Starbucks is the latest major corporation to throw their hat into the NFT ring – but what will this coffee-themed metaverse actually look like? Is it simply going to involve the release of various NFTs, or is this caffeine giant going to try to create something a little more innovative? In truth, it is still very early days for the Starbucks metaverse, as the announcement was justannounced. However, we can make a few educated guesses on what this new development might look like…
Starbucks’ Metaverse Announcement Explained
On April 11, 2022, it was widely reported that Starbucks’ CEO Howard Shultz had made a stunning announcement. During an open forum, he informed Starbucks employees and partners that the company was planning to create its own line of NFTs. And that was pretty much it. Aside from promising that these NFTs would be arriving sometime before the end of the year, Shultz provided almost no further details.
So What Might This Metaverse Look Like?
With no real details to go on, we are left to speculate about what the Starbucks Metaverse might look like. On the one hand, it may be a relatively straightforward collection of NFTs. Perhaps these NFTs will be popular – perhaps not. Maybe they will feature interesting, innovative artwork. Maybe not.
One potential outcome is that Starbucks will take advantage of their popular membership program and integrate that in some way with the NFT world. Perhaps Starbucks customers will have the ability to redeem their reward points (known as “stars”) in exchange for NFTs. Maybe the NFTs themselves will carry certain benefits. Maybe a reward for buying a certain NFT will be a free beverage.
Of course, this is all just speculation – but it’s worth pointing out that Starbucks already has an active community in place via its rewards program. The obvious choice would be to take advantage of this community in some way and integrate it with their new NFTs.
Why is Starbucks Doing This?
Some have suggested that when companies mint NFTs, they are doing so out of desperation. In other words, their businesses are failing and they see the metaverse as their last chance to jump on the NFT bandwagon. While you can’t really describe Starbucks as a failing company, certain questions are being raised.
After posting a 12% decline in gross annual profit in 2020, they went on to post notable increases throughout the next few quarters, eventually achieving a 17.5% increase year-over-year in gross annual profit by December 2021.
However, they went on to post earnings that fell short of expectations in February of 2022 – largely a result of supply chain issues and employees taking sick leave due to Covid-19. Earnings per share also reached just 72 cents, in comparison to an expected 80 cents per share.
And of course, the company is currently dealing with a major union movement that could seriously shake up its workforce – and its ability to generate profits. So is Starbucks simply throwing NFTs out there in an effort to distract from these issues? Maybe.