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Top tips on reinventing a product for a new audience
by Startacus Admin
Self Starter, Krisi Smith, co-founder of the innovative Bluebird Tea Co. offers her top tips on how to reinvent a product for a new audience.
I’m not claiming to be a guru of reinvention, however, I am very proud to be on a mission to reinvent possibly the most well loved drink in the world – The humble cuppa.
Although considered a staple and an ordinary, everyday occurrence, the cuppa is in fact anything but ordinary. It is over 5,000 years old, has played a colourful and influential part in the history of our country, empires have gone to war over it and is the most drunk beverage in the world (after water).
I noticed there was something a bit different about tea many years ago after travelling and working around the world and seeing how different cultures slurped and served this special little drink. Also being fascinated by the coffee boom, I began to realise that not only is tea as versatile and tasty as coffee (more so in my opinion!) but it has so many health benefits too!
I knew I wanted to show a nation of tea lovers that their favourite drink can be fresh, fun and tasty so I set about building Bluebird to do tea differently. I wanted to create totally unique blends that tasted great, smelt sensational and looked fantastic. I also wanted to serve innovative drinks like iced teas, tea smoothies and tea lattes, made from these blends and fresh ingredients.
This is quite a reinvention for our humble cuppa and there were some big obstacles in the way... Tea may be well loved but in low quality- tea bagged- bulk buy 500 bags from Tesco- version, which was going to be difficult to overcome. And getting people to try tea smoothies? Well that is a challenge all to itself.
The first thing that is essential, I think, is to have a top quality product at the foundation. Sounds obvious perhaps but if you don’t spend the time and money making your product the best it can be it won’t stand a chance against the competition and the ‘why is this anything different’ questions from your consumer. For example, we anticipated the ‘I can get a cup of tea for 50p in Maccys why is yours so special?’ crowd, so we knew we needed to show them why our tea was worth their extra hard earned pennies.
This leads us to the second thing- make sure the thing that is special about your product is clear to your customer. Again might sound obvious but this is why we have slices of dried lime in our MojiTEA blend and real chocolate pieces in our Terry’s Tea. It is obvious by looking at our tea that it is something special, so we show it off. We have big windows in our packets. This was a big pain, getting biodegradable but airtight packaging with a window and it costs us more, but we knew it was essential to our cause.
The third tip is to find out what it is your customer actually wants. What are they missing and what are they looking for? The top reason somebody buys a product is because it solves a problem for them, so we looked at the problems that existed with the original product and solved them with ours. For example, a common problem in the tea world is that fruit teas smell great but all taste the same – like dish water! So we put a lot of effort into making sure our fruit teas have huge chunks of fruit in them and taste as good as their smells promise.
So now we have the foundations for an innovative product solving a common problem in a fresh way. But what about bringing your product to a new audience?
For those of us starting up ourselves, without a massive marketing budget, the best advice I can give is identify an occasion where your products meets your customer (brilliant if it also solves a problem for them at the same time) and then just get out there to create that occasion. Use creative and personal approaches to get your product out there into the hands of your target audience... offering free stuff usually helps!
Lastly and perhaps the most fun is getting creative with your product and brand. It’s really important that you are projecting the innovative aspects of your product through your brand. Our logo is designed to mirror the stamps of the traditional tea chests but it is modern and eye catching at the same time. We use the Bluebird blue and orange to catch your eye and design quirky fun images and stories for each of our teas. Our audience is drawn in by the funky names like Monkey Chops and Retro Ted, so they want to know more...it’s all about creating a personality for your product that is attractive to your customer.
You can read more about Krisi’s business tales on her blog, ThatBluebirdGirl. To find out more about Bluebird Tea Co. visit their website or follow their news on twitter or Facebook. Cheers Krisi for your tips article and we hope to hear back from you with more advice and thoughts in the near furture.