Starbucks teases Web3 updates to its popular rewards program

Starbucks teases Web3 updates to its popular rewards program
Starbucks teases Web3 updates to its popular rewards program

Web3 will play a role in the future of Starbucks’ popular rewards program, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said.

“We’ve been 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 importantly — loyalty,” Schultz said during the company’s Q3 2022 earnings call Tuesday. .

According to Schultz, the company will unveil the new digital initiative on September 13, during its annual Investor Day event in Seattle.

The initiative will allow Starbucks to build on its current rewards engagement model while introducing new methods to engage customers emotionally, Schultz said, expanding its “digital third place community” approach and offering a broader set of rewards.

‘Tredje plass’ is a sociological term that describes a community space between home and work.

The CEO says these rewards include unique experiences and Starbucks-branded digital collectibles as both a reward and a community-building element.

“This will create a whole new set of digital network effects that will attract new customers and be active for existing customers in our core stores,” he said.

However, Starbucks’ relationship with Web3 initiatives has not been met with enthusiasm from employees. In May, during a presentation that included a section on NFTs—unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership of an asset—an employee who gave only the first name of “Mark” and who described himself as a technologist voiced his disagreement with the company’s plans, cited. the environmental impact of NFTs.

“Blockchain, whether it’s proof-of-stake or proof-of-work, is not planet-positive … it’s going to destroy the planet … and that makes me, as a technologist, and I’m not the only one, very concerned about that, that this company would go in that direction,” he said, “I don’t want to feel that way about Starbucks.”

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Mark also argued that NFTs are more exclusive than inclusive.

Several NFT collections have become high value or “blue chip” collectibles, most notably the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection. Last month, pop icon Madonna made headlines when she said: “I was all set on getting a monkey and really specific about what I wanted: The monkey with a leather motorbike cap and multi-coloured teeth.”

The monkey in question, Bored Ape #3756, was listed on OpenSea and cost 800.69 ETH, around $1.27 million at the time.

Starbucks first waded into blockchain waters more than four years ago with a “bean-to-cup” traceability project to support small farmers.

Whether customers, employees or investors will embrace this latest Web3 initiative has yet to be seen. But Schultz positions it as part of a larger transformation planned for the corporate giant.

“We look forward to fully demonstrating the power and opportunity of our reinvention plan,” he said.

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