Appropriate to Milano and all of Italia, I was greeted with a "Caffè?". An acclimation ritual of sorts. All cultures have lubricants disguised as greetings. Having lived in London, I eased effortlessly into the "cuppa tea?" tradition. And coming from the Starbucks obsessed hustle of New York City, the obligatory coffee was already superimposed in my daily psyche. In Sicily I watched even non coffee drinkers indulge happily in Espresso's, but in Milano I was offered a "Nespresso?" (http://www.nespresso.com/)!
What we see in American is a one-sided representation of "corporate" branding. Because of the scale and fragmented demographic data, America is keen to "dumb down". Lifestyle marketing is something that I thrived on, but I was always aware that what I did professionally, for brands, was meant to offset much larger strategies; to correlate brands with subcultures and emerging trends in order to deter the consumer from the larger media buys, and ultimately provide "cool factor" to a select group of influencers and not the mass consumer. The message was intended to "bubble up" as opposed to "trickle down".
In Europe, corporate brands have more tiers to their products. Exclusive lines if you will. I was surprised that my Nesspresso was Nestle branded...until I saw the packaging and focused offerings!
This is not my childhood cookie dough or cereal brand. This was Milan and I was being given not only choice of blends and uber packaging, but it it was being co-signed by my style conscious and coffee obsessed friends. Although they only drink theirs "short" and of the strongest blend "Nestretto", I was given choice...