Note to readers: I’ve been working on this post about Nespresso for a while now. It was prompted by my recent visit to the Nespresso boutique in Edmonton (see below). But today, when I went looking for some images to complement the piece, I discovered that George Clooney had been stumping for Nespresso. How appropriate to use the handsomest man in the world to promote the handsomest home-brew coffee system in the world. It just puts the whole Nespresso brand image into perfect perspective. How did Nespresso get inside my head as a consumer and just know that George Clooney would be the most perfect celebrity to promote the most perfect coffee system? Hats off to the marketers!
Last year for my birthday, I received one of the best presents in recent memory: a Nespresso coffee maker.
There are few things in life that I enjoy more than the smell and taste of fresh brewed espresso coffee. Cappuccino, a simple mixture of espresso-brewed coffee and steamed milk, when it’s done well, is the most heavenly experience to this coffee lover.
The Nespresso brand excels at delivering a remarkable experience: from the product itself, to the packaging and the customer experience.
Let’s start with the product, the pure substance itself: the coffee.
I have become a connoisseur of fine cappuccino. I love the smell of coffee brewing and when properly executed a cappuccino is nothing short of heavenly.
Nespresso consistently produces a very good quality coffee. Is it the best I’ve ever tasted? Well, no. A fine cappuccino produced by a competent barista with a $50,000 machine will beat Nespresso any day. But, compared to Starbucks and Second Cup cappuccinos, Nespresso can hold it’s own.
And Nespresso gives you this coffee quality for well less than half the price. The machine I have (pictured right) goes for about $300 and the coffee capsules cost about $0.70 each. Say you’re in the habit of picking up a double tall non-fat, no foam latte from Starbucks on the way to work each day. With the extra shot of espresso, that drink will cost you over $4 at Starbucks, but under $2 on your Nespresso. Make it five minutes before you leave the house and it’s probably even the same amount of time or less.
But Nespresso’s success isn’t merely based on it’s taste. Check out the actual design of the machine itself – it’s a work of art and very well-designed. The way the coffee capsules are inserted and locked into position feels satisfyingly like loading and cocking your caffeine shot. The design of the milk steamer is clever and effective and so easy to clean.
This attention to design and style carries over to the product packaging. The capsules come stacked in sleeves of 10. The dark black packaging features the brand name in embossed letters creating an ultra-cool black on black textured look. And each flavour, of which I think there are 16 or so, is denoted by the colour of the capsule itself which is mirrored on the ends of each sleeve for easy identification.
It’s clear is that Nespresso has gone to great lengths to define the entire product experience – the product storage, creation of the drink, and the flavour – in terms of an overall aesthetic of style and excellence.
What sent me over the top was my recent experience at the new Nespresso boutique in Edmonton. Located in a lonely back corner of the third floor of the Bay in Southgate Mall, you will find a characteristically stylish retail outlet for Nespresso machines and capsules. After selecting our capsules and paying, we were offered a stylish leather key fob that could be used at any Nespresso store to link to our customer profile. On top of that, the fob will get us a free coffee anytime and any Nespresso stores anywhere. You know what that means: next time I’m at Southgate, I’m heading up to the Nespresso boutique to try a new capsule flavour and say hello to the friendly people there.
If you don’t want to visit the mall, Nespresso offers a speedy and convenient online ordering and delivery service for their coffee capsules. Set up you account at the Nespresso online store.
Guy Kawasaki has written a book about the importance of not just being good, but being great — being enchanting. Nespresso is the epitome of an enchanting brand experience.
As I was writing this piece, I was thinking: people are going to think I was paid by Nespresso to write this. For the record, I was not. Yet, as I think more about it, in fact, I was paid. Everything about the Nespresso brand experience is designed to enchant me so that I want to recommend them and talk about them with my friends. And I have noticed that all of my friends who are already Nespresso customers talk to each other about how much we like the product. And we want to bring others in on the secret.
Isn’t that the objective of any brand and any business? To get people talking about you with their friends and recommending you because you have enchanted them in some way.
I’m enchanted, Nespresso.