Creating a social media campaign for Teavana


How would you brand a tea retailer that sells loose tea, tea accessories and cups of tea to go? I took on the challenge and created a #TeavanaFeelGood campaign.












Teavana is global tea retailer with 355 stores in major malls in the United States. It sells more than 100 varieties of loose-leaf teas, including white, green, and black teas imported from Asia and other regions, as well as hand-crafted teapots and other tea ware such as timers and teacups. While it does most of its business in the US, the company also has a presence in Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East.



Andrew Mack and his wife Nancy founded Teavana in 1997, took it public in 2011, and sold it to Starbucks in 2013 for $620 million. When Teavana launched, it relied heavily on word of mouth and drew customers in by offering tea samples to mall goers. (I drank many of those samples!) Now, with Starbucks as its owner, Teavana has the opportunity to improve upon its marketing efforts.



There are several global trends that bode well for Teavana: Tea is the second most widely consumed beverage worldwide, following only water, with a global market size of nearly $125 billion, according to Statista. Another favorable trend is a global emphasis on wellness.



According to the Starbucks annual report, one of its strategic initiatives for Teavana is delivering continued growth in its tea business through the Teavana brand and building the Teavana brand through Starbucks and Consumer Packaged Goods.



In the last 18 months, Starbucks has made two bold moves with its Teavana brand, both which will require marketing efforts:


  1. A move into China: In 2016, Starbucks streamlined the management of its Teavana division as a part of a plan to increase its tea sales to $3 billion over the next five years and grow its presence in China. In September. 2016, the company announced it will introduce the Teavana brand through more than 6,200 Starbucks stores across Asia Pacific, including 2,000 in China where a tea-drinking culture prevails.




  1. A partnership with Anheauser-Busch. In partnership with Anheuser-Busch, Starbucks is selling Teavana Craft Iced Teaat grocery stores in New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Missouri. The first line of teas come in four flavors. Later in 2017, select tea flavors will roll out to Starbucks locations nationally. The company plans to launch the line nationally at grocery and convenience stores in 2018.



Teavana is the only national tea retailer in the U.S. Its competitors are small tea shops/retailers, like David’s Tea and bottled teas, including Gold Peak, Honest Tea and Lipton.






  • Dominance in the market. Teavana is the only national loose-leaf tea retailer in the U.S.
  • Brand recognition
  • Strong parent company in Starbucks
  • High quality products





  • Pricing strategy is confusing
  • Low sales per square foot
  • Weak social media presence
  • Weak ecommerce platforms
  • Lack of meaningful in-store experience for customers
  • Slow delivery process for in-store beverages




  • Perceived health benefit of drinking tea
  • Aggressive expansion into supermarkets with ready to drink teas
  • Global expansion, particularly in China
  • Possibility to capitalize on additional cross branding with Starbucks
  • Introduce new products into retail stores, much like Starbucks did with food




  • Smaller tea retail chains pushing to expand
  • New beverages such as bubble teas
  • Currency fluctuations affecting tea prices
  • Rising costs of raw materials
  • Lack of loyalty








A social media marketing plan helps to accomplish company communications objectives through specific strategies and tactics.


A look at Teavana’s marketing objectives shows the brand wants to accomplish several important actions:


  • Raise brand awareness and reputation
  • Raise product awareness
  • Increase sales revenue
  • Create a market for its new ready to drink tea to be sold in grocery stores
  • Solidify the partnership between Starbucks and Teavana by selling more tea in Starbucks stores, particularly as Starbucks pushes into overseas markets



Teavana’s communications plan should align with those business objectives. As part of the social media planning process, it is necessary to develop strategic plans that include components of the social media mix as channels to accomplish marketing objectives. A good social media plan takes a S-M-A-R-T approach, meaning it will make objectives specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.


Specific marketing objectives


* Increase product awareness and raising awareness of tea benefits

through social media efforts by increasing followers across all platforms.


* Using social media campaign to push followers to point of sale or enrollment in subscription service, leading to a 10 percent increase in sales in 2017, excluding sales from new stores.

