I heard about Gaggia espresso coffee machines for the first time about three years ago, when I was sipping my morning coffee in Florence and thinking how beautiful Cupola del Brunelleschi looked in the sun. The sunshine and smiles of people passing by created a wonderful spring atmosphere in Florence. On top of that, the coffee I was drinking was superb. I had a chat with the owner of the coffee shop, telling him how much I'd like to have the same coffee at home, and he revealed his big secret to me: apart from buying the best coffee beans, you gotta make your coffee in Gaggia machines. Naturally, he had one of those in his pasticceria as well.
Although I do try to buy best quality coffee, I never bought myself a Gaggia. The question is not really the price – although automatic machines can cost up to 1000 Euros, you can get a traditional one for around 200 Euros. The thing is, I simply forgot about Gaggia, and nobody had reminded me about it after that trip to Florence, until a friend of mine proudly demonstrated a new shiny Gaggia in her kitchen the other day. She bought it following her friend's recommendation.
With little cash spent on advertising, Gaggia relies mainly on word-of-mouth marketing to support sales of its coffee machines. This includes word-of-mouth on the web: Gaggia is recommended and reviewed on a large number of coffee-related Internet forums. Consumer-generated Gaggia YouTube videos and related blog posts are abundant. A social media paradise for a marketer!
The question is, of course, whether Gaggia is doing anything with this buzz. If the company wants to stay on top of competition and sustain the strong brand, it should consider capturing value. Luckily, there are definitely many ways to do this.