Dec 8th 2009 Issue
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It's about the TEA!

Charles Cain - Dec 8th 2009

This is where it all begins

For the last five and a half years I've been thinking on and off about strategies to make a tea shop successful. Since joining Adagio Teas and working to translate their brand to a physical retail environment, I've been dreaming up and evaluating the pros and cons of various "hooks" that will attract the customer and keep them coming back (read more in The Cost of Theater). I had something of an epiphany this morning... it's about the TEA!

It's easy to get caught up in secondary goals when developing a business strategy. With Adagio, I keep coming back to our mission to share tea with as many consumers as possible. So, to accomplish that, what do I want a new customer to think as they walk out the front door following their first purchase? It's not really "Wow, what an amazing store." It's not even "I love Adagio". No, what I want imprinted on a customer's mind as they leave the store is "I love tea and I can't wait to get home and drink this stuff!"

An environment that brings the customer closer to the leaf and delivers an experience that causes them to fall in love with tea will, by definition, be differentiated and "sticky". The customers will be come back, will tell their friends, and will give us their business if we can spark a passion for tea that mirrors our own.

So now it's back to the strategic drawing board. Forget the decor. Forget the snacks. Forget the question of seating. Forget the location. There are really only two questions:

1. How does a consumer NEW to tea get intrigued and ultimately captivated by the leaf?

2. How can we break through the shell of an experienced tea connoisseur and re-ignite that sense of passion and wonder that caused them to fall in love in the first place?

Adagio Teas