OVERVIEW | Promote the company's teas by creating an alliance with a tangential cause that reflects the company's desire to be ethical and eco-friendly.
RATIONALE | Pollinator populations are suffering significant population declines worldwide due to neonicotinoid pesticides in combination with fungicides. Bees are responsible for pollinating 30% of our food, and our global food security will suffer greatly if pollinator populations cannot be stabilized.
Through their packaging, app and marketing materials, Tea Hive Co. is dedicated to creating a visible alliance with the cause as well as promoting the public's involvement in saving the bees. All of the materials used are recyclable, reusable, or biodegradable: the tea packaging converts to a weather-resistant bee house, the to-go cup sleeves can be planted to grow a bee garden, and the seed bombs grow bee-friendly habitats in empty urban lots. In this way, what would normally be discarded becomes a vehicle for new life and a point of engagement for a worthy cause.
The branding creates a connection between the tea shop and the idea of a group working together to reach a common goal through the name "Tea Hive," which implies a collective. The logo relates to the concept of dialogue through its reference to the shape of a speech bubble. Texture and a hand stamped look provide the identity with relatability and warmth, as well as reference the underlying activist message of the social cause. The organicness of the brand identity is carried through the rest of the brand's packaging and marketing materials.
The tea packaging consists of a biodegradable and reusable foodsafe bamboo fibre container, which can be used for bulk loose leaf tea or as a container for a ‘sampler pack.’ In the sampler pack, the teas are housed in individual foodsafe cardboard tubes, which are sealed at both ends. The cardboard tubes, once emptied, can then be composted. Alternatively, the empty tubes can be placed back inside the bamboo container to create a weather-resistant bee house. Honey is colour coded to provide quick and easy flavour pairings with the tea.
Additional pieces of marketing material include a seed bomb pack, and to-go-cup sleeves made of seed paper. The seed bomb pack comes in an unbleached cotton sachet (which can later be used as a tea sachet for steeping looseleaf) that is filled with seed bombs and a small slingshot made of repurposed leather scrap and natural rubber bands. The consumer is instructed to fling these seed bombs into empty lots to grow urban bee habitats. The to-go-cup sleeves feature bee facts and are made of seed paper that grows bee-friendly flowers when planted, thereby creating a food source in an otherwise inhospitable urban environment.
The accompanying app provides instructions on how to set up your bee house as well as periodically updated tips and facts about bees, a bee house calendar with reminders that instruct the user when maintenance is required. The app also includes a handy tea timer categorized by tea type, and alternating games to play while you wait for your tea to brew, all bee-themed.
These pieces are successful in solving the problems identified in that they create a visible alliance with the cause of the dying bees as well as promote customer involvement in saving the bees by providing the consumer with tools that are not only biodegradable or reusable, but also serve to create urban environments and homes for these imperiled insects.