The marketing value of a free cup of tea


Be a part of "TeaRetailer" history in the making.

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby Janine » Dec 12th, '09, 13:50

Can't address the cup issue... although certainly John's ceramic idea is a great and innovative one...

But the idea of samples I endorse. I do believe it encourages buying regardless of the product. You introduce people to something they may not know, and at the very least they might be intrigued to try other teas and to FIND something they like just because they got a sample. I think it always pays.

Furthermore, drawing in the customer to talk with the sales staff happens through sampling and then conversation regarding what they're tasting. So much about tea is rooted in relatedness... it's a good way to draw people into the whole energy of tea and dialogue (which I think the popularity of this website testifies to)!
User avatar
Janine
 
Posts: 535
Joined: Nov 3rd, '0

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby virago_ns » Dec 12th, '09, 18:14

Quite a few places offer a discount (say $0.25) if you bring in your own travel mug. Us more environmentally minded folk don't carrying a travel mug around, though the ceramic mug idea seems... fragile. It's a great promo idea though to have your cups in homes for people to serve guests with.
User avatar
virago_ns
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 20th, '
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby acgourley » Dec 22nd, '09, 04:19

To solve the over-brewing issue perhaps you force people to wait for the tea to brew (get lots of inexpensive egg timers to queue this up effectively) so the bag can be removed.

However I like the following idea much more:

Brew large pots of a few teas and rotate them daily. You should post the schedule of teas for people to see. It forces people to expand their boundaries, and prevents people from abusing the system and getting their favorite tea each day. I feel like posting the schedule will drive people to come in again too, as they may have a few treas they have been waiting to try, *and they don't want to miss them*.
acgourley
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 22nd, '

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby Charles » Dec 22nd, '09, 07:40

acgourley wrote:To solve the over-brewing issue perhaps you force people to wait for the tea to brew (get lots of inexpensive egg timers to queue this up effectively) so the bag can be removed.

However I like the following idea much more:

Brew large pots of a few teas and rotate them daily. You should post the schedule of teas for people to see. It forces people to expand their boundaries, and prevents people from abusing the system and getting their favorite tea each day. I feel like posting the schedule will drive people to come in again too, as they may have a few treas they have been waiting to try, *and they don't want to miss them*.

Most tea shops have brewed samples but there are a few drawbacks:

1. Any tea that is not fresh brewed is not going to taste as good
2. Some teas - especially milder teas like whites and some greens - don't store well for more than 10 minutes
3. Part of the attraction of a tea shop is variety, and narrowing the choices down to a few dramatically limits the appeal of the shop

In my personal experience very few of the regulars of a shop are interested in the samples. They'll try them, for sure, but a Japanese Green tea lover will not STAY a regular if they only see one Japanese green tea available 1/3 of the time.
User avatar
Charles
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Oct 12th, '
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby acgourley » Dec 24th, '09, 00:47

Ah, I didn't know brewed tea had a lifetime to it. I suppose even at lower temperatures continued chemical reactions occur.

Well, look at it this way, maybe you don't want the morning rush crowd queuing up in the store because they will just rush out when they are done. The wait time naturally keeps the system in check.

Whatever you end up doing, make sure the customer is browsing the store while waiting their turn, and not just sitting in line. You were probably already planning on this, but Immediately take their order and then call their name out later.
acgourley
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 22nd, '

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby acgourley » Dec 24th, '09, 00:59

One last thought: part of the genius of charging 5 bucks for a cup of tea is increasing its perceived value. Makes buying 20 dollars of loose leaf seem pretty reasonable. And the tea will perceptibly taste better if it costs 5 dollars vs free, if you believe the research done with wine.

Maybe if you brew 6 oz "samples" of tea, you can keep the perceived value intact?
acgourley
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 22nd, '

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby bearsbearsbears » Dec 24th, '09, 02:22

Charles wrote:We're having an internal debate about the proper role of Tea-to-Go in the new Adagio store. You can read the details http://www.tearetailer.com/article_21.html . The question is whether a tea shop that offered free cups of tea would bring you into the shop more often, and would those visits result in you buying more tea to brew at home?


I rarely buy a tea without tasting it first, unless it's a small sample of tea (50g or less)--a lesson that served me well in China.

The comparison cupping is invaluable for serious tea purchasers. For customers not used to try-before-you-buy, it changes the way they buy tea and brings them back to stores where they know they can sample the goods first. I know I don't shop at any store where I can't taste tea.
User avatar
bearsbearsbears
 
Posts: 461
Joined: Jun 15th, '
Location: Lawrenceville, GA

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby Geekgirl » Dec 24th, '09, 03:32

acgourley wrote:One last thought: part of the genius of charging 5 bucks for a cup of tea is increasing its perceived value. Makes buying 20 dollars of loose leaf seem pretty reasonable. And the tea will perceptibly taste better if it costs 5 dollars vs free, if you believe the research done with wine.

Maybe if you brew 6 oz "samples" of tea, you can keep the perceived value intact?


I would not pay a high price (such as $5) for a cup of tea in store. I would pay in a tearoom for the experience and the table, but not in a shop.

