Nestlé, one of the giants of the food industry, is trying hard to present a human face to its operations and products, and its latest move has been to convert its Nescafé.com website into a Tumblr blog. In announcing the news, Nescafé's marketing chief Michael Chrisment said that "the dotcom is reflection of us talking to people; this approach is dead. It should be much more inclusive and allow conversations." The new approach from the maker of the world's most ubiquitous instant coffee will be to move all of its international and local websites to the Tumblr platform, "with the aim of building stronger relationships with younger consumers."
Nescafé wants you to do its hype work
At present, Nescafé.com plays host to a wincingly earnest collection of visual puns and feel-good images designed to promote the company's coffee, however the hope is that, over time, it will be the brand's fans that populate its content grid. Switching over to Tumblr allows Nescafé to more easily collate all the positive mentions of its brand and beverages, and then push them out for further promotion or dispersal into other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
This marks a shift in emphasis from formal, direct marketing to the informal, casual endorsements of regular users. Nestlé is using Nescafé as its test to find out whether social marketing can now be treated as the core method for brand promotion rather than just an augmentation to traditional forms. Depending on the outcome of this new undertaking, says Chrisment, the allocation of marketing budgets may be adjusted and lessons learned could potentially extend beyond social media to more established platforms like TV, radio, and print.