How Nathan likes his coffee


A couple of weeks into our new life with 15m in Østerdalsgata we decided that we needed a coffee machine in the studio. We settled for a Nespresso Essenza that arrived on our doorstep a few days later.

Like children at Christmas, we expectantly tore of the packaging to find a funky small coffee machine - and no coffee! Nestlé Nespresso had not bothered to include a single one of the required coffee capsules in the package. This got us thinking about experience design in general and other famous coffee experiences.

Nathan Shedroff is a great inspiration to us here at 15m. In the book "Making Meaning" (co-written with Steve Diller and Darrel Rhea) he talks about how innovation and consumer demands have changed from a pure product focus (with functional and economical benefits) over to having a brand focus (with emotional and identity benefits) and how the current focus is on experience - where the benefits of and differentiators between products are related to experience and meaningfulness.

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Nespresso is a good example of a platform for (coffee) experience: It is a complete system, with coffee machines, capsules and accessories. It is delivered through several different touch points - online, phone services and (for some products like the machines) even stores. Although Nespresso seem to have an idea of the value of delivering a complete system, they do not deliver it as a complete experience, and to us at 15m this became a fragmented and confusing experience (even though the coffee itself is great!).

Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse in the world and have managed to build a successful brand on their coffee experience. Mr. Shedroff uses Starbucks as one of his prime examples of successful experience design, and we imagine he, like us here at 15m, enjoys a carefully designed experience!

More on coffee and experience design:

PS: Nathan Shedroff has pointed out to us that he actually does not drink coffee - "Just tea, I'm afraid - preferably Earl Gray"