All About Tea

Creating distinction and consumer appeal for a wholesale brand

All About Tea is an expert wholesale tea distributor based in Portsmouth, UK. They source their tea from remote regions, to bring the best of the world’s flavours to a global audience. Their offer extends from classic varieties to specialist blends.

All About Tea’s ambition was to tweak their wholesale offer while satisfying the need to reach new audiences. They wanted to keep the warehouse feel but also elevate themselves slightly to establish a loyal consumer group who felt they were getting premium quality at wholesale prices.

Story

Moving Brands set out to create a new brand that would stand out in a “sea of sameness.” The identity needed to work effectively across their existing wholesale market as well as enable them to grow into retail channels. It was also vital to communicate the founder’s passion for the art and intricacies of tea.

Our assessment of All About Tea brought to light the company’s inherently metronomic delivery, the quality and rigour of their service and products, and their unparalleled passion for tea. Hence the story was articulated as “Exceptional Tea. Metronomic Delivery.” We wanted to bring this story and way of operating to the forefront with their new identity.

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System

The mark represents the process of making tea; the blending and the straining. The shape of the mark references a seal or stamp — an iconic industry standard — and is used in this way as a stamp of quality across the various applications. In all print applications these dots are laser-cut, inspired by the factory elements and tools involved in the making and distribution of tea.

Orator, a mono-spaced typeface was chosen to reflect the uniform spacing of the mark as well as reference the utilitarian info-graphics associated with import and export. The typeface strengthens the ideas behind the metronomic process of the company’s offer. The secondary type, Garamond italic, is used to represent the founder’s expert voice. This is more fluid, more conversational and balances the strength of Orator. It also brings out the quirks and passions of the organisation and the people that make it.

The colour palette is black, white and silver further reflecting the efficient approach of the new identity. Especially the monochrome colour palette sets All About Tea apart from its competitors dominated by brown and green colours, tea leaves and tree huggers.

The final All About Tea identity system, currently being rolled out, incorporates a brand identity, brand architecture, guidelines, tone of voice, website, packaging, stationery, photography style, presentation and sales templates and mood film.

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Experience

We dug deep into the supply chain and process of distributing tea and realised how backward it was. To stand-out in this market we created a global tea platform – a sophisticated online system for ordering tea.

The new All About Tea brand has propelled the business to the top. After the rebrand, average order values increased by 105% for business customers and 36% for personal customers and website traffic has increased by 56% with total page views 236% above benchmark sites.

A few quotes that express the unanimously positive sentiment:

“Since implementing the new identity we have literally not been able to keep up with the increased interest from new customers. The new website and packaging seems to have caught the imagination of a market tired of the same old design cliches in the tea sector. In the last month alone we have opened up a new market in France, Belgium and Scandanavia. We have solid interest from the United States and as soon as we are able to find a suitable distribution solution we will be able to capitalise on that.”

“The process leading up to the actual design work was nothing short of a total redefinition of what the company is and what we do. The skill of the MB designers was in encapsulating this redefinition accurately in visual form. That explains why the branding feels so solid and correct. The graphical elements are in accordance with what we believe the company to be, and with other means of expression, such as how we write, how we speak on the phone, what we say about our products, and most importantly how we think about our own company internally. This congruity of expression cannot be achieved without first doing the work of deciding what the company is. That is not a straightforward process, but the end result must be straightforward, or at least crystal clear, because it must be capable of being communicated in a split second through the skill of the designers.”

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Awards

  • Design Week – Commendation 2011
  • ADC – Bronze (Corporate Identity Programme) 2011
  • Brand New Awards – Underconsideration’s Salvage (Comprehensive Identity Program category) 2011
  • European Design Award – Silver (Company Implementation) 2011
  • Cannes Lion – Gold (Consumer goods) 2011
  • AIGA – Cross platform 2011

Coverage

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