By Claire Reilly

Last month, Electrolux announced the impending launch of a capsule coffee machine – produced in association with Lavazza – known as Lavazza A Modo Mio by Electrolux. The machine has hit stores, and already the battle lines are being drawn with the dominant brand in capsule coffee, Nespresso.

At the glossy seven-level Myer store in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall, both brands were putting on their best face with live demonstrations and free cups of coffee for passersby. While Nespresso was certainly a recognisable brand for many store-goers, Electrolux was certainly generating some caffeine buzz of its own.

At the store entrance on Bourke Street, alongside Myer employees who were handing out “last minute Mother’s Day gift ideas” catalogues, promotional staff in Lavazza aprons were handing out free capsules of Lavazza A Modo Mio coffee and inviting consumers to walk up to level five to claim their free cup.

When Current popped upstairs to take a look, Electrolux and Lavazza’s stand was closest to the escalators, and was catching consumers before they headed to the Nespresso stand. This reporter saw a decent group of patrons around both stands, eager to try out the coffee and find out how the machines worked.

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The live demonstration did more to sell the new Electrolux products than any passive signage could do, and it was a great lesson in successful salesmanship: an energetic rep who knew his products, knew how to engage the consumer and knew about a good up-sell – making sure to mention the milk frother bundled with all machines and the cash-back offer available on machines.

No doubt there will be plenty of demonstrations just like this one playing out in retail stores all over the country in the lead up to Mother’s Day. Retailers are still clearly eager to appeal to consumers by following that old sales rule: let the product do the talking.

The Electrolux/Lavazza and Nespresso stands in Myer's Bourke Street Mall store.

A Lavazza rep gives consumers a demonstration of the new Lavazza A Modo Mio by Electrolux machines.

Nespresso was showing off its new machine – the Maestria.