Earlier this year, it was announced that Starbucks, arguably the most famous coffee franchise in the world, would be getting involved with NFTs. This came via an announcement from its CEO Howard Schultz that the company would be releasing an NFT collection in 2022, putting it alongside other top companies like Evian that have entered the metaverse.
Now, weeks later, we know much more about these NFT ambitions from the company. Through a blog post on its official website, Starbucks has explained that its NFT projects will be made with a view to developing the digital equivalent of a ‘third place’.
A Third Place in the Metaverse?
In the blog post, Starbucks states that the ‘third place’ has ‘always been the feeling of connection and belonging it provides.’ It is also explained that in the digital world that we currently live in, Starbucks wants to extend this third place beyond its physical locations and meet customers wherever they are.
This is where NFTs come in as they will not be treated as a tradable asset to be sold based on speculation but more as an access pass of sorts.
“We believe NFTs have broad potential to create an expanded, shared-ownership model for loyalty, the offering of unique experiences, community building, storytelling, and customer engagement,” the blog post says.
Moving forward, Starbucks will be releasing collections of NFTs, all of which will be used to grant access to specific perks and experiences. They will also be created with Starbucks’ decades of culture and history in mind.
While many brands have a strong foundation that can be leveraged for NFTs, few of them have as much to work with as Starbucks. As the blog post explains, Starbucks has 50 years of history, global recognition, and over 27 million rewards program members in the United States alone.
The company also has a history of embracing innovative technologies including things like loyalty, mobile payment, mobile ordering, and Wi-Fi. Besides the foray into NFTs, Starbucks is heavily invested in Web3 as a space.
There are plans in place to develop a Starbucks Digital Community Web3 platform that will support both frontend and backend functions. Overall, Starbucks is anticipating a robust and progressive approach to blockchain.
“Our approach to blockchain technology – while ultimately likely to be multi-chain or chain agnostic – will certainly start with collections backed by blockchains and infrastructure that is consistent with our multi-decade commitment to sustainability,” the announcement explains.
Starbucks ended its blog post by reiterating that its first NFT collection will be released by the end of this year. This new collection, the company says, will be based on coffee art and storytelling and will come with exclusive perks and experiences for users.
More than that, this NFT collection will serve as its official foray into the blockchain and metaverse. At the heart of all these efforts, however, will be an emphasis on the Starbucks community, even as more avenues for engagement are being created with blockchain.