Your brand is your company’s identity. The identity of your business is represented by the branding and packaging design that you make. Look at Tetley tea and Pukka Tea. They both sell tea right? But you wouldn’t say that their brands, their personality and their identi-tea was similar. The purpose of having this solid brand identity is so that your brand can appeal to certain buyers more than others. And no, that doesn’t limit the amount of potential customers, it means that you are having a more positive impact on the right group of customers. Put it this way, Pukka tea isn’t branding itself to your average tea drinker, in offices or workplaces, but to home herbal tea drinkers. However, they will still get average tea drinker customers even though their brand reflects the values of herbal tea drinkers.
Branding starts with understanding your brand and your customers. There is so much variety when it comes to drinking tea. Think of all the different kinds of tea, served and brewed differently, for different occasions. Identifying your tea brand’s key personality traits, qualities and ideal customers is essential to building your own tea company. So ask yourself:
What kind of tea is it?
Do you have one blend of tea or do you offer a range? If you have multiple varieties then you’re going to have to distinguish between this in your branding and packaging, whilst keeping a consistent brand identity. This could be done through colour coding your packaging, labelling your packaging or having alternate symbols for each variety.
How are people drinking it?
Is it iced or hot? Do you brew it in a mug, a Keurig machine, a loose tea infuser or in a jug?
When are people drinking it?
Do you imagine your ideal customer drinking it on a rainy day under a blanket, in an artisan tea shop, or with some friends with a biscuit?
Where do people buy it?
Are you aiming for stores and supermarkets, or farm shops and high quality gift shops? Customers will expect different packaging and visual experiences when shopping in these different places. Branding for mass consumers is going to be different from branding for artisanal brands.
Who is going to buy it?
Tea consumers can get pretty loyal towards their favourite blend of tea. Once they find one that fits, and reflects them, it’s difficult to persuade them to try something new. For the tea industry, often new flavours or concepts are a great way of accessing a new group of customers. That way you aren’t competing directly with companies with an unwavering loyal fan base. But at the end of the day, creating a strong brand and packaging that guarantees customers what they want is going to gain more interest. Are the people who are drinking your tea going to be someone who likes to adventure with tea flavours, or someone who likes a tea that works for them that they drink every day?
Who are you?
Question your brand and ask yourself what is the purpose, the aim of your brand. Is it to provide a high quality and authentic Japanese matcha tea blend that can be experienced easily at home? What are the personality traits of your brand and what do you value as a brand. Using the same example, you could say you are experts, and you value authenticity and simplification. Now this is where knowing what your ideal customer looks like will help define your brand values. You want your brand values to match those of your ideal customer, so you have something in common that will create an authentic connection with them.
Time for the design
The purpose of creating a visual identity is to reflect the brand values and personality that you have just identified. Brand assets such as colour palette, logo and fonts all help express your brand visually. We have mentioned how your brand assets can represent a feeling and personality trait before.
Logos are important to sum up our brand in a recognisable way, you don’t want to overcomplicate this, and you want to be able to recreate this on all your branding, it is the core to your identity.
Your colour palette and brand fonts should be chosen carefully to represent your values. For example our Japanese matcha tea brand might use a light green and pink colour palette, as this can easily be associated with the matcha colour and the pink cherry blossom of Japan. Both of these colours can easily be associated with the tea blend and the authentic matcha taste the brand prides itself on. A simple serif font will be used to show it is not only authentic, but a simple and easy to understand version for their customers.
Branding all boils down to consistency. Once you have created your brand assets, you want to use these consistently across all your marketing platforms. From your social media or website to print marketing and packaging. Having a consistent and solid brand identity will make customers see your brand as professional and trustworthy – the key traits needed to try a new product. Speaking about packaging – tea is a tangible product. Your packaging should be a top priority when it comes to branding. Customers are first introduced to your brand when they see the packaging, so you want your brand, and your brand assets to be shown on the outside. Whether it’s loose bagged tea bags or bottled, these can all create different and unique perceptions from the customer.
If you’re ready to share your delicious new tea, a brand strategy that resonates with your drinkers is going to get you out there. You want to show what you’re offering, to whom and why your tea is unique (compared to your competitors). Take the next step by doing the groundwork and creating cohesive visuals that reflect your brand to a T-ea.