[ Brand Strategy: Teavana ]
1. What, in particular, makes the companyʼs brand that youʼve chosen for your campaign project unique from the others (What is the differentiating factor, “zag,” or USP)? What could you do to increase the differentiating factor?
For Teavana, I think their “zag” or USP is creating a figurative heaven, or supremely blissful state. Their name is a play on the word Nirvana and, according to their website, means heaven of tea, however I don’t see them executing this concept as well as they could. A good name is a highly influential design chess piece, and I think theirs could make big moves, if maximized with a new interpretation. For weeks I’ve had a potential tagline circling my head- Sip Your Bliss. It’s short, sweet, contains a call-to-action, gives you a visual of the tea experience and also suggests tea as a route to bliss.
When you look at the word Nirvana, it doesn’t quite translate to heaven. I think their heaven of tea interpretation is an attempt to Westernize the concept of Nirvana and not get too Eastern and alienate their audience. Well, I think that I can create a feeling of bliss, peace, tranquility, supreme understanding and freedom from suffering (as the word Nirvana denotes), without taking it too Eastern. Terms like Nirvana, bliss and meditation are becoming increasingly mainstream, so I think that people intuitively understand the meaning of the name Teavana, but they don’t necessarily see a strong correlation to the Teavana brand.
Some words that I’ve heard (and thought personally) about Teavana experiences include: stuffy, over-priced, high-pressure and snobbish. This is pretty much the opposite of what I would expect in a heaven of tea. That’s why I’m also including a redesign of their store. Their tea is good, but aside from that, the only lofty things in their store are their prices. In my version of Teavana, I want to give people an experience that matches their name and subliminal expectations. Like David Srere says, a design should be easy, intuitive, pleasant and effective, because “people go back to those experiences.” (Srere, 2013) People don’t return to over-priced, high-pressure tea stores.
As a side note, I’m going to tweak my onliness statement for Teavana to make it a bit more enticing.
2. “Brand strategy is the process where ʻthe offer is positioned in the consumerʼs mind to produce a perception of advantage.ʼ ” (Levens 88). In considering the companyʼs USP, list three ideas that might produce a perception of advantage for your companyʼs brand over its competitors in the minds of the target audience (also see “Big Idea,” pages 16– 17 in Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler).
1. Redesign Store: Sensory-Inducing, Inviting, Serene, Relaxing, Caring and Intuitive Social Mecca
2. Make Tea More Affordable: Packaged Tea Line, Wider Price-Range, Incentive Program, Specials
3. Create Blissful Experiences: Delightful Packaging, Fun Tea Learning Experiences, Tea Tastings and Tea Classes (tea pottery, tea growing, tea traditions)
Srere, D. (2013). Siegel+Gale. Brand Development [Video]. Retrieved February 19, 2013 from:
Blunden, A. (2013). Retrieved February 21, 2013 from my personal collection.