The birth of Nespresso

The Nespresso journey started with a simple but revolutionary idea: enable anyone to make the perfect cup of espresso – with exquisite crema, enticing aroma and rich flavour, just like skilled baristas. Nestlé Nespresso SA adopted this idea and pioneered the concept of “premium” portioned coffee. Suffice it to say they succeeded.
Nespresso’s challenge during their early years was to launch the brand and bring a completely new concept to the world.
How do you get sales personnel in the various retail chains to change their focus and mindset from selling filter coffee machines to (n)espresso machines? How do you give the personnel an understanding of coffee culture and knowledge about the history of espresso? And above all, how do you plant belief among retailers about Nespresso’s positioning and unique sales arguments?
Specifique in Norway, in collaboration with Specifique in France, developed a learning process consisting of two phases. The biggest challenge was getting the attention of busy sales associates in large retail groups.
Specifique developed a three-hour certification program for selected retailers that committed to distributing the Nespresso system. Sales personnel from different stores were invited to explore the new Nespresso system and work their way through two different Dialogue Mats.
In groups, the participants were educated on the origin of coffee, the characteristics of espresso, how to make a proper espresso, and finally, an introduction to the Nespresso concept. During the second part of the workshop, the participants presented their own sales arguments for the Nespresso system based on their newly acquired knowledge.
Within 6 months, thousands of employees in six different countries had participated in Nespresso’s workshops. They underwent an interactive training program that was both efficient, fun, dynamic, and engaging.
Above all, the program helped people understand how they could succeed with Nespresso’s ambitious strategy. Today, Nespresso is considered the industry leader in almost every country that distributes their products.