Starbucks will partner with Ethereum’s second-tier solution, Polygon, on a non-fungible token (NFT) loyalty program called “Odyssey.” The initiative, which was announced more than five months ago, coincides with the return of company founder Howard Schultz as his CEO, and internal troubles.
Therefore, “Starbucks Odyssey” aims to provide customers with a new experience and alleviate some of these internal problems. Techcrunch reports that the company’s Starbucks Rewards Loyalty program will be expanded with his NFT Marketplace built on this blockchain platform.
In this way, customers have access to exclusive digital assets that offer additional rewards. According to the report, Starbucks wants investors to consider his new Polygon-based loyalty program early, claiming it will complement its current rewards model, which has seen many successes.
Traditional programs allow Starbucks customers to top up a certain amount and pay for drinks with free drinks and free WiFi. The program was launched in his 2008 and was overhauled in 2010 with the launch of the company’s mobile his app.
Brought to you by Alex Johnson, as seen in the image below, the program rewards customers with points, includes and saves payment methods, and is an easy way to preload money onto the card to “save time.” The new NFT program aims to cross these boundaries.
Starbucks Adopts Polygon Blockchain
The company has appointed Adam Brotman, creator of the mobile ordering and payment system and the 2010 mobile app, as a special advisor, according to the report. Brotman works with multiple Starbucks teams that specialize in marketing, loyalty and technology.
Starbucks CMO Brady Brewer told TechCrunch that the company has been planning this effort for at least six months. The company has been quick to embrace technological innovations, especially related to cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
As Bitcoinist reported in 2019, Starbucks was one of the first companies to partner with cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bakkt and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to create a global digital asset platform. Up to this point, the company’s main focus has been payments.
Brewer claims the NFT investment is part of a strategy to strengthen its business model and grow its existing loyalty program. Additionally, company executives emphasized the potential for Polygon NFTs to foster communities and provide access to exclusive products.
However, the company does not promote the use of blockchain technology in its loyalty program. Brewer said:
It happens to be built on blockchain and web3 technology, but customers, to be honest, may not be aware that what they are doing is interacting with blockchain technology. It’s just an enabler.
Why is this Polygon partnership important to the Starbucks loyalty program?
To access the Polygon NFT platform, Starbucks users must log into the web app using their current loyalty program credentials, the report claims. Within it, users can access certain activities and earn digital assets called “journey stamps” upon completion.
NFTs have been widely adopted in many legacy industries, but people have been reluctant to adopt NFTs due to environmental concerns. Therefore, Starbucks appears to be introducing this technology without explicitly notifying users in order to avoid potential backlash.
The new NFT loyalty program is set to launch later this year, but Starbucks has yet to reveal the cost of the digital assets or other key details about the platform. Commenting on how NFTs will help the company transform its popular loyalty program, Brewer added:
There are many ways people can earn[rewards]without spending a lot of money. We want this to be very easy and accessible. For example, there are many everyday experiences that customers can acquire, such as access to virtual classes and limited-edition merchandise.The range of experiences will be very wide and very accessible
Why Starbucks partnered with Polygon on its NFT program
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