The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Retail experience – Nespresso does an Apple

Today I was under instructions to purchase a new coffee machine. My dear wife was away for a few days and comes back this weekend. She noted there is a new Nespresso store on Yorkville so, innocently, off I went.

Not sure what I was expecting but probably something close to a small Starbucks. Was I surprised.

This location used to be a movie theatre and first off is cavernous. At the door I was greeted by a young lady who asked if I was going to the boutique or the bar and could she book me a seat. Bear in mind I came to buy a coffee maker. Wasn’t sure how to answer that one.


Half an hour and an excellent cup of coffee later, I was fully up to date on latest model, which coffee to buy and headed off fully impressed. What was that?

I felt I’d just been Apple’d and wasn’t expecting that:





  • product selection which I’d understood from their website was simple clear and not complicated by options and that was the case
  • only option is colour (sound familiar)
  • all very high tech. No reference to bar codes. The machine knows by the coffee you insert whether it’s express, cappuccino, regular etc. Place coffee in and press go
  • the well dressed people working there never tried to sell me. Just asked questions and offered me coffee etc.
  • before leaving I sat at the bar to finish off my coffee and looked around. The Yorkvilletti were out in force and turns out they do lunch here too
  • and all this is taking place in an environment that is befitting Yorkville and no doubt 5th Avenue and Ginza.

This was all about experience. The experience is designed to be compelling, supported by technology that is beautiful and just works. It’s a great combination of product, experience and function. And at the end of the day you get a decent coffee maker that’s on a similar price range to an upper end Cuisinart or the likes.

This is experience marketing and a company that has definitely learned from the Apple playbook.


Relevance to Bankwatch:

I hate to pick on my old alma mater bank that just redesigned in First Canadian Place. They’ve moved the desks around and have given the staff iPads. I know it’s not finished yet and eventually from the pictures will have large screen tv’s everywhere. But I’m not getting a sense of ‘experience’ banking. I’m getting a sense of trying to be cool. Carrying an iPad is not cool. Accessing, creating, and reading faster and more efficiently than anyone else, with no fuss from anywhere is cool, just as I am able to write this post on my iPhone.

I hear the argument that branches remain essential, just less of them. Some suggest a reduction from 1 per 10/20k population to 1 per 250k population.

I still ask why and what? We know we shouldn’t require transaction type branches but it’s too simplistic an argument to suggest the new type should be sales centres. Sounds like force feeding.

I bought my coffee maker today but I wasn’t being sold.

Written by Colin Henderson

May 17, 2014 at 16:29

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. There’s certainly a great deal to find out about this topic.
    I like all of the points you’ve made.


    June 24, 2014 at 08:30

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