yorkshire tea

How to build a place-led brand with global appeal

We talk to Yorkshire Tea and Brooklyn Brewery about how they translated the values of their birthplaces into well-loved brands that reach far beyond them

A name has the potential to make or break a brand – and things get even more complicated when that brand name directly refers to the place of a product’s origin. It’s a delicate balancing act between capitalising on associations and broadening them – taking those intangible positive associations with an area or its people and demonstrating their potential universality.

This is exactly what Yorkshire Tea has done, and it’s had no small part in helping the brand climb up the ranks to become the UK’s number one tea over the last decade or so.

LET’S HAVE A PROPER BREW

The brand’s success is, in no small part, down to the runaway success of Yorkshire Tea’s creative and brand strategy based around the idea of ‘properness’. This has played out in a series of much-loved ads (created by an in-house team in collaboration with creative agency Lucky Generals, which also works on output such as billboard posters and larger online campaigns) that are funny, sweet and charming – and often star studded. These include a spot in which Sean Bean leads a rousing new starters’ meeting at the company, brandishing a sword, a booming call-to-arms, and (of course) a cup of tea.  

“The whole phrase, ‘let’s have a proper brew’ is important: it isn’t just the word ‘proper’,” says Dom Dwight, marketing director at parent company Taylors of Harrogate, explaining the genesis of the campaign tagline around ten years ago. “We specifically picked the word brew because other brands were using the word ‘cuppa’ and brew felt quite warm and down to earth.

SENIOR DESIGNER

MANCHESTER