Ad agency DiMassimo Goldstein (DIGO Brands) CEO Mark DiMassimo said Lavazza's advertising plan could work for them. He said that when entering a market, brands can take different strategies. One way is try to get in front of as many consumers as possible using high-profile events.
While it will get your brand out there, he warned the tactic has some downsides. DiMassimo said that while Starbucks is known to everybody, it's only established itself as one level up from brands such as Dunkin' Donuts by its mass market approach.
"What lifestyle marketers have found is, it's very hard to move in perception in the middle-of-the-road market," he said.
The other path, which Lavazza seems to have taken, is to align itself with high-end events and products to create an aura of eliteness. Ben Hordell, founding partner of digital marketing agency DXagency, said that when consumers look at the grocery shelf, he said they're choosing Starbucks because of name recognition. But, you won't see the growing number of U.S. coffee enthusiasts "trumpeting the quality of Starbucks," he said. (Starbucks did not respond to a request for comment.)
Lavazza's coming from Italy automatically gives it a branding boost from being associated with a country known for quality coffee, he said.
"Coffee has become on the same lines as wine and beer," he said. "People are becoming coffee snobs. It's about good coffee, and it's about the roasts and origins."
By becoming the product of choice for affluent influencers, DiMassimo said Lavazza makes the average consumer who aspires to live that lifestyle want that brand. That said, he believes there's plenty of space for a new brand to make itself known as the coffee for the connoisseur.
"People care a lot more about lifestyle and experiences, and they'll spend more for a unique experience," DiMassimo said. "A little reward like a better coffee is a little way they can reward themselves every day."