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Starbucks unveils web3 experience ‘Starbucks Odyssey’

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By Webb Wright | Junior Reporter

September 12, 2022 | 5 min read

The omnipresent brand pushes sustainability by partnering with Polygon for its new digital loyalty program.

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Starbucks will launch its new web3 experience later this year / Adobe Stock

Starbucks Coffee Company has announced the upcoming launch of Starbucks Odyssey, a branded web3 experience. Interlinked with the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, Starbucks Odyssey will offer the brand’s US customers and employees “the opportunity to earn and purchase digital collectible assets that will unlock access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences,” according to a company blog post published earlier today.

In May, Starbucks teased its upcoming web3 experience, describing it as the “digital Third Space” – meaning it will exist as a web-based intermediary between the home and the workplace. Today, Brady Brewer, Starbucks executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, painted a more detailed picture: “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. The Starbucks Odyssey experience will extend the Third Place connection to the digital world. For the first time, we are connecting our Starbucks Rewards loyalty program members not just to Starbucks, but to each other.”

Starbucks Odyssey is being built in partnership with Polygon, a platform that helps companies build and launch their own decentralized apps (dApps). In an industry known for its huge carbon footprint, Polygon has marketed itself as being devoted to sustainability. The partnership allows Starbucks to promote its new web3 experience as an extension of its own “[commitment] to reducing its carbon, water and waste footprints,” per the blog post.

The framework of Starbucks Odyssey – which blends marketing, gamified content and exclusive access to virtual collectibles – follows a broader trend of food and beverage brands that have recently made attempts to capitalize on web3. The upcoming Starbucks web3 experience will be accessible to members of the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program. Members will be able to earn “journey stamp” NFTs via a series of games and challenges. They will also be able to purchase “limited-edition stamp” NFTs inside of a digital marketplace by using their credit card; no crypto wallet will be necessary, “making the Starbucks Odyssey experience a fun and easy way for members to access this new technology and claim an ownership stake in their loyalty to Starbucks,” the company said in its blog post.

Each NFT will come with points, the value of which will vary depending on the rarity of the virtual token. The idea is that customers’ points will increase over time, “unlocking access to unique benefits and experiences that have never been offered before,” including (but not limited to) “a virtual espresso martini-making class” and trips to the brand’s coffee farm in Costa Rica.

The waitlist for Starbucks Odyssey opens today. The program itself is slated to launch later this year.

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