Social Media Week London
Nescafé: Coffee And Conversations

“Wake up and smell the coffee” wasn’t actually the title of the talk from Peter Blackshaw, Global Head of Digital & Social Media at Nestlé, Michael Chrisment, Head of Global Integrated Marketing at Nescafé and Armand Khatri, Brand Strategist at Tumblr, but it certainly should have been. In an unprecedented move that bids to change the digital marketing landscape, Nescafé has become the first global brand to dump traditional websites and move its entire global and local web presence – all 60 markets – to Tumblr. 


Fueled by the desire to engage and build stronger relationships with a creative, mobile, millennial audiences on their own turf, the move allows Nescafé and their fans to share images, videos, GIFs and other coffee-related content uploaded by the passionately coffee-loving Tumblr community (and there’s a whole lot of that content: coffee dominates one of the top 5 food conversations). “Coffee and conversations,” says Peter, “have a symbiotic relationship, and you want a platform that supports that.” Nescafé felt that the traditional .com did not always embrace consumer demands and hence customer experience was not always optimised. The Tumblr platform, on the other hand, gives the brand the flexibility and agility to be always on and always in the moment.

Also important, Peter explains, is that Tumblr enables Nescafé to collect followers organically and, as it does so, expand its reach. The end result is followers who have access to 100% of Nescafé’s content and become a real and valuable part of the conversation. 


Was it difficult to convince marketing peers to make the switch? No. “This isn’t a substitute for brand owned databases or customer services.”, says Michael. “It’s the digital home for coffee.” As a result, the move wasn’t seen as challenging or high-risk. After all, owned media is critical because consumers need to be taken somewhere. Tumblr strikes an excellent balance between static, traditional website functionality and amplified, flexible functions that are specific to the platform and more and more people are starting to learn about the native engagements it offers.

It’s a seriously smart move (or rebirth, as Nescafé refer to it). Will it work? Time will tell but the evidence so far is encouraging. Platforms like Google reward content that is mobile friendly and 60% of traffic is coming from mobile devices. We suggest you sit back, have a coffee and watch this space…

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