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Starbucks Just Reinvented Rewards: What Web3 Marketers Should Learn From the Coffee Brand’s New Loyalty Program

Skyler Braun
March 17, 2023

Starbucks has rolled out its Odyssey NFT campaign, a new loyalty program focused on journeys and earning stamps. Users can earn points toward products, events, and more by participating in virtual coffee tours, using reusable cups when purchasing drinks, learning about coffee traceability, and participating in limited drops.

Here are two things you and every other web3 marketer should take from this:

Mainstream adoption of NFTs & crypto is here

What brands find so appealing in NFTs are their exclusivity, personalization opportunities, and rewards and incentives:

Exclusivity

NFTs help brands increase the value of their customer experience. Verification of ownership, being a vital part of an NFT, allows brands and consumers to own exclusive digital (or physical) products through digital tokens.

Personalization

In Starbucks’ Odyssey, users will choose their adventure through the Journeys and collect the stamps that most relate to their relationship with the brand. Starbucks has the power to then target those customers based on their interests.

Rewards & incentives

Loyalty is big. The more customers you retain, the more successful your business is. When you reward your customers for buying your product, they’ll return happier and happier. Win win!

Marketers should take this opportunity to find more ways to integrate NFT art and other web3 technology into their growth strategy. Not only do you benefit from more loyalty and aligned incentives, but your customers also get rewarded and engage more deeply with you.

NFTs are a unique way to bridge the physical & digital worlds

What looks like a significant risk for Starbucks isn’t that far-fetched.

They already have an insanely successful digital presence in their app (it generates 40% of their revenue!). So introducing a more profound format for their customers to engage online with the coffee giant shouldn’t come as a surprise.

For most non-tech companies operating with physical goods, their digital presence doesn’t extend from their online storefront. Customers cannot accrue rewards, get behind-the-scenes access, or invest in or with the brand.

Hypothetically, let’s say Adidas rolls out NFTs next year. This is how we’d design the experience:

NFTs allow consumers to own a digital asset connected with a traditionally physical brand. Adidas could roll out trading cards for its most popular shoes and collector items. Customers then own and trade unique digital assets. Exclusivity and ownership result in engagement and loyalty.

A step further – Gamified NFT experiences help eliminate the monotony from in-store customer experiences. Rewards are more:

  • Engaging
  • Accessible
  • Entertaining

Levels and achievements in the customer journey keep people coming back for more. Starbucks’ Journeys accomplishes this.

In Adidas’s hypothetical example, they could release more rare collectibles and fan experiences as customers trade more cards.

So take these two lessons from the Starbucks NFT experiment:

  1. NFT adoption is here
  2. NFTs bridge the physical and digital worlds

This year, expect to see other big names jump into NFTs and leverage web3 technology to engage their fans.

Want to know how to get started? Holder can help.

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