Mariage Freres is one of the oldest tea brands in France. Founded in 1854, it has a history of 166 years. But in fact, the story about it can be traced back to the middle of the 17th century. In 1660, the tea trade had risen in France. Pierre and Nicolas, two brothers of the Mariage family with experience in tea trade, were entrusted by the royal family to deal with tea business in Madagascar and the East Indies. During this period, they learned more about tea and took root in the tea industry. In 1843, the Mariage family opened the first wholesale tea shop. In June 1854, the two brothers Henri and Edouard in the family worked together to establish the tea brand Mariage Freres after accumulating enough experience and capital. Mariage is taken from the family name, while Freres means “brother” in French, which means that the brand was created by two brothers with deep feelings in the Mariage family. Since then, this tea brand has started its legendary development process, bringing numerous surprises to tea lovers around the world.
Time has passed for 129 years. In the 1980s, Salon was very popular in French society. Romantic French people like to chat with friends and kill time in their leisure time. Mariage Freres paid attention to people’s needs and hobbies, and opened the first tea salon in the Marais district of Paris in 1983 (say 1986), which is also its first franchise store. After the opening of the store, it attracted a large number of tea fans to visit. Before that, Mariage Freres only engaged in wholesale business rather than retail service, and because of the high quality, good reputation and high price of tea, it was only for high-end hotels, tea houses and the rich. Today, Mariage Freres has been able to provide nearly 800 kinds of tea with different tastes and sold to more than 69 countries through continuous innovation of tea products and expansion of its sales scope. Its stores have been opened in Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and other places, with consumers all over the world, and it has become an international tea brand.
1. Brand image: the well-deserved “Hermes in Tea”
Because of its noble and elegant image, Mariage Freres has gained many good names, known as “Hermes in Tea”, “Chanel in Tea”, and “High Set in Tea”. Born in France, Mariage Freres was born with a French romantic flavor, but this alone could not make her gain these good reputation. Its unique brand image is formed by all the details. From logo design to store layout, it shows the charm of the brand.
(1) Storytelling brand logo
Compared with other tea brands, Mariage Freres has many elements in its brand logo, and each element has meaning, telling the story behind the brand. At the top of the whole brand logo is a line of French and the number “1854”, which represents that the brand was founded in 1854; The big “Th é” below the figure means “tea” in French, indicating that the enterprise is engaged in tea trade; There are four French signs of different sizes on both sides, representing the four major tea collecting places at the beginning of the brand creation, namely, Chinese Mainland, India, Ceylan and Taiwan. These four countries or regions are recognized as the source of high-quality tea in the world. Henri and Edouard put them in the brand logo, and also showed consumers that tea is the guarantee of quality It is trustworthy, and this is exactly what “quality é sup é rieure” under “Th é” means.
In the middle of the sign is the brand name of Mariage Freres and the abbreviation “MF”; There is a portrait below. The person in the picture is smiling, as if full of confidence in the tea industry. The two words “LES MEILLEURS CRUS LA GRANDE TRADITION” below the portrait mean “the best wine”, which means to make tea as popular and famous as “the best wine”. On both sides of the portrait, you can also see several tea bags, tea boxes and tea buckets marked with “MF”, which were often used in the tea trade in the 19th century.
These rich elements together constitute the brand logo of Mariage Freres. In this small circle, there is a century-old history of a tea brand. Every product with this logo can lead people through time and explore more secrets of French tea culture.
(2) Product design integrating fashion and interest
If a brand wants to attract more consumers, well-designed packaging can definitely bring unexpected results. The reason why Mariage Freres has been able to win the favor of a large number of consumers after a hundred years is that in addition to high-quality tea, its exquisite packaging design also plays an important role. To summarize its packaging style characteristics in one sentence, it is “the combination of fashion and fun”. Mariage Freres has dozens of product packaging designs. Here, we only take the product packaging that best reflects its characteristics as an example.
When you think of Mariage Freres tea, you must think of its tea can. When you think of the tea can, you must mention the most classic black body tea can in the store. The body of the tea can is cylindrical, and it is made of smooth rather than matte material, which makes every tea can shine faintly under the light, with luxury in a low profile; There is no too much decoration on the can body, only the gold brand logo and tea name label are attached. The combination of black and gold colors easily shows the high-level style of “noble tea”.
