Starbucks Deploying NFTs in Rewards Program

Starbucks is using NFTs to buttress its already formidable rewards program beginning today, the company announced.

The NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, will let rewards program participants and employees in the United States earn and purchase what Starbucks referred to in the announcement as “digital collectable assets.” Those assets, the company continued, “will unlock access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences.”

Unlike many rewards programs — and any run to date by Starbucks — the Starbucks Odyssey will connect users to the company and also to each other through an online community.

A waitlist for what the company has termed the “Starbucks Odyssey” went live online today. The homepage for the list doesn’t provide any additional information about the program.

Participants will log in online using their Starbucks credentials and take part in what the company calls  “journeys.” The journeys will include experiences such as games or competitions based on coffee knowledge. Completing a journey will earn a user an NFT “stamp.”

Those stamps will include points of values that are based on the rarity of the associated stamp. Those stamps will be redeemable for special Starbucks offerings such as drink-making classes or works from artists.

“Starbucks has always served as the Third Place, a place between home and work where you feel the warmth of connection over coffee, community and belonging,” Brady Brewer, Starbucks executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a prepared statement. “The Starbucks Odyssey experience will extend the Third Place connection to the digital world.”

“By integrating into the Starbucks Rewards ecosystem and grounding the experience in coffee, connection and community, we are entering the Web3 space differently than any other brand, while deepening our members’ connection to Starbucks,” Brewer continued. “Our vision is to create a place where our digital community can come together over coffee, engage in immersive experiences, and celebrate the heritage and future of Starbucks.”

The announcement of the new program comes as Starbucks is pushing forward toward a more digital future.