Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain in the world, says it’s getting ready to expand its community by introducing a new non-fungible token (NFT) series.
In a blog post, the Seattle-based corporate titan says that it has always focused on giving consumers a “third place,” or the spot in people’s lives between home and work.
To expand on this area of its business strategy, Starbucks’ chief marketing officer Brady Brewer and advisor Adam Brotman say they want to create a global digital community centred on coffee at first and then expand to things like art, music, and beyond.
“Emerging technologies associated with what is commonly called “Web3” now enable this aspiration in a way that extends who Starbucks has always been at our core,” they said, adding that “Web3 refers to many things in the blockchain space, but the particular technology that has captured our imagination is NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
The Starbucks executives say that while NFTs are mostly used for trading and speculating, the company wants to focus more on the utility that they offer people online.
“Many people see NFTs as a new form of ownership of digital art, often traded in a highly speculative way. While that’s been true on some level in the early days in the space, we are fascinated by how NFTs allow people to own a programmable, brandable digital asset, that also doubles as an access pass.
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. And, while doing so also being a source of accretive business that can benefit a number of stakeholders in the process, while creating a new type of digital ecosystem to complement Starbucks current digital platform offering.”
According to the announcement, Starbucks plans to create a series of new NFT collections which allow users to claim membership within a community, and certain perks and benefits within.
On May 2nd, the day before Starbucks’ announcement, the Vatican also announced a venture into NFTs through a public-private partnership to make the religious heritage site’s history available to those who can’t experience it.
The Vatican will be partnering with Sensorium, a rising metaverse development firm, to make things like Vatican art, manuscripts, and historical pieces open to the world through an NFT gallery.
Father Philip Larrey, Chairman of Humanity 2.0 said:
“We look forward to working with Sensorium to explore ways to democratize art, making it more widely available to people around the world regardless of their socio-economic and geographical limitations. The partnership with Sensorium brings this goal a step further and equips us with the latest tech solutions.”