How NESCAFE Went From Brand To Friend On CampusIn Trends
Tapping into the spending power of South Africa’s youth market isn’t as easy as popping up a stand on campus. Relationship building is a crucial ability brands need to develop to truly stay atop of the youth market’s minds, as winning their hearts is the only way to their wallets. This week we look at how NESCAFE has set the benchmark for other brands with the “#ItAllStarts” campaign, becoming once, twice, three times a hit with students and why it continues to be a major attraction on campus.
- 1. Connecting
With some students being new to campus and few opportunities being created to make new friends, NESCAFE came up with the mechanic to set up a Connect Café on campus where students can meet, connect and get to know each other, while interacting with the brand. As part of the activation, students got to leave encouraging messages on NESCAFE branded mugs, which was then shared with other campuses. Students left their social media handles on the mugs so other students could interact with them.
Following on this interaction, the campaign’s success on social media has taught us that Afrillennials (African Millennials) are always keen to connect and build new relationships. Furthermore, instead of coming to campus to hand out free samples of coffee, NESCAFE took it a step further by allowing students to log onto the “speed dating” inspired Connect Café app where they could interact with students from their campus and other campuses.
How NESCAFE won: While students may really enjoy free samples, NESCAFE has brought in a crucial interactive element where students have an opportunity to chat to other students through the Connect Café app, whilst the real connections could happen face to face at the Connect Cafe on the ground. This could potentially lead to life-long relationships between the students and more importantly with the brand.
- 2. Attention
Students really appreciate a good cup of coffee to help them stay awake while studying, but knowing about NESCAFE’s brand and getting free coffee on campus wouldn’t be enough reason to get students to the activation space, or build a loyal following.
NESCAFE’s Connect Cafe had to create an attractive space for students with the right atmosphere and a distinctive NESCAFE premium styled look. The brand set the scene for connection with beautiful furniture and an inviting crew, which immediately grabbed students’ attention, making them curious about the activation.
How NESCAFE won: Whilst standing out attracted students’ attention, the whole experience was memorable. Upon going back to the different campuses with the same stand, the Connect Café team reported to have been received well by students who now consider NESCAFE a part of their campus family. Score!
- 3. Continuity
Keeping the momentum going is an issue many brands face, once they’ve created a great experience on campus. Using the same mechanics over and over, or making drastic changes to a campaign can be counter-productive and make students lose interest. NESCAFE managed to get the right balance with the Connect Cafe, where the stand and mechanics remained consistent, with a few subtle changes as the campaign grew. As a result, students stayed entertained and continued to make the #ItAllStarts campaign trend by sharing their Connect Cafe experiences on social media. Throughout the NESCAFE campus interactions, “connecting” was the operative word and the brand created experiences that drove student interaction with the brand always in the mix.
How NESCAFE won: One word – Continuity! NESCAFE managed to take the same concept to different campuses over three years, adding minor changes every time. Students now recognize the brand on campus and always look forward to the exciting changes that NESCAFE has in store. The brand’s consistency has made it much easier for the activation to hit the ground running and spur on talkability around the brand.
Magic In A cup:
Nescafe’s example shows that the only way to stay abreast of the competition is to have an ongoing, intimate, two-way conversation with the youth market and that it takes more than a few free samples. Marketers have the opportunity to be proactive, listen, connect and create campaigns that keep the youth coming back for more. If you are struggling to make the kind of magic that lasts, reach out to Student Village’s youth market experts for your next campaign on 011 885 3918 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.