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Starbucks Odyssey: Brewing Up NFT Rewards for Coffee Aficionados

source-logo  blockster.com 04 October 2023 15:14, UTC

Since December 2022, the coffee colossus has been venturing into uncharted territory with its Starbucks Odyssey extension of the Starbucks Rewards program. The question at the heart of this odyssey: Will coffee drinkers trade in their beloved brews for NFTs?

To embark on this caffeine-infused journey, Starbucks Rewards members are invited to participate in a series of online games, quizzes, and activities. In return, they earn unique "Journey Stamps" in NFT format and Odyssey Points, offering access to exclusive coffee experiences. These experiences are said to be unlike anything available elsewhere, creating a tantalizing proposition for coffee enthusiasts.
The beauty of Starbucks Odyssey lies in its interconnected digital community.
Members can share their journey experiences and the NFTs they've earned, fostering a sense of camaraderie among coffee aficionados with a penchant for the digital realm.

The Odyssey test phase, initially rolled out to waitlisted members and employees in stages, aims to discern just how many people are willing to trade a cup of their favorite Joe for a coveted NFT. And it seems that certain segments of the test community have embraced this journey more fervently than others.

If you guessed that crypto enthusiasts are leading the charge, you're spot on. NFTs are often associated with the cryptocurrency blockchain, but Starbucks is utilizing Polygon (MATIC) for its stamps. This crypto twist has piqued the interest of the crypto community.

For instance, when Starbucks Odyssey offered the opportunity to purchase stamps for $100 each in the spring, 2,000 of them flew off the virtual shelves within minutes, as reported by Time. Buyers were banking on the NFTs' potential value appreciation, and they were right.
Many Starbucks stamps have since been resold on the secondary market, some fetching nearly $2,000 each.
However, the question remains: Is Starbucks Odyssey successfully enticing Starbucks Rewards members into the world of NFTs, or is it merely attracting more NFT and cryptocurrency enthusiasts to join the Starbucks Rewards program?

Starbucks Odyssey: A Blueprint for Next-Gen Loyalty Programs?

With a staggering 31.4 million active U.S. members, Starbucks Rewards has the sheer scale to revolutionize loyalty programs. Let's delve into the key elements of Odyssey to better understand the journey it offers.

Enhanced Member Insight: Odyssey's activities are designed to engage members for an extended duration, allowing Starbucks to gather valuable insights into member preferences. Challenges may require multi-week or multi-month purchases, and all data is seamlessly tracked via the loyalty app. These insights can potentially enrich Starbucks' existing rewards structure, but their value depends on sustained member engagement.
Distinctive Rewards: The Odyssey NFTs are undeniably unique, and collectors may even turn a profit on the secondary market. However, convincing everyday coffee lovers to participate can be a challenge. Some have found Odyssey's requirements, such as watching videos, taking quizzes, and completing additional tasks, somewhat cumbersome. They argue that all they want is discounted or free coffee.
Reduced Liability: Each Odyssey stamp comes with a bonus point. If one point can be earned through a journey rather than multiple points through the purchase of a Venti Frappuccino, Starbucks could potentially issue fewer points overall. This would reduce the number of outstanding points on their balance sheet, a favorable outcome for Starbucks since unused points are recorded as a liability. Starbucks also entices Odyssey members to redeem points for other benefits and experiences, ensuring a steady flow off the balance sheet.
Alternative Stamp Acquisition: Starbucks offers the option to purchase stamps directly with a credit card, eliminating the need for cryptocurrency. This approach caters to NFT fans and investors who seek quicker access to their coveted collectibles. However, it might reduce engagement with Starbucks' gamified experiences. It's possible that Starbucks aims to stimulate more activity in Odyssey's digital community by making stamps more accessible, thereby generating valuable peer-to-peer insights.

A Grande Risk for Starbucks

Starbucks Odyssey is still unfolding, and the feedback from the ongoing test phase remains uncertain. Nevertheless, one thing is evident: Starbucks Odyssey represents a groundbreaking effort in the realm of national rewards programs. For taking this bold risk, Starbucks deserves the applause of loyalty program operators worldwide.