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storytelling and branding0001

storytelling and branding0001 - CHALLENGE The introduction...

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CHALLENGE The introduction of a new brand of tea to the crowded beverage category in a country where tea was seen as passe. SOLUTION Find new way's to tell a story, because traditional mass advertising seemed counter to the brand's positioning; create intrigue; and build the highest-quality connection at every point- product, branding, and merchandising design. RESULT Tazo-a brand that developed instant authenticity and even a passionate consumer following. STEVE SANDSTROM creative director and partner (SANDSTROM DESIGN) STEVE SMITH founder (TAlO)
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JOE DUFFY Can you start at the beginning? Tell us about how Tazo started and who was involved. STEVE SMITH It started with a framework of concepts and images for a new tea retailer. The working title was Elixir. The idea was that it would be an "elixir bar" and it would have a Merlin-meets-Marco-Polo feel to it. That was the starting point. When I realized I wasn't going to do retail, I used that same platform and started working on some in-store merchan- dising ideas. I was trying to get the merchandising side of the business defined because I felt that too few people look at that. It's critical to look at how to carve out your space in a retail store so that it's really compelling to the consumer. I was working on the idea with my partner, Steve Lee. Steve Sandoz was helping us, too, and it was at least a month before we even had a brand name. At one point early in the process, I said. "Do you think Steve Sandstrom would look at this, too?" Sandoz said, "Yeah, I think so:' And so we met with the folks at Sandstrom. There was an immediate connection, and we decided after that initial meeting to move forward. STEVE SANDSTROM When they came over, there were three Steves - Steve Sandoz, Steve Lee and Steve Smith - meeting with me, a fourth Steve. Something in the tea leaves, I guess. That's where we started. Four Steves and an idea to come up with a new kind of tea. SMITH We asked ourselves, what if Marco Polo met Merlin? It would be a little bit of magic, a little bit of mystery, and a little bit of history.
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The business goal was to make the best tea we could possibly make. To not cut any corners. And to get people engaged with tea in a way that they hadn't been before. From the very beginning, we wanted to change the whole idea of tea - that tea was boring, dull, stuffy. These were the myths about the category at the time. They were well deserved in the U.S., based on the way tea had been offered up to consumers in the past. The challenge was to create a new brand architec- ture, a new voice, a whole new approach to tea. We wanted to create something that was fresh and untried. That's where we started. DUFFY That's one of the things that's so interesting about this brand - the marriage of a great business Idea with a remarkably artistic presentation. There aren't many good examples of brands that walk the fine line between being something absolutely right for the marketplece end some- thing thet attracts the attention and admiration of creetlve people. Can you tell a little more about
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