* Improve brand reputation management on social media platforms by reducing the negative brand mentions and increasing positive brand mentions by 20 percent.

* Increase social media engagement with customers and potential customers by 10 percent by year end through brand ambassador programs that encourage tea drinkers to engage on social media channels.

* Utilize social media channels to introduce new products such as the introduction of new tea latte flavors in its Starbucks stores and new “ready to drink” (RTD) teas to be rolled out in grocery stores.

* Boost e-commerce sales through paid social media posts.



The Brand Plan


The wellness movement has officially arrived in the United States and it presents an opportunity to use social media to achieve actionable objectives for Teavana’s social media marketing plan. Teavana’s website already has a tab titled “Wellness.” The #TeavanaFeelGood campaign will bring awareness to the benefits of tea. It will play on the notion that drinking tea can bring a result: it can make you feel good (as in healthier) or feel good (as in refreshed or relaxed). The campaign will run six months during summer and fall of 2017, both times of the year when drinking tea can make you feel good.










According to Teavana’s website, on any given day, more than 158 million Americans drink hot or iced tea. The audience for tea is changing rapidly. What was once a predominately female consumer ages 35 to 55 has evolved into a much broader target audience. Today, tea drinkers are younger.


Gary Robson, who owns a tea shop in Montana, authors a tea blog called Tea with Gary. He has pulled two articles and a chart to dig deeper into the tea demographic:


When a new study comes out, it’s interesting to see who spins it how. YouGov released a survey last month comparing American consumption of tea with coffee. Their headline was “Coffee’s millennial problem: tea increasingly popular among young Americans.” Oh, no! A coffee problem!

World Tea News, on the other hand, reported that same survey with the headline, “America’s Youth Embrace Tea.” Oh, boy! Kids are drinking tea.


This chart shows the current tea drinking demographics in the U.S.



Here are some facts from the Tea Association of the U.S.:


  • Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and can be found in almost 80% of all U.S. households. It is the only beverage commonly served hot or iced, anytime, anywhere, for any occasion. On any given day, over 158 million Americans are drinking tea.
  • Approximately four in five consumers drink tea, with Millennials being the most likely (87% of millennials drink tea).
  • On any given day, more than one half of the American population drinks tea. On a regional basis, the South and Northeast have the greatest concentration of tea drinkers.
  • Approximately 85% of tea consumed in America is iced.
  • Over the last ten years, Ready-To-Drink Tea has grown more than 15 fold. In 2014, Ready-To-Drink sales were conservatively estimated to be more than $5.56 billion. With the advent of the Ready-To-Drink (bottled tea) segment, tea drinkers now cross gender lines and age groups.
  • Hot Tea has been growing steadily over the past 5 years, as consumers embrace its health benefits.
  • Every day, new findings from the international scientific community lend credibility to tea’s healthy properties.


Gary Robson sums up the tea audience well: “A tea shop’s target audience is young women? This comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody in the tea business.” Gary also explains why this new demographic is emerging:  “I am much more likely to hear an older person say, “I don’t like tea,” because back in their day, tea meant either a teabag full of basic Lipton black tea or the green tea at a Chinese restaurant. Millennials are more likely to have discovered tea in a tea shop that offers dozens — or hundreds — of options.”


Tea Association President Peter Goggi in an interview with offers his thoughts on tea drinkers: “ Millennials have grown up with tea as the more common beverage in the house (RTD), and are particularly amenable to knowing more about what they are consuming.”


(Source: Who Is Drinking Tea in America,, Anix Basu, May 5, 2015.)

Quote from  Ian Cranna, VP of marketing for EMEA at Starbucks speaking on how Teavana will sell Shaken Iced Tea in its stores and open the tea category to a younger audience:


“We feel there is a massive opportunity not only to up-level that out of home tea experience but to revitalize it in a youthful way. You’ll see from the brand and the way it is represented in the bright and light, colourful imagery that this is a brand that is very much positioned at turning around what is a fantastic experience and bringing it to a younger audience.”