As a tea pot, the Chinese zodiac limited tea pot designed by Mariage Freres is very interesting. This series of tea pots is inspired by the Chinese zodiac. The colors of the pots are different every year, but they are very bright; There is a round mark on the tank body, with the words of monkey, chicken, dog, pig, mouse, etc. in the center, and English and French meaning “this year is X year” in the outer circle. The top of the outer circle is “China”, and the bottom is the capital Mariage Freres. The design of this group of tea cans integrates Chinese culture and foreign fashion, and integrates culture and tea well.
One of the most popular and ingenious packaging in the store is the “medicine bottle” for flavoring iced tea. The black bottle body, with 18 colors of label paper such as dark purple, light green, pink and orange, is like a rainbow when it is listed on the shelf. Mariage Freres was ingenious and broke the understanding in people’s minds that tea can only be contained in tea cans or tea bags, and put these unique tea into “medicine bottles”. Even if customers who come to buy tea are not interested in the tea in the bottle, they will also be willing to take time to study these exquisite small bottles and open the bottle cap to experience the fun of being a scientist. And Mariage Freres did this, allowing people to open every bottle cap and harvest surprises. Although 18 kinds of tea have different flavors, they can bring good mood. At the same time, the design of the bottle is a bit like a perfume bottle, but what is in it is the aroma of tea.
The design of Mariage Freres tea bag is also different from other brands. It is neither like the pyramid tea bag of Goodearth nor the rectangular tea bag of Twinings, but an irregular small tea bag made of cotton muslin. It may be because cotton cloth can better contact with water, and is not easy to produce harmful substances, and the cotton material is also more soft, and is not easy to break the tea.
Finally, the gift box design of Mariage Freres. There are many types of gift boxes, including “tea+jam” gift boxes, “Voyage” gift boxes, and “Beautiful Tea” gift boxes. Each “Voyage” gift box contains a can of black tea and a can of green tea. The outer package of the gift box is a notebook. The designer hopes that this gift box can evoke people’s memories like a navigation record book; The pot is a long strip. The pot body is packaged with plain glossy paper with patterns. The label on the pot body indicates the origin of tea. Take the group in the picture as an example. The box contains black tea from Bangkok and green tea from Kyoto. Drinking these two cans of tea is like taking two trips. You can feel the enthusiasm of Bangkok and the Zen of Kyoto. The French romantic feelings are fully reflected in this design.
The “Beautiful Tea” series will have a more sense of design. On the long golden top of the can, there are complicated patterns outlined by golden lines. Any random display can become a work of art. Mariage Freres is very bold in color selection. Compared with the color of the “medicine bottle” and the Chinese zodiac tea pot, the color of this series will be more impactful. It is really interesting to think that we can encounter such “trendy” products in the vintage and elegant stores.
(3) The design of classical and elegant and fresh and gorgeous store
Mariage Freres has now set up stores in Tokyo, Japan, London, UK and other places. The design of these stores continues the style of Paris stores to convey the unified feeling of consumers. The store is mainly decorated with wood, and the light yellow light is softly sprinkled on the wooden shelves and tables, bringing a sense of simplicity and history, which makes people feel like going back to the 19th century when entering the store. Most of the shelves in the store are wooden lattice shelves. Tea cans, gift boxes, tea books, and tea food are filled in these lattices in an orderly manner. Among them, there are also tea cans marked with the word “tea” in various countries. The whole store is like a huge treasure house, and every customer has become a treasure hunter. There are two floors in the exclusive store in the Marais district of Paris. The first floor is mainly used for commodity sales and drinking services. After buying tea and watching tea, people can find a small table in the store to sit down and enjoy a good cup of tea leisurely, or try a delicate dessert; On the second floor is the Tea Museum, which displays some exquisite tea cans and tea surroundings, and sometimes carries out tea themed activities.
