Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Extending the Illy Coffee Brand

I'm a big fan of Illy coffee, the high end line of espresso coffee from Italy. I discovered it at Whole Foods market, and I'm willing to pay a premium for this very good coffee. Now, I read in Fast Company that Illy is coming out with a new product line... canned coffee beverages. The article reviews the new products, and asks the question: "Is it premium enough?" That certainly seems like a relevant question. One has to wonder whether Illy risks damaging their brand with this product line introduction. Will the firm's quality image suffer at all? We certainly have seen this story before with Starbucks' expansion efforts. It will be interesting to watch consumers' reactions to Illy's growth plans. Of course, this product launch also directly threatens Starbucks' own canned coffee business. The battle is on.

3 comments:

cv said...

Michael,

This may sound a little crazy, but I think that one thing Illy has going for it in terms of their extension into canned coffee beverages is ... Illy's expertise in *cans*.

There is something special about Illy's cans for their loose coffee (the canisters with the lovely screw-back-on lids) as well as the rectangles for their espresso in pods. Their cans have a very unique tactile/haptic "feel" as well as sound, that helps to communicate the 'je ne sais quoi' of their brand.

If they can translate any of this into their beverage cans, it will give coffee fanatics (rather obviously, folks like me) a reason to *prefer* Illy canned beverages over those of Starbucks.

This is one of those situations where their uncelebrated yet core competency might be a strategic advantage for connecting with consumers.

cvh

Michael Roberto said...

Great point... I had never thought of that issue, but it is true that they have terrific packaging.

Affordable Luxurious Wedding Dress Blog said...

cheap wedding gowns,
discount bridal gowns,
China wedding dresses,
discount designer wedding dresses,
China wedding online store,
plus size wedding dresses,
cheap informal wedding dresses,
junior bridesmaid dresses,
cheap bridesmaid dresses,
maternity bridesmaid dresses,
discount flower girl gowns,
cheap prom dresses,
party dresses,
evening dresses,
mother of the bride dresses,
special occasion dresses,
cheap quinceanera dresses,
hot red wedding dresses