Newstalk completo con il focus sul programma di fidelizazzione NFT “Odyssey” di Starbucks.

Questa pillola anche disponibile in versione audio podcast nell’episodio S01E05 del Disruptive Talks (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Amazon Music…).

The advent of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) has marked a significant turning point in the digital landscape, disrupting the art industry, gaming and now, the world of brand loyalty. The growing interest in Web3 and blockchain technology is influencing the marketing strategies of companies, including those who are moving to adopt NFTs in their loyalty programs.

How companies approach Web3 and NFTs

Integrating NFTs into business processes is not just a fad, but a strategic decision with clear goals:

  1. Targeting new customers: Entering the world of NFTs and Web3 allows companies to attract a young and technologically informed segment of customers.
  2. Creating a community: The dynamism and exclusivity of NFTs perfectly angles user engagement and brand community building.
  3. Sense of exclusive possession: NFTs provide customers with a tangible connection to the brand, increasing the sense of loyalty.
  4. Consumer insights: Blockchain transactions offer unprecedented visibility into consumer habits, with easily trackable on-chain data, effectively improving your marketing strategy.

During the NFT boom of 2021-2022, we witnessed massive interest from brands, particularly in the fashion sector, who saw this technology as a new frontier for customer engagement.

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The value of engagement in NFT-based Loyalty Programs

The success of NFT-based loyalty programs lies in the ability to stimulate deep engagement that goes beyond the mere economic transaction. Through the use of these digital tools, companies are able to exploit new emotional and participation levers that consolidate the relationship with their customers:

  1. Innovation in customer service: NFTs can be used as a tool to offer personalized and privileged customer experiences. For example, an NFT could contain a VIP experience or exclusive access to special events, adding value to the simple purchase of goods or services.
  2. Gamification: Through the use of NFTs, companies can integrate playful elements into their loyalty programs. This aspect of gamification can include point collection, milestones and rewards in the form of unique tokens, increasing interactivity and fun in the shopping experience.
  3. Sustainability and transparency: NFTs offer an opportunity to highlight a company's commitment to sustainability. Through the use of tokens that certify the ethical provenance of products or the contribution to sustainable initiatives, companies can demonstrate their transparency and social responsibility.
  4. Cross-brand interaction: NFT-based loyalty programs can enable closer collaboration between different brands. Instead of loyalty points and discounts limited to a single brand, NFTs could be traded or used across a variety of commercial networks and platforms, enriching the loyalty ecosystem and offering more value to customers.
  5. Financial incentives: Some NFTs offer the possibility of direct or indirect gains, either through their potential market appreciation, or through tokens that can be spent or converted into other benefits.

These elements help create loyalty programs that are much richer and more multidimensional than traditional points-based systems. Through NFTs, companies not only reward loyalty, but engage in a two-way dialogue with consumers, listening to their needs and actively involving them in the life of the brand. This dynamic translates into more intense participation and, consequently, into a more rooted loyalty towards the company.

The Starbucks Odyssey case study

Starbucks, with its already established loyalty program, Starbucks Rewards, has introduced Odyssey, a revolutionary extension of its program.

The Odyssey reveals itself

Odyssey presents itself as an extension of Starbucks Rewards where participants, after registering on a waiting list, can earn collectible NFTs by participating in "journeys". The customer experience is enriched by carrying out activities ranging from virtual visits to stores to interactive games. Upon completion of these activities, you receive an NFT, based on the Polygon blockchain, which can then correspond to particular benefits.

The physical integration of NFTs

A particularly innovative aspect is the connection between the physical and digital worlds, exemplified by Starbucks' recent initiative which sent selected customers a personalized card pre-loaded with 100$, combined with an NFT from "The Starbucks Siren Collection". These digital tokens were purchasable for 100$ and generated an impressive volume of business, selling out in just 18 minutes on OpenSea.

The Odyssey interface

Preview screens show a user-friendly interface of Starbucks Odyssey, which currently remains unhackable without signup, suggesting an attractive and easily navigable digital environment.

Analysis and prospects of the Starbucks model

Starbucks' experiment with Odyssey brings to light numerous food for thought:

  • Enriched user experience: The Odyssey experience seeks to overcome conventional interactions with the customer, engaging an emotional and active participation plan.
  • Enhancement of brand assets: By transforming its tokens into real brand assets, Starbucks promotes loyalty through the uniqueness of the experience.
  • Interoperability and future applications: While still in its infancy, the open loyalty ecosystem suggests a future in which points and NFTs can serve as cross-commercial partners, further amplifying the value of loyalty.

At the same time, initiatives like Odyssey raise questions about the broad impact of these emerging technologies, how they will evolve over time and what the long-term implications will be for the relationship between brands and consumers.

In conclusion, Starbucks Odyssey represents not a simple loyalty program, but a discovery in the evolution of customer engagement of the future. The case of Starbucks offers other companies a replicable and innovative framework, opening the doors to new avenues in the customer-brand relationship in the re-emerging Web3 space.

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