Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Can Technology Renew Starbucks Mojo


Only time will tell if a renewed focus on technology will rekindle the mojo that Starbucks once had with employees and customers.  Now focusing more on union busting than consumers, Starbucks seems to have lost it once unbreakable bond with its employees, according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.   One this is for sure right now Starbucks in a spot that is truly an odyssey. 

NFT’s were once a ‘thing’ with consumers but the implementation and reality of our times have seemingly diminished the consumer facing value of them according to Johnson. So, Starbucks NFT Experience (Starbucks Odyssey) has launched in beta to the first Starbucks Rewards members and partners (employees) in the U.S.  Have you tired it yet?

When first announced in September, Starbucks Odyssey was said t be an extension of Starbucks Rewards, powered by Web3 technology, that unlocks access to exciting new benefits and experiences for members. The experience allows members to participate in a series of entertaining, interactive activities called "Journeys” as regular readers of this blog know.  Once a Journey is complete, members will earn collectible "Journey Stamps" (NFTs) and Odyssey Points that will open access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences that they cannot get anywhere else. 

Starbucks is one of the first large restaurant companies to integrate Web3 technology and NFTs with an industry-leading loyalty program at scale, and grounding the experience in coffee, connection, and community.  Starbucks is entering the Web3 space differently than any other brand. Starbucks wants Odyssey to become an experience, surrounded by a digital community, where members can come together, interact, and share their love of coffee.

Starbucks is using meaningful elements of Web3 technology to reward members in innovative ways, including ownable digital collectable Stamps (NFTs) that serve as an access pass to the alluring world of coffee and unique experiences with Starbucks. 

Brady Brewer, Starbucks executive vice president and chief marketing officer, stated, “Starbucks has a history of harnessing emerging technology to innovate on behalf of our customers and making it easily accessible and approachable for the mainstream. Our innovative spirit and the desire to continuously exceed the expectations of our customers has led to the launch of Starbucks Odyssey.”

The initial invitations were sent to a small group of waitlist members and Starbucks partners in December, and starting in January, monthly invitations will continue to be offered to a wider group of members on the wait list.

Brewer continued, “Starbucks Rewards members are some of our most loyal and engaged customers, and Starbucks Odyssey is our next big innovation in loyalty to recognize, surprise and delight them. We are leveraging Web3 technology to reward and connect with our members in new ways, such as offering collectible, ownable digital stamps, a new digital community, and opening access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences—both physically and digitally. The Starbucks Odyssey journey has begun with the beta launch, and we are excited to collaborate with our members and partners, who will help shape the Odyssey experience as we explore together.”  Here is more of how Starbucks describes the NTF:

The Starbucks Odyssey Experience

Starbucks Odyssey members will use their Starbucks Rewards login to access the beta experience. Once logged in, members can participate in "Journeys," which include a series of interactive activities to complete. The activities will range from taking a virtual tour of Starbucks coffee farm Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica, to trivia about Starbucks heritage, to playing interactive games like the customer-favorite, Starbucks for Life.  This is just the beginning of even more interactive Journeys to come. Journey activities are entertaining ways to learn more about coffee, Starbucks history, and pop culture and offer opportunities to explore coffees and beverages at Starbucks that may lead to the discovery of a new favorite coffee. Once a Journey is complete, members will be awarded with a collectable "Journey Stamp: (a Polygon-based NFT) and bonus Points towards their overall Point total.   

As Stamps are collected, members’ Point total will increase, unlocking access to unique benefits and experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. There will be three levels of benefits and experiences that members can unlock, with the benefits and experiences becoming richer and more unique at the highest level. These benefits and experiences could range from a virtual espresso martini-making class at the lower level, to access to unique merchandise and artist collaborations, to invitations to exclusive events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, or even trips to Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica at the higher levels. 

The first Journey Stamps are inspired by Starbucks rich history and classic designs, including Starbucks first location in Pike Place Market in Seattle, as well as this year’s “Gift-Wrapped Magic” holiday cup art and motif shapes.

Shortly after beta launch, members will have access to the Starbucks Odyssey market powered by Nifty Gateway, where they can buy or sell Starbucks Odyssey digital collectible Stamps among members, with Polygon as the blockchain for the entire experience starting with the beta launch. 

Building a Larger Share of Stomach

or a Larger Share of Wallet

Requires Focusing on the Consumer and Employees 

Coming in 2023

Through the Starbucks Odyssey market powered by Nifty Gateway, Odyssey participants can purchase Stamps directly with a credit card—no crypto wallet or cryptocurrency will be required. Each digital collectable Stamp bought will include a bonus Point value that will go towards a members’ total Points, which are used to unlock unique benefits and experiences.  

Early next year, members will be able to purchase unique, one-of-a-kind "Limited-Edition Stamps" (NFTs) through the Starbucks Odyssey market. Designed by Starbucks partners, the covetable Limited-Edition stamps will bring to life a new dimension of Starbucks, weaving together visual elements of Starbucks past, present and future into beautiful, layered pieces of artwork. Sales of Limited-Edition Stamps include a charitable component, with donations to causes that matter to Starbucks partners and Starbucks Rewards members.   

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 

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