However, because different countries have different aesthetic methods and shop construction methods, there will also be some differences in the setting of exclusive stores. For example, the store in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan has three floors, and some “young” and small fresh elements will be added to the decoration, such as some Japanese flowers and plants decoration, bamboo cane chairs, etc. There will be taro purple wallpaper, pure white tables and chairs, European mirrors and other decorations in London’s exclusive stores in the UK, which will be more magnificent in the UK.
In addition to the decoration and display in the store, the staff is also a major feature of the store. The staff of Mariage Freres are specially trained to be elegant and patient enough in the process of communicating with customers. Their words and deeds make people feel like they are in a high-end restaurant or hotel. In the process of selling tea, the clerk will patiently explain the source, quality, brewing method and storage method of tea, and will not hesitate to let customers taste the tea in the store. This kind of sincere service attitude makes people who visit the Mariage Freres store feel warm.
2. Product type: “tea treasure chest”
(1) Provide a variety of tea products with a serious attitude
Earlier engaged in tea trade, Mariage Freres had the opportunity to access the world’s good tea. Since the 19th century, it has been focused on selecting and providing high-quality tea products. Now, 36 countries in the world are the source countries of its tea. It is not too much to say that it has captured the world’s good tea.
Mariage Freres has a rich variety of proto-leaf tea, including black tea, green tea, white tea, black tea (mainly Pu’er), oolong tea (Mariage Freres calls it Blue Tea) and yellow tea, including 244 types of black tea from 15 countries, 62 types of green tea from 9 countries, and 25 types of white tea from 6 countries. Some countries can also provide unique tea products, such as black tea and Pu’er tea in Yunnan, China, Mount Huangshan Maofeng in Anhui, and milk scented oolong tea in Taiwan. At the same time, it will also combine the cultures of other countries to create tea products. In addition to the Chinese zodiac tea mentioned above, there is also the Japanese tea “Linghe”, and the “Sakura” made by combining the Japanese green tea and cherry culture. These teas are “Finest Harvest” among more than 800 kinds of teas. They are usually packed in tea cans, because the original leaves of Mariage Freres are mostly whole leaves, which need to be kept intact and clean, and can better ensure the quality and flavor of tea.
Mariage Freres has always been able to provide high-quality tea products. It has many organic tea plantations around the world. During the planting process, local tea farmers are required to adhere to the original ecological method of cultivation. A serious attitude towards tea helps it maintain its authority in the field of tea and ensure its position in the hearts of consumers. Just like during this epidemic, Mariage Freres only sold Darjeeling tea picked before the outbreak of the epidemic, to eliminate the potential health and safety hazards and to reassure consumers.
Another tea category of Mariage Freres is the combination of flower and fruit tea. From the classification on its homepage, we can see that its combination methods are diverse and the raw materials are rich, but most of them are grapefruit, rose, rose, orange, lavender, mint, jasmine and other relatively fresh and mild raw materials. The popular blended tea is Earl Tea and Macro Polo, both of which are fruity and sweet. Mariage Freres is good at creating new patterns of blended tea. On Valentine’s Day this year, Mariage Freres launched a white blue tea limited to Valentine’s Day. You can get a cup of indigo tea by soaking it at 95 ℃ for 5 minutes. The elegant and beautiful color makes simple tea full of vitality. As a tea brand with a history of more than 100 years in France, Mariage Freres also has a romantic feeling for tea. All the prepared tea in the store is inspired by “incense” rather than simple combination. The perfect integration of fruit, flowers and tea has created a unique tea.
(2) Develop tea surroundings in an artistic way
In addition to a wide variety of tea, Mariage Freres is also rich in tea surroundings, which can be roughly divided into four categories: tea food, tea books, tea sets, and tea fragrance.
Mariage Freres is rich in tea food. In addition to common tea biscuits and tea sugar, it also provides tea jam, tea chocolate and tea gingerbread. The formula of tea jam is inherited from the 19th century. The materials used to make tea jam are of high quality, such as Earl tea, Marco Polo tea, Darjeeling tea, etc. Tea candy is also elaborately made into wooden sticks and lollipops, which are very cute. The packaging of tea chocolate and tea biscuits is similar to the tea gift box, which is suitable for giving gifts to friends on festivals. I feel monotonous when drinking tea. Some small refreshments like this will make tea more enjoyable.
