How Nespresso Became the Luxury Instant Coffee Brand


NespressoHere’s an interesting case of a brand dominating its market via the art of ingratiation. The basics: Nespresso makes instant coffee. You know, the little pods that you put into a machine and press a button to prepare. It’s easy, but it doesn’t taste all that great no matter how good the beans are (we know because we drink it every day). OK, so why do so many of the nation’s top restaurants use Nespresso pods? Wouldn’t diners paying hundreds of dollars for a meal want something a little…fancier?

Well, Nespresso didn’t just hire George Clooney and Penelope Cruz to hawk its products — the brand also carefully wormed its way into the good graces of chefs at top restaurants by hyping the size and convenience of its coffeemakers and convincing big names to sign contracts promising to exclusively use Nespresso in their kitchens.

The fact that the company’s pods only work in its own machines probably helped as well. But that’s not all: the company also started a weeklong seminar program designed to help servers sell coffee like wine by using a bunch of fancy adjectives to describe the differences between its eight blends.

Of course, the fact that hoity-toity restaurants and hotels like Nobu 57 and The Four Seasons serve Nespresso only amplifies its appeal to the average consumer looking to buy an automatic coffee machine.

That, friends, is how you corner a market.