If you’re a tea entrepreneur, you probably already know how important your tea packaging is. After all, it’s the first introduction customers have to your brand!
You could have the most high-quality and remarkable tea in the world, you could have a passionate team that makes your products with precision and care… but if you don’t have a brand strategy in place along with memorable visual designs, your ideal customers won’t be able to find you.
To take the first steps in crafting your tea brand, grab your copy of our free branding workbook for wellness businesses here:
Here are five tea packaging, branding, and marketing tips to help you attract more customers and grow your business.
1. Identify your ideal customer
In order to be successful, your tea brand needs to create a highly-specific ideal customer persona.
If you try to target your tea packaging, website, and social media content to “everyone who likes tea,” you will quickly discover that you are casting too wide of a net. If you try to target everyone, you end up targeting no one.
Instead, think about one target person who would enjoy your product the most. Are they obsessed with tea? Have they traveled the world checking out different tea varieties? Do they know the ideal temperature to steep each type of tea? If so, they probably want to see details on your packaging about where your ingredients are sourced or why your tea is high-quality.
Or is your ideal client someone who doesn’t know tea very well and typically grabs whatever grocery store brand is available? In that case, you could focus on bright vibrant colors to catch their attention.
The lifestyle of your ideal customer will determine your tea packaging as well. If they have a hectic on-the-go lifestyle where they prefer things packaged for convenience, loose-leaf tea may not be the most appealing option for them.
You can download our Ideal Client Blueprint here to learn exactly how to find your target and attract them through your content and visual designs.
2. Set your brand apart
Your customers could easily buy the cheap generic grocery store brand of tea. They could also buy from any of your competitors. And unless you position your tea brand so customers understand what makes you special at first glance – they will.
To set yourself apart from the competition, you first need to understand who your true competitors are. If you’re just starting out and are currently being sold in hyper-local grocery stores and farmers markets, Teavana and Tazo and Celestial Seasonings are not your main competitors. These companies are long past the startup stage and on a completely different level.
Instead, look at tea brands that have been in business about the same amount of time as you have. Are there any local competitors in your area that are at about your same revenue level? What about online?
As your business grows, you can eventually compete against the big names – but for now, you will see the best results if you focus on standing out from your immediate competitors.
Once you have identified 2-3 true competitors, browse through their websites and social media accounts. What type of voice does their written content use? Do their posts feel refreshing, serene, uplifting, or something else? What types of imagery, colors, fonts, and themes do you see in their brands?
Take the time to really understand their branding, and once you have a clear picture, think about how your tea brand can stand out from your closest competitors.
If they use soft colors and peaceful imagery, maybe you could use bright and energizing colors. If they don’t use video testimonials as a marketing strategy, you can fill that gap and use video to connect with your audience.
Learn the step-by-step process of how to identify your true competitors in the Brand Clarity online course.
3. Create visuals that stand out
The first thing anyone will notice on your tea packaging, website, and social media posts is your visual brand identity. The colors, shapes, fonts, logo, and the overall feel of your brand will influence how your ideal customers feel when discovering or interacting with your tea.
This is great news because all of these visual elements are within your control! Here are some basic visual branding guidelines for tea businesses:
The fonts you use in your tea brand make a bigger difference than you might realize! Find the 10 best fonts for wellness brands (along with exclusive font pairings) in our guide here.
The individual tea flavors in your collection will likely have different colors from each other. For example, a performance-boosting tea for athletes should not visually look the same as a stress-relieving tea for new moms.
But the overall color scheme of your brand should remain consistent. Yogi Tea is a great example of a tea brand that maintains color consistency across its wide variety of teas.
When it comes to shapes, the basic rule of design psychology is that curves and circles are perceived as relaxing and feminine. Sharp lines and rectangles evoke a more energetic and masculine feeling in your customers.
Because of this, many tea brands opt for more curved lines – although your decision will depend on your brand attributes and ideal client.
The logo of your tea business needs to be recognizable when it is scaled down to small sizes like boxes and tea bag tags, as well as larger sizes like shopping bags, merchandise, and apparel. Simple and memorable logos work best in the tea industry.
4. Perfect your tea packaging
When it comes to your tea packaging, you want to think about:
- What your ideal client wants to see (the top priority)
- What your competitors are doing
Do your 2-3 closest competitors all use rectangular boxes? If so, cannisters or tins could help you stand out from them. Price will be a factor as well, especially as a startup, so if you need to start with a cheaper packaging option to keep your costs down that is perfectly fine.
After you build an initial customer base, you can later make more sales or raise your prices to upgrade to higher-end packaging options. Your colors, shapes, and visual designs are much more important than the precise type of container you use.
To be successful, the front of your label needs to focus on stunning and attractive visuals that stand out from your competitors. You should include the bare minimum amount of written information about your tea on the front – just enough to attract your target customer. People’s eyes will glaze over your packaging if it looks too cluttered or complicated.
The back of your label can have more detailed information on the tea ingredients, your company, and how they can brew the best cup.
The Republic of Tea has different lines of tea that are targeted to different customers, which you can tell by the strategic way the company uses its packaging. Its “Be Well” line catches the attention of shoppers and focuses on the results they will see from drinking their teas:
If someone is walking down the tea aisle thinking “What type of tea will help soothe my throat?” and they see a colorful and vibrant package that says “get soothed” in large letters – they will gravitate towards that one.
Even if every single tea in the aisle could help with that problem, the packaging made their decision easy. What are you doing to make your ideal client’s purchasing decision as easy as possible?
For help setting your brand apart, you can discover your tea brand’s personality with our quick quiz here:
5. Build an emotional connection
As you can see, the visual designs on your tea packaging are the predominant way that you will attract and connect with customers. But you can also use content marketing to build connections and relationships through your website, social media accounts, and email list.
Rishi Tea does a great job of evoking peaceful emotions in its customers by using simple and relaxing still photography on its Instagram feed:
When you stumble across these images and interact with their brand, you immediately feel a sense of calm. There is a consistent visual look and feel that builds trust with its audience.
On the flip side, if you wanted to have a more lively and energetic brand, you would want to include more dynamic and bright images – and perhaps mix up the styles between photos, text-based posts, videos, and more.
For tea brands, email marketing is a great way to create relationship with future customers. Not everyone will be in the mood to buy tea the moment they discover you, so you can entice them to join your list by offering a coupon or valuable free resource in exchange for their email address.
Once they have joined your list, you can set up an email sequence that sends them interesting tea facts, behind-the-scenes information about your company, and opportunities to buy. The content of your email blasts will depend on your brand attributes.
For example, if your brand focuses on wellness, you can send them general wellness ideas in addition to your tea-focused information. As ideal customers read your emails over time, they will be much more likely to trust you and try your products.
At Aventive Studio, we help health & wellness businesses (including tea brands) create powerful brand identities that attract their ideal customers and increase their sales.
Our branding agency can help startups and established businesses with everything from brand strategy and planning to website design, packaging design, advertising, marketing, SEO, and more. You can find our full suite of services here.
We also have a variety of resources to help you build your own brand, including the Brand Clarity online course and the book BrandFix: A Brand Strategy Guide for Busy Entrepreneurs which was written by our CEO Kady Sandel.
Ready to create an unforgettable brand? Contact us here to speak with our creative director about how we can help you grow your tea business.