Case Study

Nespresso: How to protect your brand from social media attacks

10 pages
December 2016
Reference: IMD-7-1772

Solidar Switzerland a Non-Government Organisation, originally created in 1936 under the name of Swiss Labour Assistance SLA launched in September 2011 a campaign against Nestlé Nespresso. A viral video, named „Fair Trade – What else?“ (, was initially launched on their web page with the objective to raise awareness of social inequality of coffee farmers in South America and to raise awareness of Fair Trade and influence the buying behaviour of the Swiss population. Solidar asked their supporters to boost their campaign against Nespresso through a viral effect. This case explains what happened after, how Nespresso protected their brand and why Solidar chose Nespresso as a target. A fast reacting crisis management was key for Nespresso to gain control of the situation. The power of social media should never be underestimated and part of this case provides ideas and insight on how to respond on social media attacks. Further, this case explains the sustainability journey of Nespresso and share the learning of the organization which is also partly driven by this incident. This paper also contains a role play which helps to strengthen the crisis management and leadership skills.

Learning Objective

The case could be discussed as an example for: crisis management, management of reputational risk, leadership – negotiation, sustainability, brand management in particular social media management and communication strategy.

Brand Management, Social Media, Crisis Management, Stakeholder Management, Nespresso (Brand)
World/global, Switzerland
Nespresso, Consumer Goods, Coffee, Consumer Goods, Food and Beverage
Field Research
© 2016
Available Languages
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Teaching note
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