The Nescafé Gold Blend story, which we focus on in this case, shows how Nestlé made sure the product was positioned to meet the needs of the most appropriate audience for the product. In the late 1980s, Nestlé briefed the advertising agency McCann-Erickson to produce creative new ideas to ensure that the product appealed to a wider audience. Advertising agencies provide the expertise needed by organisations when communicating their products.
Gold Blend was launched by Nestlé in the mid sixties. It used the new freeze dried technology to provide a smoother, richer taste and was sold at a price premium to Nescafé of around 25 It reached a peak brand share of 7.8in 1969, but thereafter drifted away slightly until the mid 1980s when the share was around 6.5. Up to 1987, advertising had concentrated on the product itself using the mnemonic of a gold bean to suggest product superiority - 'Nothing is as good as gold....Gold Blend'.
The problem was that, although Nescafé Gold Blend performed well as a product and was seen as upmarket and high quality, it was not accessible for the bulk of coffee buyers. The product message was only interesting to a minority of upmarket coffee drinkers. The brand's appeal was therefore limited. However, given the broad acceptability of the product, McCann-Erickson believed that a great opportunity existed. For many people in this country, coffee drinking has become an accepted and regular part of life. Coffee is also seen as something of a luxury - people don't want to drink just any coffee, they want to drink the sort of coffee that makes them feel good about themselves. During the 1980s and 1990s, rising living standards have meant that increasing numbers of consumers are willing to spend more on their purchases. It was therefore decided to create advertising which, through its popular appeal, would make the brand more accessible to the mass market while still maintaining its quality, upmarket image and premium positioning.