Giuseppe Lavazza on the brand’s Australian strategy
In September 2015, global coffee brand Lavazza transitioned to a wholly-owned business in Australia.
This year saw it celebrate its first partnership with the Australian Open, making it the only beverage brand to sponsor all four tennis grand slams.
Marketing spoke with Giuseppe Lavazza, vice chairman, about the partnership, and the company’s approach in the Australian market.
Marketing: This is the first year for Lavazza at the Australian Open – what does that mean for the global plans for Lavazza?
Giuseppe Lavazza: Its a combination of two things.
First of all, the fact that Australia is a priority market for Lavazza. It’s considered one of our strategic markets. The brand, the company, would love to grow quite a lot.
We took over from our former distributor, who worked for Lavazza for many years. Australia is considered one of our most important countries for our international development.
Second is that we are very active in tennis sponsorship. We were already in three major grand slams, we just missed this one.
All these things put together make this investment, the sponsorship make sense.
M: Is Asia a big part of that?
GL: Not really. We are very interested in Australia. Asia is not one of our main priorities.
The five countries we’re interested in – except Italy of course – are the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia.
In Asia we have a bunch of markets where we are active through distributors that are important, but are not in the top five.
M: Is Australia a very competitive market? Melbourne especially, has a reputation for loving coffee, it’s very particular. Does that make it easier or harder?
GL: It is a very competitive market. In Australia you have a lot of independent roasters that have popped up in the last five years.
It’s a very competitive market with a strong, growing culture around coffee. Very unique, quite independent.
But at the same time it is a market where the real coffee, good coffee is having tremendous success. This is why we believe Australia, potentially, is one of the most interesting areas for a company that is mainly focussed on a product like coffee.
M: In Italy, the Lavazza brand is everywhere. Do you take a similar approach in Australia as you do in other markets, or how do you change it?
GL: We try to adapt our approach to the features of a single market. This market is a market very different from America, very different from Europe, different from some European countries, so we try to adapt other strategy to become closer to the local needs.
We are respecting the local culture. We wanted to offer a product that is easy to understand, and we want to be sure that people love it.