Before I deep dive into branding and packaging talks for tea, let me give you a little context!
You know one of my favourite foods is having paratha (Indian bread) with tea, along with some bhujia (Indian Spicy, Snack)! Oh! I love it! And for those who know me well, they know that I can literally have this everyday, without getting bored because it is just so yumm!
I somehow have a fancy for having anything and everything with tea! Really! For instance, everything, right from Parathas (Indian Breads) to buns and breads to cookies, cakes, maathis to stuff like samosas, vada pavs (These are all Indian snacks!), everything seems incomplete to me, without tea!
I am a complete tea lover.
However, I am talking about the Indian, milk based tea please, with a pinch of cardamom and sugar too! Oh!! I love it so much! My life would be almost incomplete without tea! Above all, if it is the rainy season, then all I need in life is to sit in the verandah or besides a window and have a nice, warm cup of tea!
So, when my profession gives me a chance to do anything with tea, I simply jump with joy! That’s the reason why I have this fascination for designing a tea brand and its packaging. In other words, it’s more than just ‘work’ for me. I will truly enjoy it!
Doing this is simply more than just a profession for me. Designing a super creative, attractive and unique branding for a tea brand and its packaging and then sipping the same tea when it launches in the market will make me feel so proud! There will surely be tears of happiness rolling down my eyes because I will simply love it all!
Phew! So much tea love!
So without further ado, let me jump to the essentials of bringing a tea brand to life, a creative and unique one! Trust me, just like how important it is to make tea with love and care to get that perfect blend, it is equally critical to brew a tea brand with care to make sure it stands out!
So this is the recipe that I would suggest to design a unique branding and packaging for your tea brand!
1. Build your brand
Branding, branding, branding! Whatever I write about its importance, it will simply not be enough. Obviously, if you are a tea entrepreneur, it’s no hidden fact that tea is a consumer good. It is likely to face competition from local vendors, big established brands and boutique tea shops, spread all across in every corner of the globe! So unless you have really identified a unique positioning for your brand, it will become a toughie to make your place and win hearts of your customers to drive sales!
One way for any product to compete in the market place is with its price. But, I assume that since you are brand conscious and are concerned about the packaging of your product, you are not looking to make just another product, that is competing on price. You would like a unique brand that has an identity of its own!
But what does branding really mean!?
Let me make it simple in here. Let’s take an example. We have different perceptions about people around us. We relate to everyone around us with their distinct qualities. Like, we need some people around us to be our food partners, someone is our agony aunt, some are our best friends for life, some are our recipe source and it goes on and and on! And the most amazing part is, no matter how many people exist in the world, every single one of them will be very distinct for us and we will carry a unique perception of them and relate to them in a particular way.
It’s really the same for brands too! Every brand develops a unique identity and perception in the minds of people and the beauty is that we can control what kind of perception we want them to develop. What’s that one thing for which people should always remember our brand, and only our brand, such that we become their ‘buddies’ and not just a product selling in the market. The more strongly we can design this, the stronger hold we will have in the market.
So what’s the hook of your tea brand? It is strong tea or a mild one? Will your tea appeal to younger audience with its niche packaging or is it a tea that should become a household name for kitty parties? Maybe you want your tea to be meant only for classy business meetings because it is so premium!
You see, the more unique you are, the more irreplaceable you will become! So building a strong brand is the backbone of unique packaging that attracts people!
2. Know your customer
We just spoke about building a brand and its importance, but it is almost impossible to make a strong brand without knowing your customer well! Who are you serving as a brand, with your amazing tea!?
Let me give an example here – let’s say you have to give a gift to a loved one, wouldn’t you consider their likes and dislikes, how old are they, what is it that they will really really like and how will they remember you for that gift all their life!
If this sounds like a big responsibility – then imagine how big a responsibility it is to gift your tea brand to your customers! Wouldn’t you end up gifting it wrong, if you are not sure about who they are and what would they really like?!
The more closely you know your customer, the more emotions you will be able to bring out in the visual system of your brand and even in your tea packaging. And aren’t we humans all about emotions! After all, it’s all we need to make connections and here we are required to build a deep connection for your brand!
So the better you know your customer, the stronger branding your tea will carry.
3. Translate branding into a visual system
We don’t want all the hard work done for your brand strategy to just stay like a thesis wrapped up some where in a corner! We have to bring your tea brand to life with a charming visual system! Your brand’s identity system has to fit the puzzle pieces together by ensuring that what the customer sees and feels is what you wanted them to! Remember how we spoke about some examples above. Now let’s say your tea brand is meant to occupy place in the kitty parties. Fancy! We have to make sure that everything about your tea brand, it’s name, logo, packaging, social media content, its offers, price, literally EVERYTHING is aligned to become likeable and relatable for women who would be the consumers of your tea at this kitty party!
Otherwise, what’s the fun!