(Source:, Starbucks brings Teavana brand to UK, Natalie Mortimer, April 26, 2016.)

The Teavana Feel Good Campaign will target all existing tea drinkers, particularly millennials. The good news for the Teavana Feel Good Campaign is that this demographic consists of heavy users of social media, and a brand campaign that embraces social media should be well received.

Millennials are digital natives and grew up with current technology and social media. They want to interact with their favorite brands and they are influenced by peers on social media platforms. However, millennial social-media usage, commitment, and habits are changing. Millennials are using Facebook less and other platforms more and they are looking to social media for a positive experience. Teavana’s multiplatform campaign will address these changing habits.

(Source: Forbes. 4 Millennial Trends to Watch in 2017. Lauren Friedman. Dec 29 2016.)



The Teavana Feel Good Campaign will target tea drinkers on social media, luring them to buy more Teavana tea and encouraging them to engage with other tea drinkers. It also will urge followers to share their tea recipes and their positive tea experiences. The campaign will reinforce in their minds that tea leads to feeling good. The campaign emphasizes the benefits of drinking tea: feeling refreshed, feeling energized, feeling healthier, feeling good. These benefits are particularly important to Teavana’s target audience. Consumers interested in buying tea will be able to shop Teavana teas by the desired effect on their wellbeing (mood focus as opposed to flavor focused). For example, a consumer who wants to feel relaxed can search tea choices on the Teavana website by that desired outcome. This will tie in to the overall Teavana Feel Good strategy.






  • Social media is made up of a large number of networks addressing different zones. The image below illustrates the four social media zones.




The TeavanaFeelGood social media campaign (#TeavanaFeelGood) will focus on Social Community, Social Publishing and Social Commerce. The campaign will build on already existing social media presence, add new channels, and attempt to create user-generated content and brand ambassadors



The strategy for each of these zones will help to accomplish objectives with resources available.


  1. Social community zone:
  • While its parent, Starbucks, has 36 million followers on Facebook and thousands of brand ambassadors, Teavana has only 480,000 and its social media accounts are cluttered with negative comments about how its in-store tea samples are deceptive. A social campaign that increases social followers and positive comments would help Teavana accomplish its objectives.


These are the channels where Teavana has a presence:

The campaign would be an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) plan using all of its channels. An IMC plan ensures that all forms of communications and messages are carefully linked together. At its most basic level, IMC means integrating all the promotional tools so that they work together in harmony rather than in isolation. Their sum is greater than their parts – providing they speak consistently with one voice all the time, every time.


Source: Integrated Marketing Communications, MMC Learning.




On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, the Teavana Feel Good Campaign would feature photos and short posts that depict the benefit of tea drinking and use consistency across platforms. The posts will include hashtags (#TeavanaFeelGood), and Teavana will tag any notable individuals (influencers, bloggers, celebrities) when applicable to generate more buzz and encourage sharing.




Teavana will team up with millennial Blake Lively, a young celebrity mom who is a tea drinker. She could post photos of herself drinking tea having a #TeavanaFeelGood moment and photos with her family having a #TeavanaFeelGood family time. Her husband is Ryan Reynolds so a family photo would appeal to the male tea drinkers. Blake also will host a Twitter chat live to have an interactive discussion about her tea drinking habits, favorite recipes and top five feel good flavors. At the end of the chat, one lucky winner will get an autographed copy of her new book.



Blake Lively: “Drinking tea= Feeling Energized” #TeavanaFeelGood


Here is an example of Taylor Swift in a tea-drinking moment:



Teavana consistently will post photos of someone drinking iced tea in a hammock, drinking hot tea on a stormy day, sharing tea/lemonade at a family picnic and drinking tea at a yoga studio… all posts will have the hashtag #TeavanaFeelGood. Teavana also will host a contest prompting followers to “Show us how Teavana makes you feel good” or “Share your favorite TeavanaFeelGood tea recipes or experiences.”  The campaign will drive home the notion that drinking tea brings a benefit.



