It’s another holiday morning. You wake up and head to the kitchen. Your Nespresso machine is waiting and it’s the best coffee out there hands down; even George Clooney agrees.
So let’s dive into the world of Nespresso, and find out more about that perfect cup of coffee with the brand’s Vice-President of Marketing Sylvie Charette and National Public Relations Manager Katrine Gouron.
ADA YAKOBI: Nespresso has taken North America by storm and has become a staple in many kitchens, hotels, hair salons and offices. It is often deemed as a must-have accessory. Why do you think that is?
KATRINE GOURON: I think a big reason is that we always focus on the design of every product. Coffee machines are on your countertop and are part of your décor, so we think that the design is extremely important. Nespresso focuses on innovation and the technicality of every machine that we sell. We want to offer our consumers and club members the same quality, standards and service everywhere they go, and they won’t have to settle for less if they are travelling or staying at a hotel.
Our coffee is also of very high quality. We use the best grains in the world and, therefore, have partnerships with companies, hotels and even Michelin-Star chefs.
Your customer service is top notch. Do your employees go through specialized training and, if so, what’s the main goal behind it?
KATRINE: We are very keen on our training and believe that aside from the quality of our coffee, integrative brand machines and customer service are vital points for us. We believe in the excellency in our service and believe in upkeeping a certain standard that everyone follows. For example, when you enter a Nespresso boutique and have a question, one of our staff members will be fast to assist you. And if you would like to see something, we will never point you in the direction, we will bring you there.
SYLVIE CHARETTE: Nespresso is the only coffee company that has this level of customer service out there, we have a very close relationship with all of our club members. But it doesn’t stop just at the customer service. For example, the Yorkville boutique in Toronto is a huge space that provides an exceptional experience for anyone who visits it.
Nespresso is endorsed by many celebrities, and you have a Nespresso club where everything is deemed high-end and elite. It’s become more than just the perfect cup of coffee at home, because it’s everywhere. Who would you say is your typical customer?
SYLVIE: I don’t think that we have a typical customer but the one thing that all our clients have in common is a love for high-quality coffee. Nespresso has consistent product delivery and is carefully curated by coffee specialists, so you don’t need to be a coffee fanatic to appreciate our brews. The one thing that we have relayed across in our coffees is that the quality will never falter. Our coffee is organic and requires the right temperature and a lot of dedication in the process, almost the same as a good bottle of wine.
You also have your own sit-down cafes, and you have worked with Riedel and Lorenzo Petrantoni to create cups and glassware. Could you tell me more about these collaborations?
SYLVIE: We have various collaborations but we are a coffee company first. We offer limited edition coffees as well and now, for the holiday season, we have festive flavours for both our lines. So the OriginalLine offers Apfelstrudel and Sachertorte. The Vertuoline, which is our long style coffee, offers pumpkin spice, gingerbread and banana bread. It is very important to remember that our flavoured coffees are not intense, but rather have silky, round notes of flavour.
We have also collaborated with Lorenzo who used to work for a big ad agency but then became a marvelous illustrator. He has worked with huge brands, such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and we are very proud to be associated with him for our coffee cups. He allows one to rediscover the holiday joys without having an overbearing design but rather a festive touch. Everything that he has designed for our holiday cup collection is toned down and has a distinguished design that doesn’t scream Christmas, therefore, allowing you to continue using the items even once Christmas is over. It’s all about the beautiful moments you spend on your holiday season and mornings in bed with your kids, savouring a perfect cup of coffee with treasured highlights.
Why do you offer chocolate to your customers?
KATRINE: It’s really all part of the Nespresso experience. When you arrive at the store and you see that there is a line-up, we want to make that experience as pleasant as possible. So we offer our customers a cup of coffee and a little chocolate treat while they wait. Instead of waiting, you are actually tasting our coffee and even discovering new flavours you haven’t had a chance to try before.
Do you offer coffee to go or is it just a sit-down option at your boutiques?
SYLVIE: It really depends on which boutique you visit, but the one in Yorkville in Toronto definitely offers the option to get your coffee to go. We have also introduced the portable coffee travel mugs, which allow each customer to be able to make coffee at home and take it with them wherever they go.
Your machines, glassware and coffee have become popular holiday and wedding presents, and can even be added to a wedding registry at the Hudson’s Bay. What can you tell me about that partnership there?
KATRINE: The partnership that was negotiated with the Hudson’s Bay is unique. This is the only place where you can buy our coffee other than at our boutiques. The reason why we do not have other places yet is because in order to offer the unique coffee experience, the person must not only be a sales person, but also a coffee specialist. They must know the entire history and process of Nespresso, which is difficult to accommodate with third parties. The Bay was very willing to accommodate, so it is the only other vendor that carries and sells our coffee.
Nespresso is Nestlé’s only high-end brand and very unlike the rest of the products that Nestlé creates. Why is that and can we expect more?
SYLVIE: The difference between Nespresso and other products that are owned by Nestlé is that it is most importantly a product, but it is also an experience. So when it was brought to the market, we wanted to create a unique business model within the Nestlé family. We work directly with our consumers, without any middle men, and nurture and maintain the relationships with our clients.
You will see Nespresso in various cities, and even though the product is the same, the experience is still unique in every city!