Starbucks embraces NFTs

Written By Julie Bacon

If you like hanging out at Starbucks, your favorite location may be headed to a digital address if CMO Brady Brewer and Advisor Adam Brotman get their way. Starbucks is looking hard at how NFTs will evolve their loyalty program, the first of which may be introduced as early as September.

While details are still emerging, the company has a reputation for embracing technology to instill loyalty and create customer efficiency. In May, Brewer and Brotman shared the broad stokes of their plan, sharing that NFTs had captured their imagination.

In the post to Starbucks Stories, they wrote, “We plan to create a series of branded NFT collections, the ownership of which initiates community membership and allows for access to exclusive experiences and perks. The themes of these collections will be born of Starbucks artistic expressions, both heritage and newly created, as well as through world-class collaborations with other innovators and like-minded brands.”

If Brewer and Brotman were trying to be coy about exact launch dates, interim CEO Howard Schultz was more specific in a recent earnings call. Schultz revealed that the company’s Web3 initiative will be shared on Investor Day held in mid-September.

Schultz said, “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 centered around coffee and, most importantly, loyalty that we will reveal at Investor Day.”

Analyzing the announcement, TechCrunch noted this is the first time the coffee giant has linked NFTs to the wildly successful Starbucks Rewards program. Starbucks is making a big bet that its customers will be as hungry for NFTs as they are for pumpkin spice season.

Meanwhile, it’s significant that not only a major coffee chain is going Web3 but also that Food&Wine is reporting this news. NFTs and digital spaces are the hot topics within many boardrooms, bringing the realization of broad adoption ever closer.

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