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. [...]
[...] The company could use press release to disseminate communication refuting the allegations made regarding the coffees, and with the help of focused marketing, the communication could be concentrated on the quality of the capsule, stressing that there is nothing more than authentic fresh coffee in it. To prevent this kind of crisis, the company had to create a crisis cell composed of no more than 15 people, who were in charge of checking the Internet for 90% of the time, and the other media for 10%. [...]
[...] - To explain its incomprehension of what happened: If the company does not know the reasons for the origin of the situation which is relevant for Nespresso, it could communicate the impression that the company does not use any milk in the production of the capsules, and that there is no reason to worry. If milk had been used, Nespresso would have communicated it before-hand. - To enlarge the responsibility to external actors such as regulation authorities or local specialists: Nespresso could pass the responsibility to the authorities, stressing the fact that if only products with no kosher milk are sold on the territory then authorization given to Nespresso to operate may have to come from the authorities. [...]
[...] This is important to use this strategy with care, because as what is said in the communication must true, as any discovery of falsehood or blur could make the company lose its credibility for a long time. Indeed, confidence is very hard to get, but easy to lose. The suitable application to Nespresso The company must communicate, because this case is not a usual one. Indeed Nespresso is victim of false information that does not come from the company itself. [...]
using our reader.