You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again. This time with (new, personal) examples.
I’m in Seattle right now with my mother, visiting my little brother. Neither of them are “tea people”. But I am (somewhat). So when I saw a sign advertising a “free tea tasting” at a small shop, I had to drag them in by the ear.
We sat down at the Vital Tea Leaf counter, and Bonnie poured us some tea made with chrysanthemum flowers and stevia (a natural sweetener). My mom’s eyes lit up, and my brother was excited. It was good stuff.
The experience didn’t end there: we drank some ginseng oolong tea, a rose-and-some-other-flower one, a jasmine tea, a black tea with litchi, some tea made with the hibiscus flower, a variety of pu’erh, and what they called “Smoke Tea”, which was the Chinese version of one of my Japanese favourites, lapsang souchong.
No joke, my mom spent about $100 on two teapots (one for me, as a “thank you” for bringing her), three teas, and a bag of stevia.
This, to me, seems normal for tea shops. My favourite one in Toronto, Davidstea, has the nicest girls behind the counter, all of whom are excited about tea. But that’s the least they do. They bring you a free sample as you walk in the door, and they act as your own personal concierge, pulling down tin after tin of their teas for you to smell. Your thumbs-up/thumbs-down then guides their decisions in a Pandora-like process to find the tea that’s right for you.
I have also spent, on occasion, upwards of $80 on a single visit. And I keep going back.
Now, compare that to your favourite coffee shop. I have yet to find one that cultivates its customers, getting them as excited about what they’re about to drink. I also haven’t seen anyone spend $100 or so in a single visit.
It’s so much easier to buy in when you’re excited about something. How can you excite and delight every day?