Starbucks (SBUX) pioneered the modern loyalty program by using its app to drive customer engagement.
You don’t need to place a digital order to get loyalty program rewards with the cafe chain – top-tier members used to receive a gold membership card in the mail – but you do need to use the app.
Customers download the app and then are rewarded for using it to buy food and drink. It’s a good experience because users can customize their orders, get exactly what they want, and the store saves the expense of taking orders and capturing email addresses.
The Seattle chain has found a way to increase customer loyalty, improve in-store and pickup experiences, and collect email addresses by investing in technology. The company created the model that almost all fast food and fast food chains now use.
The Starbucks loyalty program generates repeat visits in three ways, the first being the most important.
- You get free stuff: Spend money at Starbucks and you earn rewards points that quickly lead to free drinks, food, and freebies like ceramic and reusable coffee mugs.
- It’s easy to use: You can customize your order as much as you want.
- Starbucks will send you offers: The channel may use its app and mailing list to drive traffic through offers and specials.
At the heart of the program, Starbucks offered a high-tech version of a punch card. You buy a few glasses and get one free. It’s a simple and valuable proposition that benefits the channel and the customer.
Now, for reasons known only to its executive management, Starbucks wants to screw up the system by adding non-fungible tokens to its loyalty program.
Starbucks really wants to ruin its loyalty program
Sometimes even smart business leaders overthink things.
Starbucks has tried various other freebies through its loyalty program (streaming music and ridesharing), but that’s not why people are using the app. The chain’s customers use the app because it’s convenient, and if they use it regularly, they get free food and drink.
Anything that distracts from it is superfluous. But Starbucks, for some reason, thinks adding NFT will improve their program.
The channel pitched the idea on September 12:
Starbucks today unveiled Starbucks Odyssey, a new experience powered by Web3 technology that will offer Starbucks Rewards Members and Starbucks Partners (Employees) in the United States the opportunity to earn and purchase collectible digital assets that will unlock the access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences. Starbucks is one of the first companies to integrate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into a cutting-edge loyalty program at scale, while building a digital community that will allow Starbucks new ways to engage with its members and customers. partners.
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Seems like a lot of spending when the chain could have just offered members more food and drink benefits. The whole thing seems like the channel is jumping into the Next New Thing even though no one is claiming it.
“By integrating with the Starbucks Rewards ecosystem and anchoring the experience in coffee, connection, and community, we’re entering the Web3 space unlike any other brand, while deepening our members’ connection to Starbucks.” , said Brady Brewer, chief marketing officer. statement.
“Our vision is to create a place where our digital community can come together over coffee, engage in immersive experiences, and celebrate the legacy and future of Starbucks.”
That’s a lot of words to say not much.
Nobody wants NFTs from Starbucks
Starbucks maintains relationships with its customers, and a small percentage of that audience collect mugs from various states.
Offering NFTs as part of its digital rewards may appeal to a similar subset of its audience, but it’s a niche game that ignores that its loyalty program is driven by people earning stars to get rewards. free food and drinks.
Starbucks wants to deepen its connection with customers in ways it’s hard to imagine customers want.
“Once logged in, members can engage in Starbucks Odyssey ‘journeys’, a series of activities, such as playing interactive games or completing fun challenges to learn more about coffee and Starbucks,” said the channel in a press release.
“Members will be rewarded for taking trips with a collectible digital ‘travel stamp’ (NFT).”
Members can also purchase NFTs, or stamps, which really seem to have little to do with the basic “I give you money, you give me coffee” relationship. And yes, people can work in the chain’s cafes or meet friends there, but is anyone really looking for a deeper relationship with their local SBUX outlet?
“As stamps are collected, members’ points will increase, unlocking access to unique benefits and experiences never before offered,” the channel said.
“These experiences can range from a virtual espresso martini-making class, to access to unique products and artist collaborations, to invitations to exclusive events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries or even trips to the Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica.”
Okay, maybe a free trip is nice, but few, if any, customers want NFTs added to their coffee shop experience. It’s Starbucks that makes something simple really complicated for no reason.