Marketing Director, Brand Strategy, Educator, Corporate Identity, Packaging, Photography, Website Design.
It was essential that the brand was both Chinese and international, as its international accreditation provided validity to the high organic standards on which we built the brand message. The result was a brand that stands alone in its directness, clarity and focus on organic. I carefully created the packaging, marketing and education platforms to establish Yisheng Organic as an innovative leader in its commitment to organic, eco-practices. We lead by example, not just words. The packaging went from a non-recycled tin to an FSC certified carton with 80% post-consumer waste. The carton is constructed entirely without glue, which I focused on as a key design feature, as the glue used in Chinese printing factories has a strong toxic aroma. Remaining deeply aligned with the values of the organic certification organizations, transparency and sustainability became the foundation from which we built the leading organic tea brand in Southeast Asia.The package design was an instant success landing Yisheng Organic in some of the most coveted retail locations in Central Hong Kong. I built the Yisheng Organic Fair Trade and Sustainable Business Practices educational platform that partnered with Fair Trade educators to bring our strategies and experiences to various universities in Hong Kong. This platform became a catalyst for our marketing efforts and earned us a lot of press and loyal customers.
Founded in 1996, Yisheng Organic is the largest organic tea producer in China, and the leading supplier to the biggest organic tea brands in the US and Europe. When the organic movement started catching on in Asia, Yisheng Organic set its sites on developing their own consumer-brand for the booming Southeast Asian market. When the founder and CEO recruited me to Hong Kong, he had been trying to break into the notoriously difficult Hong Kong tea market for over a decade. Nothing had worked. The Mainland Chinese markets are saturated with counterfeit products claiming to be organic and it’s created a pervasive distrust of any new tea brand.
I identified the core asset to their brand that consumers were seeking: an internationally certified, honest and reliably organic product. The goal was to establish Yisheng Organic as a leader in the Asian organic movement. It wasn't enough to simply rely on the certifications alone. Yisheng Organic needed to be a leader in sustainable packaging, distribution, and empowering the rural farming communities that grew and harvested their products. And we needed to develop an education platform to share these ideas.