TWG Tea, short for The Wellbeing Group, is a brand of tea which was established in 2008 in Singapore. Rith Aum-Stievenard, Taha Bouqib and Maranda Barnes were the co-founders. TWG Tea was an extraordinary concept which had a lot of uniqueness. The idea wasn’t just about tea brand but about original, innovative and unique tea rooms, exquisite outlets and international distribution network to professionals. The company opened its first outlet in Raffles Place, Singapore. Initially, the company selected ‘Dean and Deluca’ to sell its tea products. In 2010, the company inaugurated its first overseas store which was opened in Tokyo, Japan. Until now, the company has its stores opened in almost 19 countries. (Tea, 2015)
TWG Tea, a luxury brand, was branded as the pioneer of classy salon and still it is the only upscale salon in Singapore. Its products are tea and tea-infused food items such as pastries and desserts. It sells more than 1000 different tea varieties. Most expensive of its product is Gold Zin Yhen tea which is sold for NT$250000 per kilogram. Moreover, it also sells premium quality tea accessories which are surely a delight to the eyes and enliven the taste buds. TWG Tea is known for innovating new tea flavors. The things which differentiate it from other companies are premium quality of tea, original and elegant traditional culture and outstanding environment. Other than tea, company has also opened dining outlets where one can offer different foods. TWG Tea is not only popular in Singapore but all around the world.
Key Features of TWG Tea Brand
TWG Tea has its outlet in around 19 countries. All of its branches are carefully designed and decorated. Its outlets are designed in such a way that it helps in creating a nice environment. In other words, the premium quality products, classy services, superior quality environment and splendid atmosphere make the experience of customers unforgettable. So, the outlets are carefully designed to give a royal and premium look, and to create a classy environment. It can be said that their premises contribute a lot the finest culture of TWG Tea.
Although TWG Tea is just 5 years old but still it has become financially quiet strong. In 2013, its net worth was £37,477.00 which increased to £81,619.00 in 2014 (Check, 2015). In 2013, it was reported that TWG Tea made profit of $6.3m on $45.8m. In last two years, TWG Tea has become financially stronger. However, the company has suffered few loses because of legal suits.
The major thing which attract customers towards TWG Tea is the charisma attached with the brand. A huge variety of different teas is also a reason which attracts customers towards TWG Tea. Moreover, the attachment of elegant Asian and European culture with the products of TWG brand also attracts customers. In fact, the quality of products, variety and traditions attach with products are things which this brand use to advertise and attract customers. Moreover, the company has been targeting new geographical areas for expansion of their business. For example, new tea salons were established at new locations which were away from traditional business district such as Keppel bay and Bukit Timah. Another strategy of TWG Tea is to target new demographic market. It took inspiration of Starbucks and targeted youth which also boosted its business (Direction, 2006).
Building a strong brand identity is key to the success of a business (Aker, 2010). . TWG Tea used strategy of portraying itself as associated with luxury, aligned with values and culture and closely linked with premium quality. This gave huge advantage and reputation to the company. The company used influential publication such as New York Times and Monocle to promote its business and achieve a symbol of international brand. It also helped the brand to attain image of international standard. Moreover, this strategy made brand to standout against competitors. Besides that, TWG Tea evolved its communication strategy. It was more focused on different facets of the brand such as food, beverages, lifestyle, business and technology. TWG was quick to adopt new technologies such as e-commerce which also helped its business. The brand used the fame and success of Singapore to target international market. These all reasons helped company in expanding its business much quicker than its competitors.
Ries and Ries’ Law of branding
Law of Category
Law of Category suggest that if it is not possible to gain leadership in a category then best option is create a new category rather than trying other existing categories. It is not necessary that category must be radically different. In other words, company must promote category not the brand. (Ries & Ries, 2000)
Now, in the case of TWG Tea, it is necessary that it is necessary to understand market of tea in Singapore and other parts of world. It is known fact that there are many companies producing, marketing and selling tea. So, there is less or no room for newbies as the market is already saturated. TWG Tea’s cofounder thought out of the box and created a new category of healthy-tea and aligned it with royal traditional culture and premium experience. This helped the company to get its products to the clients more easily. Since it was a new category, TWG Tea did not have to compete with other tea companies directly. TWG Tea did not change the category radically but it just created a new field in same category. Already existing companies are also selling tea and TWG Tea is also selling tea and related products but TWG Tea has its focus on healthy-tea which differentiate it from other companies. It also gives an edge to the TWG Tea brand.
Law of Division
Law of Division states that with the passage of time, a category will divide in different categories. In other words, if a company wants to lead a field, it needs to look for a branch or subcategory of broad category. This is what companies do when they want to capitalize emerging subcategories of broad field. Usually companies launch new brand names to target new emerging fields. (Ries & Ries, 2000)
Selling tea and related products is a broad category and healthy-tea is a subcategory. In other words, healthy-tea is subcategory of main category which is tea. TWG Tea realized that healthy-tea was a new emerging field which could be addressed. TWG launched its products focused on healthy-tea. As the brand got popular, it launched more than 800 products which is quite an achievement.
SWOT Analysis and Approach
TWG Tea has already established a brand name and international fame. However, if TWG brand needs to expand and flourish more, then consistent change in strategy is required according to demands. It will be a good approach to diversify the products. For example, start producing products which are not related to the tea will give company a chance to expand its business. Moreover, main focused must be around using traditional Asian culture to improve the customer’s experience at TWG Tea’s stores. Obviously, the products must be of premium quality but the experienced attached with products is also important. So, it will be very wise approach if more focus is around how to improve the customer experience. Moreover, it will also be a good approach to increase the target audience. New products must be launched to target customers from all age groups. Beverages and eatables must be introduced which are especially designed for children. This strategy will increase the targeted audience and help the company in expanding its business. Last but not the least, new technologies can be used to promote business and engage youth. This approach will help in tackling growing competition.
TWG Tea is well reputed brand with its presence in almost 19 countries. The company has a broad network. The company has very good reputation and it has used its reputation effectively to expand its business. Moreover, company has been getting strong more and more day by day. It has been generating high revenues every year. However, there are different challenges to the business of TWG Tea. The biggest threat is the high competition and substitutes. There are a lot of competitors in this field and it is very difficult to survive in this field. So, TWG Tea must continuously look for new opportunities to expand its business. Partnership with other companies is also a very good option. Moreover, it is also a good approach to diversify the products and target large audience. It is also very important to understand taste of customer. Moreover, understanding new trends is essential for progress of TWG. Furthermore, TWG Tea can use new technologies to expand and promote its business. Having said that, it is very important TWG Tea provides its traditional culture and continuously look to improve the customer experience.
- Aker, D. A., 2010. Building Strong Brands. London: Pocket Books.
- Direction, S., 2006. Starbucks – taking on the world: Can the coffee retailer join the all‐time greats?. Strategic Direction, 20(7).
- Ries, A. & Ries, L., 2000. The 22 Immutable Laws Of Branding. s.l.:Profile Books.
- Tea, T., 2015. The Story of TWG Tea. [Online] Available at: https://www.twgtea.com/the-twg-tea-story