I must confess, I have a new favourite brand that I've added to
my elite few - and I'm a little bashful about it. I never thought I
would fall for something so gimmicky, unnecessarily overpriced and
overtly yuppie. But I have, and now I'm completely hooked! The
brand in question is Nespresso - the single-serving, capsule-based
After having been accosted several times by the Nespresso
promoters I tasted the product and thought 'why not?' - I went and
got myself one of the beautiful machines. After just a few months
of use, I wondered how I could have turned from being so sceptical
to such a fan. The answer was clear: branding!
I realised that Nespresso has been getting branding right on
every level and their success bears testament to this. So what can
marketers learn from Nespresso to build great brands?
Brand experience is the new 'location, location, location'. It
is evident that Nespresso prioritises experience in its brand
strategy, and every element - from channel strategy to product
development - flows from this commitment.
They have considered every detail, from the sleek, shiny and
colourful pods of delicious goodness that scream exclusivity to
their elite Nespresso VIP Club.
When you walk into a store, you get transported into a world
where you're the movie star. There are even ropes in place to
cordon off sections of the store just for you! The sales staff look
elegant all in black, and greet you with their full names visible
on their name tags. They are selling you coffee, but you feel like
they are your PR personnel. I happened to be at a store for the
launch of the bi-annual limited edition pod release; and it felt
like being at a high-profile movie premiere. I had no intention of
buying anything that day, but the experience was so luxurious that
I walked out with many sleeves of capsules. These limited edition
varieties are so popular that it's even common to find them at
inflated prices on the reseller market! The brand experience
captivates and simply draws you in.
Nespresso has built retail outlets that are brand temples,
transforming their customers into brand disciples.They have
actually broken one of the key rules of business (make your product
available) in order to build the exclusive image of the brand. With
only two retail outlets in South Africa (Sandton City and V&A
Waterfront) and pods available online to VIP Club Members only,
Nespresso has made it hard for mere mortals to get their hands on
the product. But their brand disciples clamber for more. The two
stores are an ode to the brand. Every element of the physical
environment looks premium. The pods and products are displayed
proudly and beautifully - and the temple experience is translated
To be a part of the Nespresso world, you have to speak the
Nespresso language. If you want to fit in you say 'Grand Crus' not
'capsules' and certainly not 'pods'. It's a 'boutique', not a
'store'; and a 'Club Member' not a 'customer'. And then there's the
product:Lattissimas (machine model), Livanto (part of espresso
range), Linizio Lungo (part of long coffee range) to name but a
few. Great brands get us talking and thinking in new ways; and
Nespresso has done just that!
Finally, if there's any doubt, enlist the services of George
Clooney! Endorsements have become quite a topic of contention
recently (hello Oscar, Lance and Tiger); but who can think of
Nespresso without ogling over George Clooney. Women want him and
men want to be him - the endorsement strategy is just so on point.
The brand's tagline, "Nespresso. What Else?" sounds like something
that George would say, and it's even scrawled in a typeface that
you could mistake for his autograph. He personifies the brand and
it makes us 'Club Members' love Nespresso even more.
Great companies don't just create brands; they create worlds
that people want to be part of. Nespresso has done just that.
They've turned something ordinary - making coffee at home - into
something really special and in doing so they have carved out a
unique position in the market for themselves. The Nespresso
experience is well constructed, well delivered and well received.
And it's all thanks to great branding. What else?