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27 & 28 MARCH 2019

ExCeL LONDON

6 Rules Branding and Tea Have in Common



Tea ceremonies hide many powerful messages. The act of brewing is a testament to the need for patience and evolution that every marketer, brand manager, and entrepreneur should consider when applying design principles and creating brand experiences. It reminds of the value of quality over quantity, a cultural bearing that may seem somewhat forgotten, but holds true more today than ever before.

Masters of Chinese tea ceremonies convey these messages by following a strict set of six rules that can be linked to the pillars of branding. Here’s how:

1. Attitude and authenticity mean everything.

In tea: One’s state of mind is considered sacred within the ceremony as it is an energy easily transferred to other guests. For this reason, one must breathe and relax – think positive – before and during each tea ceremony.

In branding: Not only must you (your culture, your people) be clear in your convictions, but your vision has to be well-architected and stabilized around your potential, workforce, capabilities, and place in the market.

2. Don’t forget the ambiance around the interaction.

In tea: Chinese tea ceremonies include artwork and decor that are meant to enhance the experience and relax guests – not to mention the need for a quiet and tidy ceremony space.

In branding: Take into account users’ lifestyles, situations, the state of things in the world, everything of this sort in order to ensure that what you create fits within the context of both societal and natural circumstances.

3. The technique needs to be perfect.

In tea: Along with one’s state of mind, a relaxed and graceful approach to serving the tea is also required. This includes everything from facial expressions and hand gestures to wardrobe.

In branding: This is all about the people whose energies are going into the brand work. Are they motivated? Do they believe in the brand? Do they understand its purpose and the manner by which it needs to be handled?

4. Tea selection is highly important, both physically and spiritually.

In tea: A combination of the physical aspects of a tea (its fragrance, taste, and shape) and its spiritual essence (its history, name, and origin) must be taken into consideration when selecting the perfect tea for each occasion.

In branding: You can no longer create without heart, and you can no longer displace the soul of your work from the physical personification of it.

5. Water selection needs special attention.

In tea: To ensure the quality of the drink and as a tribute to mother nature, only the purest water can be used to prepare Chinese teas. One can have the taste of leaves of the highest quality ruined by its combination with impure water.

In branding: A great deal of consideration must go into the atmosphere of your brand experience, the places in which people encounter your work – including everything from packaging to marketing strategies.

6. The necessary tools are both practical and beautiful.

In tea: To perform a quality ceremony, all tools and teaware must be both optimal for brewing each tea and aesthetically pleasing for the atmosphere desired.

In branding: Think of your delivery and presentation as the teaware – the vessels that both cultivate and are used by consumers to access your brand. You must choose wisely, as there is a perfect space for everything.

And it doesn’t end there. While the Chinese tea ceremony stands as a pillar for quality and attention, there are several other rituals that have caught our attention. The Japanese, for example, can teach us a great deal about clarity and simplicity – two of branding’s favorite things. A Moroccan tea ceremony is vibrant and colorful, perfect for those looking to spark creativity in others. And lastly, one of our favorites, Russian tea ceremonies are all about the avant-garde (a perfect representation of innovation and intrigue). This is what a fully engaging brand experience is all about.

Read more about the power of strategic branding on Brandingmag.com.

Looking forward to seeing you at The Marketing Expo – find us at stand no. 1582.