For illycaffè CEO, Massimiliano Pogliani, a brand’s values are as important as its products. “You cannot make a good product if you are not a good company,” he stressed at Adobe Summit EMEA this year, adding that this focus on values also extends to illycaffè’s creative approach. “Aesthetics must still be married with ethics,” he said, “Otherwise, what you are doing is just cosmetic”.
This thinking has set his company apart throughout its 85-year history. illycaffè has built a global following over the years for both the quality of its coffee and for its creative flair as a brand, but it remains a family-owned business with strong values. It is the only major coffee producer to buy beans directly from coffee growers, and still favours a brand-first strategy that puts customer loyalty above all else.
Despite staying true to its routes, illycaffè is constantly reinventing itself, most recently embarking on a major digital transformation programme in partnership with Adobe and Accenture. illycaffè’s ambition is to extend its brand and community across channels, so customers can enjoy a perfect coffee at home, in the street, or in one of its cafes.
More specifically, illycaffè has three aims for its transformation:
1. Attract more customers through digital channels
This will help illycaffè to strengthen its existing relationships and build new ones as it expands into global markets.
2. Build a robust online sales channel
illycaffè’s websites will become an ‘Experience Hub’, where coffee lovers can immerse themselves in the illy brand and feel they are part of a broader community.
3. Improve content velocity
A more efficient approach to content means illycaffè can roll out new customer experiences more quickly. Using a core framework to simplify the process, illycaffè is now re-platforming its websites globally to deliver the perfect blend of storytelling and digital convenience.
Behind illycaffè’s approach to digital content are a new content management system and digital asset management solution, which allow the brand to deliver more personalised experiences and new forms of customer interactions. For instance, customers can now use voice-based commands to browse and interact with recipes on the company’s mobile app.
The coffeemaker is complementing its new digital experiences with advanced analytics behind the scenes, helping it to improve its level of customer understanding. By connecting the dots between its digital channels, illycaffè will gain deeper insight into how best to serve its audience and can adapt its digital offering in real-time to respond to their ever-evolving needs.
This is crucial for Pogliani, who believes getting digital right is about listening to customers and taking their feedback on board. illycaffè continues to grow and punch above its weight – it just announced plans to open 200 new cafés in the US over the next five years – while its commitment to connection and community is as strong as ever. illycaffè’s values have always distinguished it from the competition, and even as it finds new ways to delight coffee lovers around the world, staying true to its brand both offline and online will continue to be the backbone of its success.
Learn more about delivering personalised, content-led experiences here.