Nespresso — Anything Else than What Else?

We’ve all heard the popular “What Else” expression that has been going around for a long time. You’ve got a luxurious villa at Como Lake, expensive clothes and shoes, beautiful women and of course the Nespresso “ambassador” Mr. George Clooney.

What does “What Else” stand for anyway? Well, a basic definition would be, that there is simply nothing better other than Nespresso coffee. But hang on… Is that even remotely true? What about Illy, Lavazza, Tchibbo, Saeco and all other famous Italian coffee brands that have been around much longer than Nespresso? For many people (including myself), they taste much better than any Nespresso capsule — even their grand crus.

So what’s behind “What Else” that makes Nespresso one of the most successful high end coffee brands in the world, when in fact it’s just an average brew?

It all comes down to two elements — marketing and branding. Nespresso’s target was to position itself as a high-end premium coffee brand, and believe it or not, that has nothing to do with the taste of the coffee. It all has to do with developing and maintaining an image that goes beyond taste and quality of the actual product. An image that highlights and focuses on other tangible elements, of which I mention some of those in this article.

They don’t call it a Nespresso Shop

The word shop sounds too simple for Nespresso. Instead, they use the fancy word “boutique” which stands for a more specialized and luxurious brand.

Prime Locations

If you ever visited a Nespresso shop boutique , you would notice that they are always located in the center of (usually) expensive cities. This allows them to blend in with other expensive and high-end stores that are located close by.

A complete range or products

Nespresso has it all — let’s name a few.

Coffee (obviously), coffee machines (actually they don’t actually make them), sugar, glasses, spoons, chocolates, biscuits, milk frothing machines and the list goes on a on. Step into a Nespresso boutique to buy a coffee machine and I can assure you that you will walk out with at least a couple of more (usually expensive) things.

Good service (a bit too fake to be honest)

When you go into a Nespresso boutique to buy coffee, you will notice that the sales person will put everything in a bag for you and then walk past the cashier desk to it over to you. Always with a smile, but in my opinion it looks rather fake and pretentious.

They’ve got George!

George Clooney has been the marketing ambassador of Nespresso for a very long time. Why did they pick him and not someone else, like Leonadro di Caprio for instance (of which I think is a great actor)? Well, Mr. George can be easily associated with luxury, class, mature looks, etc. All these atributes are then reflected onto the Nespresso brand.

Money talks

Nespesso coffee is not cheap to buy. It is more expensive than many other brands and there is a simple logic behind that.

I already mentioned (and again, that’s my personal point view), that Nespresso is not premium coffee. Then why is it more expensive than many other brands? Well, think about it…

You want to buy a pair of jeans. Brand A costs $100 and Brand B costs $500 for the same exact style (that you know) and same exact fabric (that you don’t know). Brand B is promoted as being a premium quality brand and they are using some of the above mentioned tactics to convince you about that. Naturally you now start believing that the $500 are justified because you are paying for a premium quality product. Get the point?

I am sure that there are loads of other tactics but I think these are the most prominent ones used by Nespresso. Let me know if you have anything else in mind — in the meantime, I will go prepare a non-Nespresso beverage!


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