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Starbucks NFT and Web3 rewards program updates coming next month

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Starbuck’s world-renowned rewards program is to get a significant facelift with the announcement by Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz, of a new Web3 digital initiative. Starbucks has one of the most successful rewards memberships on the planet. The company will unveil its web3-based rewards program next month.

So far details are scant but some tidbits were thrown out during the company’s 2022 3Q call. During the call, Shultz talked of Web3 having a place in the Starbucks popular rewards program. The rewards program currently has over 27 million members.

He stated, “We are working on a very exciting new digital initiative that builds on our existing industry-leading digital platform in innovative new ways, all centered around coffee and – most important – loyalty,”

Starbucks digital initiative

In May, Starbucks announced its initiative and plans to employ Web3 in its current rewards engagement model. At the time they introduced their plans for a ‘digital 3rd place’ or community space. They also explained they would take a long-term approach to Web3 technology.

The corporate giant understands the need to attract new customers whilst keeping existing customers engaged. It also realizes that Millenials and Gen Z gravitate around a sense of community, all be it, not in the physical world, but in the Web3 space.

CEO Howard Schultz said, “This will create an entirely new set of digital network effects that will attract new customers and be accretive to existing customers in our core retail stores,”

Furthermore, with the latest comments, it is clear that NFTs will be part of the coffee chain’s digital network. CEO Howard Schultz said, “Emerging technologies associated with web3, and specifically NFTs, now enable this aspiration and allow us to extend who Starbucks has always been at our core,”

Starbucks branded digital collectibles

Again there is not much to go on but the company hints at taking a different tact to NFTs than other food industry chains. Starbucks NFTs will come with special perks and experiences coalescing around the digital 3rd place. Brady Brewer, chief marketing officer wrote in May,

“NFTs allow people to own a programmable, brandable digital asset, that also doubles as an access pass.” 

They see their NFT collections as a “community building element” and a way of “emotionally engaging customers”.

Another unknown is the blockchain they will use. However, they did say it would be multi-chain and carbon neutral to offset any environmental impact in keeping with their planet-positive policies.

Protecting the environment is important to the rewards program participants and Starbucks workers, with some already expressing their concerns.

Afterthoughts

All companies plan ahead. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sees the need for new ways to attract younger consumers. The new digital initiative with its coffee-themed NFT collection and third-place community may be the answer.

We look forward to the annual investor day event to find out more.



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