There are two teashops I love, and will go out of my way to visit. They are both in Seattle, and they both offer brewing/tasting of samples on the spot. I always spend a fair amount of money in the store, and not just because I am only able to visit infrequently. It is because I've been able to sample something I might not otherwise choose to take a risk on.

If I am purchasing tea I haven't tasted, I have both a quantity limit and a price limit. Quantity: 2oz. Price: about $50/lb. If I can taste the tea first, I'm often willing to spend a much higher price for the tea, as well as purchase a larger quantity, mainly because it's not a risk.

However, if the shop offered me a whole cup of tea, I would likely feel momentarily satisfied, and not as likely to purchase anything to satisfy a shopping impulse. With my hands full (carrying my free cup of tea,) I'd also not be as able to touch items that I might be interested in. (I'm a very tactile shopper.)

So in my personal experience, without tasting, I might spend $20 in a shop, and might not be compelled to return to that shop. WITH the tasting session, I might (and often have) in excess of $50, and will already be planning my NEXT visit as I'm walking out the shop door.

It would be interesting to try having a tea table, with a knowledgeable and competent shop employee, brewing various teas in small batches, for tasting by anyone who wanders in. Being able to speak about the tea to the curious, having them see you actually take the samples out of the same jars you are selling from, could be a significant value add for the "western" teashop. A much more unique proposition than overly sweetened blended fruity teas in a carafe.
User avatar
Geekgirl
 
Posts: 2700
Joined: May 31st, '
Location: Portland, OR

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby GongFu » Dec 26th, '09, 08:14

Hmm. Well going on the Tealuxe around here, especially at Newbury Street there is a line as long as in a Starbucks in the morning. I'm guessing they make most of their money selling .5-.10 cent a cup teas at 200% mark ups. They pretty much just toss a bag of whatever into the appropriate temperature water. Sometimes they tell you steep time, mostly its up to you to know ;) Obviously it depends on location, but I think giving away free tea might mean a lot of missed revenue.

Perhaps small sample tasting in one of those small thimble like cups I can't remember the name of... although still it might cut into staff time if everyone wants a different sample?
GongFu
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 15th, '

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby TheTeaSpot » Dec 29th, '09, 17:42

Sake cups hold about 2 oz and most are ceramic as far as I know. This might be appropriate for tea tastings without giving away a whole cup of tea, as others have mentioned.
TheTeaSpot
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 29th, '

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby geeber1 » Dec 29th, '09, 18:33

Another online tea vendor who has "real" stores offers Sample Days where a person can sample several (usually 5, I think) teas for $3.25. They always have a theme like Licorice teas, Pu-erh, etc. They also offer Tea Classes. Their website also says that customers can try any of the teas they carry, but it doesn't say if that is free or not.
User avatar
geeber1
 
Posts: 1675
Joined: Jun 17th, '
Location: Oregon

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby JBaymore » Jan 3rd, '10, 21:21

TheTeaSpot wrote:Sake cups hold about 2 oz and most are ceramic as far as I know. This might be appropriate for tea tastings without giving away a whole cup of tea, as others have mentioned.


That was about the scale of the free "cup" of which I was thinking when I proposed the whole idea. :)

best,

................john
User avatar
JBaymore
 
Posts: 1666
Joined: Sep 15th, '
Location: Wilton, New Hampshire USA

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby cls46 » Jan 5th, '10, 12:02

I really like the idea of the free ceramic cup but I feel like most malls and even people for that matter wouldn't want a bunch of little ceramic cups walking around the mall. There is no lid so it is more likely for people to spill on things and there is of course the opportunity for the cups to be dropped and then they would shatter. However, I think the idea of making reusable travel mugs with the Adagio logo so they can be brought in for refills at a discount is a great idea. There is a Teavana in the mall I frequent and I always buy a cup of tea there when I go to the mall ($3-$5), so if there was an adagio store in my mall and they had an adagio mug I could buy and get discounted cups of tea I would switch where I got my tea while at the mall. Which would subsequently partly change where I bought tea in general.
User avatar
cls46
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Nov 12th, '

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby teacast » Jan 5th, '10, 18:20

Personally I think a great idea would be to give them a free cup only if they buy something in the store... unless free tea would GET people in the store, then only provide samples or something. Though these are obvious ideas, I am sure there are more creative marketing ideas out there :).
User avatar
teacast
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mar 3rd, '0
Location: Meadville, Pa

Re: The marketing value of a free cup of tea

Postby Charles » Jan 6th, '10, 10:18

We are investigating options for a ceramic to-go cup with a lid. This certainly couldn't be free, but when purchased we could give customers carrying it free tea easily enough.

I've tested dozens of to-go cups, and I've never found a plastic or metal cup that didn't change the flavor of the tea. It's GOTTA be ceramic of some sort.

The inexpensive ceramic idea is pretty cool, but I am not sure there is a good way to do this WITH a lid. A to-go cup without a lid won't be terribly popular and may result in some angry customers and nasty burns. :)
User avatar
Charles
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Oct 12th, '
Location: Chicago, IL

PreviousNext

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation