CGICA | 良品 – Make Good Brands

Tenren’s Tearoom

Rebranding the 1st Bubble Tea Brand in North America
Type of Work Rebranding

Client Tenren’s Tearoom

Year 2019

Tenren’s Tearoom is a pioneer in the North American bubble tea industry, being the first brand to enter the market 35 years ago. Backed by Ten Ren Group, the world’s largest tea product company, Tenren’s Canada was once an industry leader with stores in prime locations across major North American cities. However, in today’s competitive bubble tea landscape, the brand faced challenges with a blurred brand architecture, an aging image, and declining competitiveness. Ten Ren’s diverse offerings, including bubble tea, light meals, fusion cuisine, tea products, retail stores, and e-commerce, created a fragmented brand perception among consumers of different ages and consumption scenarios.
To address this, we began by analyzing and reorganizing Ten Ren’s corporate structure, clarifying the project’s purpose and objectives. We streamlined the brand architecture, developed a brand strategy for the bubble tea sector, and designed a visual identity and store environment for the sub-brand, culminating in the launch of offline bubble tea stores. This integrated approach aimed to create a synergy between in-store experience, tea product sales, and e-commerce, driving traffic and sales while covering the entire learning and life cycle of tea consumption for Western consumers.

After clarifying the client’s issues and defining our goals, we formed a project team and conducted a brand audit with the client. Through communication with Ten Ren’s headquarters and studying the biography of founder Lee Rie Ho, we discovered the company’s mission: “Promote the advantages of tea culture and create a world-renowned brand.” This insight guided our audit, from the brand’s history and origins to its resources, market advantages, and frontline staff communication. The resulting brand audit report served as a foundation for formulating the brand strategy for the bubble tea stores.

“Tea can connect with the mind and body, society, both sides of the strait, and even the world. Tea as a medium can lead to the great path.” – Lee Rie Ho

Based on this brand exploration, we embarked on a creative journey, seeking inspiration from tea culture, brand history, consumer behavior, and industry trends.

We drew inspiration from the Chinese character for “tea” itself, representing the harmony between humans and nature.

We also focused on Ten Ren’s founding year, 1953, and the tea-making process described in Lu Yu’s “The Classic of Tea,” while considering modern consumer needs and habits.

After careful consideration, we chose “Since 1953” as the starting point. A good brand should be achievable, unique, and appealing. Ten Ren’s unique history, origin, and tea culture formed the brand’s core spirit.

This led to the development of Tenren’s Tearoom’s Big Idea: “Provide an experiential space where people can embrace nature through discovering authentic Chinese tea,” along with the brand’s value proposition keywords: “nature, discovery, life.”

In the design phase, we translated these abstract concepts and inspirations into tangible elements. We refined three visual elements from the original Ten Ren logo: leaves, window lattice, and teacup, aligning with the “nature, discovery, life” value proposition. These elements became the visual language for brand communication, leading to the creation of auxiliary patterns based on Chinese window lattice and a series of retro hand-drawn illustrations.

We chose “ginkgo leaves, hummingbirds, and goldfish” as auxiliary patterns, further conveying the “nature, discovery, life” theme. These elements were then integrated into various brand touchpoints.

For the website, our developers transformed Ten Ren’s informational website into an e-commerce platform, allowing consumers to browse and purchase products directly. We focused on product descriptions and landing pages as key drivers for consumer purchases.

In interior design, we combined wood and greenery to convey the “nature” concept of “humans among plants.” White and antique copper-colored metal tea tables were used for tea product experiences, creating a “discovery” journey. The use of marble reflected the “life” quality and brand positioning.

Rebranding is a long and challenging journey. As we walked this path with the client, we witnessed a time-honored brand rejuvenate. We look forward to the new brand image being rolled out across North America, gaining favor with more consumers, and driving a new round of growth for the client’s business. We hope that Tenren’s Tearoom can spread tea culture worldwide, with “tea as a medium, ultimately reaching the great path.”

品牌重塑,是一个漫长而充满挑战的旅程。当我们与客户一起,一步一步与客户一起走完整个旅程之后,我们看到了一个历史悠久的品牌,换发新的生命力。期待新的品牌形象,在不就的将来在整个北美落地,亮相,并持续获得更多的消费者喜爱,为客户的企业实现新一轮的增长。我们期待天仁茗茶,能够将茶文化传播到世界各地,“ 以茶为媒,终达大道”。

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