The Starbucks Rewards Program Is Getting a Web3 Makeover

In May, Starbucks announced its plans to release its own branded NFT collections. The company is now almost ready to unveil the full extent of its Web3 initiative.

Aug 10, 2022
by Anvi Saini
The Starbucks Rewards Program Is Getting a Web3 Makeover

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, said that Web3 will be a part of the future of their popular rewards program :

"We have been working on a very exciting new digital initiative that builds on our existing industry-leading digital platform in innovative new ways, all centred around coffee and—most importantly—loyalty,”

The coffee giant will reveal the new digital approach on September 13 at the company's annual Investor Day event in Seattle. In addition to introducing new methods of emotionally engaging customers, this new venture will enable Starbucks to expand on Starbucks' current rewards engagement model. 

Schultz also mentioned that the new Web3-based initiative will expand its digital third-place community, and offer a broader range of rewards, including one-of-a-kind experiences that are difficult to replicate.

In order to achieve this objective, Starbucks Rewards' digital ecosystem will be combined with Starbucks-branded digital collectibles as a rewards program and a way to build a community.

According to Schultz,

"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." 

The History of Starbucks with the Web3 Space

Employees have not been enthusiastic about Starbucks' involvement in Web3 initiatives. In May, during a presentation that included a section on NFTs—unique blockchain tokens that represent ownership over an asset—an employee who only gave the first name "Mark" and described himself as a technologist expressed his dissatisfaction with the company's plans, citing the environmental impact of NFTs.

Mark also argued that NFTs are more exclusive than inclusive.

It remains to be seen whether customers, employees or investors will embrace this latest Web3 initiative. However, Schultz positions itself as a component of a larger corporate transformation.

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