Oh! By the way, this is also the most exciting part of brand building for me. It’s where the fun happens! This is all about styling up your brand and includes things like –
We solve the riddle by finding answers to all questions like these and many more. And as we do this, your brand now begins to come to life or rather should I say, starts getting brewed to perfection and in good taste! And the more carefully you brew the visual system, the more charming your tea will look, when it is all packed up because it is all well thought of and aligned.
4. Adapt it all for packaging!
If you have made it this far, I am sure you agree that good, creative, unique packaging for your tea brand will not just pop-up out of thin air! It surely requires lot of ground work, research, thinking, planning, strategy to make sure it really justifies your tea’s worth and helps you achieve your dreams as a tea entrepreneur!
But, but, but! The fun is not yet over! C’mon!!! We are brewing something sooo special for your brand – its packaging!!
Packaging is one thing that will speak the most to your customers. Be it via photography or e-commerce sites, its the first feel of your brand that the customers will get. It’s the first thing they will really take in their hands and ‘experience’ your brand! So we gotta make sure we do not forget to add those tiny, little, yet so amazing details in your packaging to make it a memorable one!
Oh! God!……Radhika! Now what details do you want to even think of adding?!!
After all this, I am sure you will ask me that!
So let’s get it straight. At this stage, for the sake of simplicity, I would divide packaging decisions for your tea branding into two broad categories –
- What is structural aspect of your packaging?
- What is the visual aspect of your brand that’s translating into packaging?
Now, the answer for both these are hidden in your brand strategy already! Remember, that was the game plan, to build an emotional connect with the customer. Hence, everything has to align.
So while the answers are hidden, the decisions have to be taken.
In terms of structure, the most popular forms of tea packaging that I have seen are, tea packed in tin boxes, normal paper boxes or lately even brown paper bags.
Then there are further innovations that are possible in here! Maybe we can give a unique shape to the box or there is a premium range that packs your tin cans in another box. We could go eco-friendly and simply wrap your tea in brown paper and put it in a nice, super attractive paper bag!
It all depends on how’s the brand strategy guiding us!
Oh! By the way, while these are the popular ways to pack for tea brands, it is surely not limited to only these! I love to play around at this stage and pick my brain to think of other endless possibilities for packaging and you could do it too! But always remember, never go too far away from what your customer will really like! – Remember your brand is a gift to them, has to be likeable and relatable to them!
Coming to the second aspect of packaging - the visual aspect
Here we have to decide how to extract the visual system of the brand into packaging. I personally love adding tiny details of smart copy with attractive visuals to enhance the human feel of a brand! Just like this tea packaging concept that I developed above! I feel copy is a great way to establish some sort of communication with your customers! But of course!! It should be done in a non-boring, fun, memorable way to truly sprinkle its charm!
So while that is one option, again the possibilities are endless – Your packaging could be as simple as just your logo to super detailed illustration systems, adding their charm to your packaging! But overall, the more clear your are about your branding, the better your packaging will be, in terms of being creative, unique and attractive for your people!
5 Design tips for making your packaging interesting
Quick tips to add tiny creative, attractive details to your tea packaging
So, the more carefully and deeply you think about the creative possibilities for your tea brand, the more unique packaging it will have!
5. Check your resources
Well, well, we are coming to a closure of making creative, unique, attractive packaging for your tea brand. But my entrepreneurial side of the brain has some closing notes to share! It’s about knowing your resources and your goals!! Call them mindset stuff, but these will go a long way in determining how will your branding shape up because after all, it needs to be worth it for business!
So here I go!
a. Know your resources
You have to be totally aware of the resources at your disposal! It could be a waste of time, effort and lot of creative energy if you haven’t spoken about your investments with your brand designer. I strongly believe that one goal of creative thinking is to find solutions within constraints. In fact some of the most innovative ideas spring up from constraints. Remember, packaging is a huge cost. Good prints aren’t cheap! Designing and packing comes at a cost! So be aware of your available investments before you jump onto this journey to make it worth it!
b. It’s an investment, not a cost!
It’s a risk, but to make money, you need money! – Having said that good packaging comes at a cost, let me also talk about the super important mindset that no entrepreneur should forget! While you will obviously plan your investments, you can’t be too miser either! What might seem too expensive now, might become your USP later! So good packaging will surely come at a cost, but don’t be too scared to take the leap too! Listen to your heart! 🙂
c. Have an open communication
Always communicate your goals and explore the practical aspects of your packaging with your brand designer – How will it look when placed on the shelf? Or is it only for e-commerce? Are your shipping overseas? This is a perishable product, so how will you guard it?
All the practical aspects of your brand, need to be communicated well and openly!
Well, well, with that we come to an end of this sharing of thoughts.
To conclude, I hope you brew an awesome-ly amazing, creative, unique and attractive branding and packaging for your tea!
If you would like me to be the Creative Director for your brand, I am already excited, book your call, using the link below!
On that note, I will see you later, it’s time for my tea! 😉