Starting the day right! #TeavanaFeelGood



When Teavana rolls out its ready to drink teas in grocery stores, the #TeavanaFeelGood can accompany photos of people drinking them and feeling good. Popular additional hashtags to be used will be #HAPPY #PEACE #GOODTIMES #GOODFEELINGS #POSITIVEVIBES #STRESSFREE






In its 350 mall stores, Teavana can run promotions during the six months of the Teavana Feel Good Campaign, encouraging customers as they buy loose leaf tea at Teavana or a tea latte at Starbucks to post their photos or videos of how the tea helps them feel good with the hashtag #TeavanaFeelGood. Teavana will offer customers a promotional discount coupon when they post or write an online review of their tea experience, including their favorite flavors. Millennials look heavily to their peers for recommendations and reviews, which makes this campaign component important for reaching the target audience.

During the campaign, when Teavana fans check in on social media from a Teavana store and use the hashtag #TeavanaFeelGood during the campaign period, they get free sample of their rock cane sugar.




  1. Social publishing zone
  • To launch the campaign, Teavana will make its own emotion-driven Feel Good videos to post on YouTube, emphasizing the health and happiness benefits of drinking Teavana tea and reveal the top five Feel Good tea flavors.



  1. Social commerce zone
  • Teavana will run paid ads on Twitter and Facebook and include a “Buy Now” call to action that would drive traffic to its website where customers can buy the Feel Good teas featured in the ads.









Teavana’s Feel Good Campaign is an intense undertaking because of the reach of the brand. At this time, its stores are in the U.S. However, as Starbucks pushes into China and India, it will need to cater its Feel Good campaign to various cultures abroad.


First, the social media team needs to establish a “go live” date.


All materials need to be prepared in advance of the launch by Teavana’s marketing team, with input from Starbucks marketing team as an added layer of creative insight.


The social media team will have due dates for each element and identify the person’s or people responsible for creating it. Enough material needs to be created in advance to appear over the six-month period.


The social media team will create a system to monitor, learn from, and respond to online conversations and route issues to the right person.


Along with organic materials, Teavana’s marketing team will need to prepare paid social media ads. This broader reach will help build deeper content awareness.


A budget must be prepared to accomplish the objectives. The budget will include the cost of paid social ads, the cost of luring a celebrity influencer, the cost of preparing professional creative elements including a video, the cost of interpreting elements into other languages.


According to The Content Factory, creating a comprehensive strategy for social media marketing and outsourcing all work for all channels (with a minimum of two social networks) costs anywhere from $3,000-$20,000 per month, with the industry average settling between $4,000-$7,000 per month


The budget for this large scale campaign will be $100,000.


Team members will be assigned to monitor the success of each component of the Feel Good Campaign and make ongoing adjustments.










Teavana will use Hootsuite to oversee its entire social media landscape. Within Hootsuite, it will use the Publisher tool to assign tasks and Hootsuite Analytics to monitor engagement. With Hootsuite Analytics, Teavana can track, measure and share key social media metrics.




To track engagement, a team member will measure:


  • Retweets, Mentions and Direct Messages on Twitter
  • Comments, shares and likes on Facebook.
  • Ratings, likes, unlikes on your YouTube videos
  • Comments, shares, likes on Instagram
  • Clicks on paid ads
  • website visits and purchases
  • User generated content on all social media sites
  • Demographics of social media engagers




To track sales, a team member will measure:

-Online sales for

-Instore sales at Teavana stores

-Instore sales of teavana teas at Starbucks

-Detailed product sales by item

-Demographics of tea buyers









The Teavana Feel Good Campaign (#TeavanaFeelGood) will increase interest in tea and transform the company from selling a product to selling a positive effect on a person’s mind and body.


A marketing team will track metrics throughout the campaign, carefully measuring metrics – mentions, followers, shares, likes, website visits, clicks, purchases – with the ultimate goal of increasing brand awareness and brand loyalty among millennials and boosting overall tea sales. The campaign will run for six months and adjustments will be made to ensure the campaign’s success.








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