The first U.S. beta testers for Starbucks Odyssey, a loyalty program and NFT community based on blockchain, can sign up today. The new project uses web3 technologies like the polygon blockchain and NFTs to add coffee-themed NFTs that match real-world experiences to Starbucks Rewards.
When it was announced to investors earlier this year, Starbucks Odyssey was made to give its most loyal customers more than just free drinks. Odyssey is a new platform where people can go on “Journeys” to earn collectible Journey Stamps, which is what Starbucks calls NFTs in a less nerdy way.
The Journeys tell people about Starbucks and teach them about the history of coffee. They might include watching movies, taking quizzes, solving puzzles, or even going to the store to try out the new drinks the company is making. Starbucks Odyssey is more interesting than other corporate NFT projects because it is tied to the company’s loyalty program, business goals, and mobile payment technology.
Members of Odyssey would scan their Starbucks Rewards card when they bought the drink or food they wanted and share that action with Odyssey to earn points.
At 500 places, you can get Stamps, which are a blockchain-hosted non-fungible token with a coffee theme. Stamps open unique experiences. Unlock three levels of experiences and rewards. Things like espresso martini classes and artist products that you can do online are cheaper. As you earn more points and NFTs, you can go to special events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries or visit the Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee plantation in Costa Rica.
Instead of being redeemed, points build up over the course of the year (like Stars are). Year-end points reset. Your NFTs, on the other hand, will be linked to the Starbucks app and used to customize Starbucks Cards and other items.
As the Odyssey program moves into beta, the first Journey Stamps will be based on Starbucks’ history, such as its first location in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, iconic designs, and this year’s “Gift-Wrapped Magic” holiday cup art.
The business wouldn’t say how long the waitlist was, but they said that demand “far exceeded” their expectations. It will now let some people on the waiting list try Odyssey and give feedback on how to make the service better. After getting an email, invited users have three days to join the test. If not, they will be put back on the waiting list.
Since Starbucks Odyssey is part of the company’s rewards program, invitees must have a Starbucks Rewards account. Odyssey stories are all the same.
Players in Odyssey get rare NFTs that are worth points. In 2023, NFTs that are tied to real-world events will be sold on Odyssey’s marketplace. This part is powered by Nifty Gateway, whose NFT ownership is secured by the blockchain.
Starbucks is making it easier for members to buy NFTs by not requiring them to have a crypto wallet, own bitcoin, or know how web3 technology works. Odyssey members can use credit cards to buy “Stamps” just like they would for any other online purchase.
It is made with blockchain and web3 technologies, but the client might not even know they are using blockchain. In an interview with TechCrunch in September, Starbucks’ chief marketing officer, Brady Brewer, said, “It’s just the middleman.”
The idea lets the coffee shop connect with its most loyal customers and build a sense of community while possibly making money. Next year, members can buy special stamps to help causes. Starbucks and outside artists are making the art for the NFTs, and “a part” of the profits will go to the causes of Starbucks employees and customers. (The business didn’t say how much of its money it would keep.) Four to six times a year, these stamps will come out.
Starbucks’ web3 plan is more well thought out than many other corporate NFT plans. The company has been looking into blockchain technology for two years, but this project has only been in the works for six months. Brewer said that the company wants to use the tech to expand its loyalty program, not as a “stunt” side project.
Adam Brotman, who made the Mobile Order & Pay system and app used by Starbucks, was Odyssey’s special advisor. The company says that Brotman’s team worked with the Seattle coffee chain’s marketing, customer loyalty, and technology departments.
Odyssey showed how easy it was to use. Sign in, pick an avatar, and learn about Journeys and Stamps before you start. The company says that there will always be two Journeys.
Today, December 8, a small group of people waited to get their first invitations. In January 2023, Starbucks will start inviting more people from the waitlist each month.