbucks Rewards membership.
To take part in Starbucks Odyssey, existing members need to simply log in, and from there, they can enjoy “a virtual tour of Starbucks coffee farm Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica, answering questions about Starbucks’ heritage and playing popular games like Starbucks for Life.”
The points users win from participating in activities can be used to unlock new experiences at different tiers. The more points one spends in Starbucks Odyssey, the better and more unique experiences one can unlock.
Future Starbucks Odyssey interactions might also have a charitable component attached and could potentially become the first case study into successful NFT integrations.