The marketing of Nespresso

The success of Nespresso, appears to me, to be an instance of style over substance.

The product is quick, and clean, but relatively expensive, and in my opinion, the quality of coffee that emerges from the collaboration between pod and machine is no better than, or even inferior, to cafetiere coffee, and even my regular Douwe Egberts (freeze-dried) instant coffee.

Although apparently a 27 year old technology, the product only seems to have taken off in the last few years, spurred by an admittedly slick campaign fronted by George Clooney, gentleman cad. Seldom has a celebrity face been used so effectively in order to sell a product. But it should be borne in mind that Nestle thought it would be a good idea to market Nescafe in the early 1990s with suave and charming ladies man of the moment, Anthony Stewart Head. The Head associtation is now embarrassing. This is a potential problem if you (like Nestle have) invested heavily in your brand as a luxury product. Ten years from now, Clooney may well seem uncool. Hence, your brand seems uncool. Heavily associating your brand with just one individual (no matter how rugged) can damage your brand in the long run.

Another expert wheeze has seen Nestle severely limit the number of “boutiques” that sell the product. Scarcity makes the product seem special: never underestimate the stupidity of the crowd. The large Nespresso shop frontage on Regent Street is a work of marketing genius. Sell coffee pods as luxury product. with a corresponding premium price.

People may laugh at a monkey hand puppet being used to sell PG Tips, but Clooney is being used to sell a product that is frankly as much use as a chocolate tea pot, for triple the price of regular freeze-dried coffee.

Liked it? Take a second to support Thomas Farrell on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *