Nespresso Activations Create Multi-Sensory Experiences


For some people, specifically coffee people, there is nothing better in the morning than a fresh cup of java. The scent of coffee wafting through the house. The sound of the maker steaming and gurgling. The warmth of the mug in your hands. The sight of cream swirling into the cup. Finally, the bold taste of the first sip.

Coffee brand Nespresso understands the important role that the five senses play when it comes to savoring a cup of coffee. That’s why the brand has spent the summer creating activations that play on multiple senses.

In May, Nespresso opened a pop up in Kuala Lumpur located in Pavilion KL, a 1.4 million square foot retail destination with over 550 outlets. Situated inside a large glass cube, the pop up is brightly lit and continually filled with a coffee aroma. In addition to the natural light, the flooring is green and grass-like, reminding visitors of coffee’s natural origins.

Visitors were able to choose from 28 varieties of coffee types, including three styles made specifically for the pop up by 2015 World Barista Champion Jason Loo: hazelnut mocha, Melaka “cham” (a combination of coffee and tea), and lemon caffeine boost. These flavors were created by combining different Nespresso pods. Visitors could pick up other coffee and milk combination recipes, and the machines to create them were available to purchase.

Photo Credit: Nespresso

Photo Credit: Nespresso

“We believe that each cup of Nespresso coffee has the potential to not only deliver a flavorful experience but also restore, replenish and revive the environment and human resources, which is why this store is one of the locations where you can drop off your used Nespresso capsules that will then be recycled,” Geoffrey Dalziel, Business Executive Officer at Nespresso, said in a press release.

Guests were also invited to take part in hands-on activities, such as a barista workshop, glass jar painting, brush lettering, and stencil-making sessions. While parents engaged with these activities, their children were provided with an entirely different set of entertainment options, which included a Nintendo Switch gaming center and children’s corner. Of course, visitors were given the option of taking a selfie next to a sculpture of a gigantic Nespresso machine and a freshly poured cuppa joe.

Nespresso’s second sensory experience is titled YourNespressoCoffeeTaste. The program was developed in collaboration with Daniel Clifford, the two-Michelin-starred chef at Midsummer House (a significantly different place than Midsommar House, do not mistake the two), perfumer Emmanuelle Moeglin, and Marcelo Zanetti, the Global Coffee Expertise Manager at Nespresso.

Photo Credit: Nespresso

Photo Credit: Nespresso

“We’re delighted to have worked in partnership with Emmanuelle and Daniel to launch YourNespressoCoffeeTaste. Nespresso is pushing the boundaries of the coffee experience in fine dining and YourNespressoCoffeeTaste takes this to a new level, in an environment where we know that consumers are increasingly interested in the origin of what they drink.” Guillaume Chesneau, Managing Director of Nespresso UK and Ireland, said in a release.

This activation is presented to diners at the end of a meal, where they get to choose from a variety of coffees. To help inform their decision, diners are presented with a series of elegantly designed jars that, when opened, release the scents of specific coffee regions: Brazil, Guatemala, India, Kenya, and Nepal.

“We put all this effort into the canapés, amuses-bouches, and wine service, and do everything we physically can to give customers an experience,” Clifford said to The Caterer. “Then we get to the coffee, the very last thing people will remember, we make nice petits fours, and it’s just, ‘would you like a cappuccino, latte, or espresso?’

“We’ve managed to create something we’re very proud of. Coffee from Colombia to Nepal to Brazil tastes different. We’ve tried to give it the respect it deserves

The project evolved over 18 months. During the time, Clifford spent time in a Nespresso coffee plantation in Colombia.

“I’m proud to partner with Nespresso on this unique experience, as I know first-hand from my visit to Colombia with Nespresso, the passion and craft that goes into their coffee offer. Our partnership provides a real opportunity to reinvent the way that coffee is served and experienced. YourNespressoCoffeeTaste is truly unique to the diner and demonstrates not only the highest quality product but also the coffee expertise the Nespresso after-dinner coffee experience offers,” Clifford said in a press release.

After the launch at Midsummer House, the YourNespressoCoffeeTaste program expanded to two additional Michelin-starred restaurants: James Knappet’s Kitchen Table and Michael Caine’s Lympstone Manor.

Photo Credit: Nespresso

Photo Credit: Nespresso

“We are proud to have created an experience, which is not only a delight for the senses but also an authentically personalized moment for each coffee consumer,” Chesneau said to The Caterer.

Nespresso is creating experiences that play on multiple senses because that creates stronger memories and connections. People remember events better and appreciate them more when multiple senses are engaged.

The Sense of Smell Institute performed a study that found, after three months, people could only recall about 50 percent of the visual images they saw. However, even after a year, people were able to remember more than 65 percent of odors they smelt.   

Cambridge University conducted a series of experiments that found people who were riding up an escalator were more likely to give money to a charity box than those who had just taken one down. The findings were that we equate the feeling of going up with positive morality (think of an escalator to heaven), whereas the feeling of descent is equated to dissoluteness.

Oxford University examined the interactions between two or more senses and discovered how they impact one another. For example:

·      Color can change how we perceive flavor. The study had people drink the same hot chocolate from different cups. Folks that drank from orange cups found the beverage to have the strongest flavor, while cream-colored cups delivered a sweeter taste and more intense aroma. Also, a dessert that was eaten off a white plate was rated 10 percent sweeter than those served on a black plate.

·      Music can change how something tastes. Three groups drank the same wine but listened to different music. They each reported a different flavor profile for the wine. The study found that we associate lower notes with bitterness and higher notes with sweetness.

·      Touch can also impact the perception of flavor. When people ate two samples of the same yogurt – one off a silver spoon and the other off a plastic spoon – they reported that the silver spoon made the yogurt feel creamier.

These studies highlight that, at an activation, engaging as many senses as possible helps to create stronger connections with brands. For example, smell is inexorably tied to memory. When someone thinks about freshly baked cookies or warm bread (or a cup of coffee), it’s the scent that’s conjured in the mind. The music people listen to in their youth is the style that sticks with them throughout their life. Our eyes are drawn to sights we find appealing and repelled by things that we don’t. People who can handle a product they like are more liable to make a purchase.

Nespresso has done an impressive job of encouraging interactivity and has likely created lasting memories for participants.

Disclaimer: We’re fans of all the innovative and interesting activations that occur across the world, and we like to keep our readers informed as well. This post features the efforts of an activation that is not our own. We applaud their work, and do not wish to appear to take credit.