Customer experience is all. This is the mantra being used for digital transformation roadmaps and the theme for this year’s digital marketing trends.

One brand that understands customer experience is Nespresso.

Here’s a rundown of exactly how the coffee-meets-tech brand provides great CX for its aspirational customers.

Kick back, allow me to bring you some creamy opinion in a glass cup.

Clooney

Might as well start with George. Guys want to be him, girls want to be with him.

He has a villa in Italy, he is a thinking man and an action man, an activist, a morally sound connoisseur, he sets the tone for what Nespresso is trying to achieve.

The boutiques

Nespresso has its own stores, except they’re actually called boutiques. This is key to its brand image.

With these showrooms Nespresso asserts its claim as a lifestyle product. ‘Look, these products are so good they deserve to be displayed in the same way as a supercar or enjoyed in the same way as champagne.’

There has been plenty of discussion on the Econsultancy blog about the use of digital in store. It’s not that relevant for Nespresso, but the store does do something that has already proved so effective for Apple.

Namely, removing stock from the shop floor, which becomes museumesque, an emporium for tasting, learning and making an informed purchase.

The rationale for the boutiques is displayed on the Nespresso website, and it sums up aspiration better than I can:

The French architect Francis Krempp designed our Boutique model, combining art deco influences with contemporary shapes and materials.

• An eclectic mix of materials: the warmth of wood, the luxury of leather, the high-tech feel of metal and the purity of glass.

• Two complementary geometric shapes: the square symbolises the brand’s values: perfection, pleasure, aestheticism and simplicity. The circle evokes the coffee cup, discovery, tasting and the senses. 

A retail experience to satisfy your every desire.

Here are some shots that Andrew Warren-Payne, proud Nespresso owner, took in a London store. Don’t you just want in?

Tasting area:

tasting area nespresso

Machine gallery:

machine gallery nespresso

Store map:

store map nespresso

Grand Crus:

grand crus nespresso store

The urge to collect

The Brits at least are a nation of botanists and philatelists. We love to collect stuff.

Quite frankly, the following almost phylogenetic display of coffee messes with something deep inside me and makes me want to consume.

These capsules are called Grand Crus, as in ‘great growth’, traditionally used to classify vineyards. That’s what Nespresso wants to do, emphasise that this coffee is the precise opposite of instant, it’s a lovingly grown bean.

grand crus nespresso

The hierarchy

Regular, medium, large, extra large and so on.

That old trick that McDonald’s pioneered, not calling a spade a spade, rather referring to ‘small’ as ‘regular’.

Nespresso performs a version of that trick. All machines are beautiful, but some are more beautiful than others. The choice of machines, not too few, not too many, naturally encourages many to shoot that little bit higher in the aspiration stakes.

And the machines are customisable, they come in a range of colours, encouraging the shopper to hypothetically buy, to browse with intent.

nespresso machines

Accessorisation

The question is not ‘Do you want a Nespresso machine?’ rather ‘Which machine? Which capsules?’

The accessories are myriad and bring to mind Malibu Stacy.

They include (deep breath) glasses, capsule holders (including the bonbonierre and totem), the Aeroccino, a shaker, trays, bowls, spoons, carriers, scented candles, sugar, cleaning kit, descaler, various chocolates and biscuits.

Amazingly, accessories are given their own hierarchy or ordering system, divided up into the Glass, Ritual, Citiz, Pixies and Premium collections. Note the French spelling  - ‘Les Collections’.

All of this is increased order value, increased margin presumably (if one consider the margin on a £50 plexiglass drawer compared to coffee capsules) and increased lifetime value.

nespresso collections

The club

Here’s the club page on the Nespresso website. It screams exclusivity.

nespresso club

Just look at the benefits of the club:

•Benefit from quick&easy ordering whenever, wherever

•Learn more about the Nespresso product range

•Enjoy fast access to our Coffee Specialists for questions or advice

•Read the online Nespresso Magazine

This is what lifetime marketing is about. Get your customers on board not only with expensive tech that will only take your coffee, but get them interacting with coffee solely through your brand.

The magazine blends tech and coffee once again, available as it is on iPad. There’s even a sport section that covers sailing and any event where Nespresso sponsors a competitor.

The fact that the brand sponsors sailing is no surprise. It fits perfectly with the brand and its aspirational clientele.

nespresso magazine

Mobile ordering and delivery

Delivery within a two hour time slot, same day, is available week round. Nespresso brands it as ‘Your Time’. There’s another lesson here, if it can be branded, brand it.

delivery nespresso

Customers can order on the web or via the Nespresso app. The app itself is another wonderful tool for hooking the customer into new products, wherever they are.

Breakdown assistance

Just like a car, that most aspirational product, if your machine breaks, Nespresso will collect it and loan you a machine until yours is fixed.

nespresso assistance

‘Eco friendly’

It’s not the ‘80s anymore. We want it all, yes, but we don’t to feel guilty about it.

Nespresso has realised this and has a whole part of its site branded as ‘Ecolaboration’. There’s detail about recycling (another collection service), carbon footprint and energy saving machines, and eco partners.

Nespresso recognises that it has to make an effort on this front, lest it gets lumped with other exclusive yet morally dubious products such as fois gras.

ecolaboration

Conclusion

I may have sounded a little scornful about some of Nespresso’s products and services. Far from it, it takes an awful lot of effort to create a product that locks in and upsells the consumer over their lifetime with multichannel, tech-fuelled, aspirational cups of coffee that everyone wants in their home and is all about the experience. 

Further reading…

For more on experential marketing from the blog, check out these 10 very cool examples of experiential marketing and for a handy introduction: What is experiential marketing and why do you need it?