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TEAmwork Will Aid Tea Industry Growth by Gail Gastelu

Monday, December 21st 2015 @ 12:00 AM

There's no I in Team. So they say. But, guess what?! The word TEA is a part of the word TEAm and TEAmwork too. Let's define this, shall we? And then, on to the purpose of this post which is to very seriously work together for continued growth of the tea industry and begin using a new #DrinkTea campaign on behalf of the Tea Council of the USA. It is your duty-my duty-our duty as part of the industry to join the team! I hope I can count on your involvement. Please read on and share this post if possible.

This post is a bit long, so you might like to listen in while you go about your daily routine.  This is something important to me and the entire industry.  Please consider the message here, take part, and spread it around as much as you can. (Click AUDIO link above - you must be on a computer or using a flash browser on your mobile device.)

There's no I in Team! What does that mean? It means, do not work alone. Work together with others to achieve a common goal. And, the definition of TEAm? A number of persons associated in a joint action. And, TEAmwork? A cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a team in the interests of a common cause.

How would you grade our industry on teamwork and coordinated efforts towards sustainable growth? Not so great, right? It's go time! I challenge you to step things up in 2016.

Let's face it. Tea is niche and yet its consumption and multitude of uses makes it a product that can be a part of many other industries not limited to food and beverage. Think spa. Think beauty products. Think of the many reasons people come together for tea, young and old alike. It's not your grandmother's cuppa anymore. It's the cool, in, chic thing to do for fun, relaxation, or serious business meetings over a cup of tea or full afternoon tea service. Hot or cold, tea provides refreshment and a welcome pause.

Do you work alone or are you a team player? Do you complain about things not getting done in the tea industry, or do you do something to help it grow? How do you contribute to the industry in which you work? Do you ever consider cross merchandising or cross marketing in any way? How hard do you try to find new ways to market your tea product or service as a part of a team? Most importantly, what do you do to support this industry of tea that you must love or would likely not be a part of? How do you positively support public outreach, education, and influence on tea consumers?

“TEAmwork makes a dream work.” It's time for the tea industry to work together to support growth and engage consumer interest. The best way to do this is through consistent, regular, sharing of information, messaging, and data to establish and uphold the health aspects of tea and the enjoyment of drinking tea. Think about all of the other industries out there actively promoted and supported by a campaign. Who supports those campaigns? Every business that is a part of a particular industry, must support their industry as a whole and the positive messaging necessary for growth. Think about all of the commercials you see for the cheese board, honey, and milk for example. Do those campaigns stand out in your mind? Do you remember some of the messaging? Sure you do! Now it's time to do the same for tea through TEAmwork.

Some of the largest tea businesses in the USA are supporting overall growth of the entire industry simply by advertising their product. Their advertising benefits every single company selling tea. The positive messaging helps everyone. Whether or not your company has anywhere near the same budget, you can corroborate and help yourself and your own customers by promoting your products through press releases and advertising your products effectively to fit your budget. Even small, less expensive advertising can benefit your tea business and show your customers how dedicated you are to providing a product that is of quality and fulfills the growing desire to drink tea above all other beverages.

What else can you do? In my opinion, whether your business is large or small, all tea businesses must show support of the single organization in America that oversees the safety and success of our industry overall. - - The Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc. is the recognized independent authority on tea, acting as the official voice for its members on issues related to the tea industry. Think about that for a moment and understand that your support of this organization will benefit you, your customers, and the entire industry. The Association performs a lot of work behind the scenes to guard and watch over the best interests of all involved in the industry.

Additionally, the Specialty Tea Institute (STI) is the educational division of the Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc. STI is the department dedicated to educating but also supporting the work of the association and is something you can join to show support of the industry in general. Membership also offers perqs such as discounted education and some new benefits which will be announced shortly. Ongoing, yearly paid membership in STI is an important consideration for all tea industry businesses. Funding aids in providing new education, scientific symposiums, and all things done to safeguard tea operations and relations with the USA. Whether you receive extra membership perquisites or not, it is a small price to pay to contribute to tea industry growth and positive messaging to benefit businesses and consumers as a whole. Please see http://www.stitea.com to find a membership form. Membership runs a full year starting January, so please look into it now to take full advantage of benefits.

The Tea Council of the U.S.A. functions as the public and media relations division of the Tea Association of the U.S.A. and was established to support the promotion of tea in the U.S. Its recent focus has been almost exclusively on raising overall awareness of the science behind tea’s health benefits, buttressed by the great taste, variety and uniqueness of tea. And now, this is where the #DrinkTea Campaign comes in.

The #DrinkTea Campaign is brand new and it is a cost-free way to engage your customers and demonstrate respect for the tea industry. You may find the campaign by visiting http://www.teausa.org Look for the campaign image and click on it. You will find a press release about the campaign and why it started. Once you see the entire series of available images, there too you will find guidelines for usage. Don't be shy, simply right click and save the images to your computer. Please use the campaign images here and there; on your website, in emails, on your social media. Choose one image perhaps and change the image occasionally to fit the season or a message that resonates with your particular audience. Link the image to http://www.teausa.org

The launch of the #DrinkTea Campaign comes just before National Hot Tea Month and yes there is a related image to use. (Read press release here.) Get ready for a fantastic year of growth in tea. This is only the beginning and not a short term project. This campaign has a purpose and should be carried out infinitely. Available right now is a series of hot tea images and appropriate messaging to support the health benefits of tea and the fun side of tea. More images and iced tea images will follow in addition to other supportive materials such as the tea and health brochure already available at the Association website.

Having recently been appointed to the advisory board for The Tea Association of the USA's Specialty Tea Institute, I am thankful to those who nominated me and voted me in. This is my personal chance to give back to this incredible industry and all of the wonderful people who are a part of it. If you would like to brainstorm usage of the campaign images to best suit your audience, I am readily available via email or phone call.

DRINK TEA! Help others to understand why it is such a wonderful thing. Support your industry. Or if you are not in the business of tea, show your love and use the campaign images, personally.

My best wishes to all for a very happy and prosperous New Year!
Go TEAm!

DRINK TEA CAMPAIGN PRESS RELEASE - CLICK HERE
FIND AND USE CAMPAIGN IMAGES - CLICK HERE

For the Love of Tea. . .

Gail

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GAIL GASTELU is Publisher of The Tea House Times, Producer of TeaCourse.com continuing education and TeaEtiquetteCertified.com online tea etiquette certification. She is also producer and presenter of Tea Course Fast Track and produces numerous other products and services to connect businesses and consumers to everything tea. Gail lives in NJ with her husband and two children. Her motto is "Just Do It!"  Learn more about Gail's work here. Contact Gail via email here.

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