Mariage Freres has a wide variety of tea sets, including teacups, teapots, teacups, saucers, saucers, and even special insulation covers. These appliances also integrate the cultures of Asian and European countries, such as the half-tile pot type of the Chinese purple clay pot and the Japanese tea bowl. In addition, the design of tea sets is also very artistic. Even simple glass pots differ in color, curvature of the pot body, height and combination. The designer is also very considerate and specially designed a left-handed pot for left-handed people. These details can reflect the brand’s intentions.
Although the fragrance of tea is different from that of perfume, it also has its own elegance. Mariage Freres saw this and created her own tea fragrance. These nine fragrances extract the unique and elegant fragrance of tea, and all have romantic names, such as “falling in love”, “after the storm”, “taboo”, etc., which are enough to arouse people’s beautiful reverie.
What’s more interesting is that Mariage Freres also produced tea books and tea ceremonies. It wanted to let people understand the French tea culture, so there was the French tea culture tea book; Want to tell people that tea can also be delicious, so there is a tea recipe; In order to let people understand the magic of the Ancient Tea-Horse Road, there are books dedicated to the ancient Tea-Horse Road. The most amazing thing is that you can also find the “Tea Classic” made by Lu Yu, the Chinese tea sage. It can be seen that Mariage Freres also knows Chinese tea culture very well.
From the above introduction, we can see that Mariage Freres always has a heart of exploration for everything related to tea, so it can bring the same variety and novelty of tea surroundings while providing high-quality and diverse tea products, which may be one of the secrets of the “centenarian” to be young forever.
3. Communication strategy: let everything related to tea become enjoyment
There are four main ways for Mariage Freres to communicate with consumers: communicating in the sales of physical stores, accepting opinions on the official website, holding communication activities in the brand’s tea club, and interacting with consumers on social media. The first one has been described in the previous article, the second one is a common way for most brands, and the latter two are the communication methods with Mariage Freres’ own style. The following also takes these two methods as examples to analyze their communication strategies.
(1) Tea Club
Many brands have their own clubs, but Mariage Freres’ clubs are different. Its club not only provides tea tasting and exchange, but also provides workshops for club members to learn more about more practical tea culture. The workshop was divided into two parts: introduction and deepening. The introduction is mainly to introduce you to tea, taste more than ten kinds of tea, feel the aroma of tea, learn the basic knowledge related to tea, and have a preliminary understanding of tea culture. In the deepening class, a more complete learning system will be provided, which is mainly divided into seven themes: green tea, oolong tea, black tea, tea from Chinese Mainland and Taiwan, Japanese green tea, tea from Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. In these seven thematic courses, Mariage Freres will send professionals to guide the tasting study. At the same time, the club also provides private rest rooms and meals for these members. Mariage Freres made the club into a high-level sharing meeting, and it is a “customized” sharing meeting for people who want to learn tea culture. This experience of “private customization” allows the participants to obtain the satisfaction of being respected, so it attracts many people to participate.
(2) Warm communication on Facebook
Mariage Freres mainly communicates with consumers through Facebook, a social media, and has a direct link to Facebook account on its official website. The account will publish tea introduction information, introduce which kinds of tea are suitable for drinking in different seasons and different climates, and tell consumers which way to drink tea is the most comfortable. Even when introducing products, Mariage Freres also uses some poetic and warm verses, films, excerpts of articles, and music as the introduction or collocation. For example, in a recent post, it was suggested that you can mix beautiful music with tea, and pointed out that “Lovely Day by the eternal Bill Withers, accompanied by sweet earl tea, breakfast tea and Bengal apple” is the most appropriate. With warm tea and melodious piano music, Mariage Freres creates a beautiful scene and reflects noble taste, which makes people indulge in it and feel proud of its tea.
Final summary: Mariage Freres, a French tea brand with a history of 166 years, has successfully created its own comprehensive image of “noble and elegant, fashionable and playful”, and has moved many people with its love for tea, sincere communication with consumers, and interpretation of French tea culture. Nowadays, when people mention the French tea brand, they will think of Mariage Freres and its high-quality services, and the beautiful tea world it has built.