Steampunk + Anime + … Tea?
Small Biz Triage was approached by a talented young tea maker who wanted to start a business. Initially we discussed securing a booth at the NW Tea Festival. The catch: the business had no name, no website, no packaging, no brand, no strategy, no budget … you get the picture.
The three things the client had going for her was:
- Her blended teas were fantastic
- She had no desire to be like everybody else
- She realized that she needed our help
We culled together our zaniest team members for a marathon brainstorming session over about a 10 cups of tea and decided on “Otaku Tea”. From there we took the client’s interests (cosplay, anime, vintage gaming, etc) and worked at creating a brand that would appeal to both anime and steampunk.
Many wondered how we did all this on a micro budget on a 4-week schedule. The client was kind enough to give our creative team a LOT of elbow room, and dammit we loved it.
The days were definitely blending together the closer we got to the festival, but it was worth it. All of that raw passion shined in through in the product and presentation, gave them a truly different experience. The lack of budget forced a refreshing level of creativity … couldn’t secure hot water for the tea, so it was brewed cold. Packaging was a combination of envelopes with homemade anime ‘postage’ stamps, and chinese takeout containers.
The booth display was culled together from Home Depot parts, and scrap metal. The website was customized from a free WordPress theme, with free fonts. We cashed in trades with friends, family, second cousins and ex-girlfriends to secure all of the booth decorations. Facebook, Twitter and a MailChimp account were put to good use.
The stripped-down computer monitor in the display and laptop to play anime clips were also procured via trade with a local computer repair shop. In return, we pushed a lot of their marketing collateral at the Festival. Hell, even the lightbox was a re-purposed busted Clear sign.
The Otaku Tea Booth was clearly the crowd favorite at the festival. Sales were fantastic. A little too fantastic – we ran out of tea on the first day! The client was stoked, we were stoked and their first customers were stoked. The festival drew over 1,500 people over two days.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
They are making their next batch of tea for sale and regularly blogging (give it a read here) about anime.
Prepping their first email newsletter (MailChimp), and attending the National Steampunk Convention in November to network with some of the target demographic.
Concept Nate Wright, Aaron Calzado, Niki Desautel
Name: Aaron Calzado
Logo: Billy Gold
Display: Billy Gold
Packaging: Nate Wright
Setup / Teardown: Lucy Kee, Kris Pendelton