LBS marketer's Nespresso case scoops top prize

Nader Tavassoli wins Case Centre Award

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A London Business School marketing expert is among three academics to receive The Case Centre Award 2017 for the best strategy and general management case study.

Nader Tavassoli, Professor of Marketing at London Business School, scooped the prize for best strategy and general management case, with a case study based on Nespresso. The case was co-authored by Jamie Anderson, Adjunct Professor of Strategic Management, Antwerp Management School, and Independent Research Associate, Mark Collins.

Professor Tavassoli said: “Almost everyone has some experience with Nespresso as a brand and a product. This adds to the flavour of the discussion within the classroom. And it’s a fascinating story and we are delighted to receive The Case Centre Award.”

A rich case
Although Nestlé as a company was unable to prevent ‘copycats’ from entering the market that it created, Nespresso’s management have actually been very effective in sustaining the firm’s competitive advantage.

The winning case focuses on 2012, a moment in the iconic coffee brand’s history when many of its patents were set to expire, and a recent legal case against one generic coffee capsule maker had already gone against Nestlé. Its competitors were lining up to undercut the Nespresso capsules with well-established, lower-cost alternatives.

The case explores the challenge that faced Nespresso’s CEO Richard Girardot: how to both defend and grow the Nespresso franchise, evolving the business model while fighting off ‘copycat’ brands.

The Case Centre is dedicated to advancing the case method worldwide, sharing knowledge, wisdom and experience to inspire and transform business education across the globe. It holds the world’s largest and most diverse collection of management cases, articles, book chapters and teaching materials, including the collections of leading business schools across the globe.

For the past 23 years, Professor Tavassoli has advised and taught executives from internet and high-tech start-ups to more than 30 Global Fortune 500 companies. He has been non-executive chairman of The Brand Inside – “inspiring brand-led change” – since 2006.