Branding is a top industry buzz word, and the desire to have a strong, influential brand that inspires customer loyalty is a top request from many of my clients.
My favorite definition of “brand” is: "An experience living at the intersection of promise and expectation -- because it reminds us we have to be consistent, thorough and authentic throughout the entire engagement/sales cycle." Some companies do well reeling you in but fail with client service or product offerings. Others have great products and service, but their branding elements are unclear or do a lackluster job extolling the company’s virtues.
As a marketer, it is exciting when I find a brand that does all of it well, which is what I experienced while visiting the DavidsTea location in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. As I chatted with David Segal, one of the company’s two co-founders, his passion and vision for the brand was evident, infectious and showed through everywhere you looked. Here's what other entrepreneurs can and should learn from his example.
Be clear on what you are offering to the marketplace and how you are special
David loves tea, and thought purchasing it should be a light-hearted, enjoyable experience. Noticing many of the tea stores had the same look and feel, he saw, and seized, the opportunity to create a different experience that was modern and friendly.
DavidsTea wants to be known as a fun and quality brand, so each branding “touch point” communicates that. The branding colors are a vibrant teal paired with the cleanness of white, which allows the colors and textures of the product to show well. The language on the web, marketing materials and press kit is upbeat, informative and engaging. Even the fonts used are playful, young and fresh. @DAVIDsTEA also reads very well as a Twitter handle.
Give your end user exactly what you promised them and then some
Now that you have your client's attention of your client, it is time to deliver. This is where many brands fall short.
When you walk into a DavidsTea retail location, you are greeted immediately and pleasantly offered a taste of tea so you can discover right off how delicious it is. The tea canisters are designed so you can touch and smell the samples. Plus, product names like “Chocolate Rocket” and “Honey Bee” are smile-inducing, so that doesn't hurt.
The packaging and displays are bright, neat, and appealing -- and the branded tea accessories are just as fun and innovative as the tea itself. The website is inviting and easy to navigate, and is full of consumer-pleasing info (like calorie count). To keep you coming back, DavidsTea offers three handpicked teas for free with every online order. How fun is that?
Jetta Bates-Vasilatos is founder of Twist Communications and a life stylist with 10+ years of award-winning consumer engagement/strategic planning experience for luxury and global brands like BMW and Coca-Cola. She also serves as an on-air correspondent and writer with a focus on luxury and experiential tourism, lifestyle, sustainability, and personal finance (how to be chic yet savvy). Jetta has appeared on stations such as WCIU-TV, KBS-TV(Korea), ABC-7, CLTV and KBC-TV (Kenya), writes for national print publications such as Essence, Recommend, Ebony and HomeStyle Design and is the host of the Jettasetting segment on WVON radio.