The case describes the launch of a commemorative Nescafé Classic coffee tin to mark the 75th anniversary of the brand. Despite positive feedback on the launch idea from all internal and external stakeholders, the launch completely fails in the market. The A case explores the events leading up to the launch as well as its immediate aftermath. There is significant pressure to move the tins from unhappy trade customers and frustrated Nestlé warehouse managers. The case protagonist must decide what to do to transform the launch into a success. The B case describes efforts to sell the commemorative tins, most of which were unsuccessful. The case then concludes with the challenge of what to do next to move the hundreds of thousands of remaining units.
The case illustrates the danger of developing blindspots. The case protagonist’s team developed the idea of the commemorative tins, which was widely supported. Nestlé marketing, senior management, production, and supply chain managers all liked the idea, as did trade customers. Previous success with similar concepts bolstered the feeling that the idea would be successful. All these factors created a blindspot around the project, to the extent that shortcuts were made around consumer insight. In retrospect, even cursory consumer testing would likely have uncovered deep problems with the tin. To this day, the case protagonist keeps a tin on his desk to remind him not to forget the consumer, and to avoid blindspots.
Nestlé, Consumer Goods, Food and Beverage
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