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Nespresso, crisis communication report: Establishment in Israel

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documents in English
case study
6 pages
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  1. The problem
    1. Do we know the problem?
    2. What are the risks?
    3. What is the level of expansion?
    4. Who are the enemies?
    5. What is our responsibility in there?
    6. What is the emergency degree?
  2. The possible strategies
    1. The recognition
    2. The lateral project
    3. The refutation
  3. The suitable application to nespresso

For more than 20 years, Nespresso, which is a subsidiary of the Nestlé Group, managed to transform the very bitter beverage coffee, to an elegant and pleasant product thanks to its expertise on quality coffee and coffee machines as well to its efficient marketing campaigns. With the success of Internet all around the world and especially with the arrival of the web 2.0, many potential customers discuss products or services before trying them. The big advantage with Internet is the fact that information may be spread around the world. The major problem is the fact that much of this information is false, and that it is difficult to know who is responsible for it. Nespresso could not afford bad publicity, and it was necessary to act rapidly, in order to maintain its reputation in Israel, and prevent the crisis from breaking out in other territories. Nespresso had to use the refutation strategy which was obviously the most suitable because of the fact that the company had no real responsibility in this case knowing that the crisis was due to false information. Nespresso had the means to support very impressive press releases in order to make people understand that they would never betray their trust, and thereby attract new customers. They could affirm that the coffee had a very high quality because there is was no lactose used in its production. This release would surely, increase the confidence regarding the brand, especially if the company were to use the services of a local cabinet affiliated to Jewish Council of Israel. Also this provides the best opportunity to communicate on the quality of the coffee, thus profiting from the free publicity that would be achieved by appearing in the press. The attention of the public would be at its best level and the brand would thus be able to reinforce its foundations. This is an easy solution to the problem, but it did not appear so at that time. Nespresso must therefore learn from that crisis, and prepare itself to any further crisis by creating a special entity in the company that would be in charge of resolving those problems before they become serious crises, surfing the web to identify and counter attack any bad information concerning the company.

[...] The Internet is available anywhere in the world, and in a few weeks the problem will spread on the entire country then the world by communication between families and friends or on the phone or Internet. In another few weeks, the press will also begin communication on that the subject. Who are the enemies? In a way, Nespresso is a company that the media already talk about, especially because its innovation, quality and the money invested in the project, and we must be careful to retain the right image. [...]

[...] After a company-release in the same year, the business of restaurants decreased by compared to the figures at the beginning of the crisis. Nespresso's case does not look as difficult as that of Buffalo Grill, but was complicated as it was not possible to interfere with religion in such a country. The consequences could be high too. We need to clearly identify the problem, and to put the different methods of redressal on the table in order to know how to react, because as said above, we cannot improvise the solution. [...]

[...] This is when the company needs to enter in a crisis communication process, a concept that we cannot improvise but must correctly integrate. This problem should not be considered as a light one, taking a lesson from the case of the company Buffalo Grill in France. At the end of 2002, following the tip-off of an ex-employee of the company to gendarmes, Buffalo Grill was suspected of importing of meat from Great Britain after the embargo of 1996 linked to the mad cow case. [...]

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