How did Twinings find their global brand voice?

Great global brand

Thomas Twining began selling tea as a trendy alternative to coffee in 1706, from his shop on the Strand.

Over 300 years later Twinings is thriving in 130 countries.

Twinings means different things to different people around the world. And the brand has always presented different versions of itself to suit local tastes.

That’s led to quite different language and packaging in varied markets around the world. But working together, the different business units found a lot of common ground.

And they’d developed an inspiring brand personality that brought 300 years of expertise to life.

Putting personality into language

The question then, was how to bring that brand personality to life in language.

The international marketing team realised their conundrum was as much about managing the writing process, as defining their tone of voice.

So they came to us for help.

Inspiring the whole business

The different business units bring different perspectives, so as we created the brand’s tone of voice, we wanted to inspire them all on the journey.

So we started with a brand workshop to help the international marketers explore how the personality might sound.

We experimented with the different sides of the personality, looked at them from different angles and refined a description until we’d landed on something everyone agreed on.

We then found writing techniques to bring the rich brand personality to life in words. We turned these into a toolkit that the business units across the world found exciting and fun to work with – inspiring them rather than constraining, encouraging creative insights, rather than binding them up in process.

David Spencer, international marketing development manager, said:

“Afia were really engaged with our issues, determined to understand the brief. In fact you challenged and polished it until was clear what we needed. You have a straightforward and sympathetic way of working, have deep knowledge and expertise and gave us a really enjoyable process that felt tailored for us.

You were good value for money, quick turning stuff round and were flexible and responsive when we needed you to be.

It’s been one of the most interesting and enjoyable projects of my career so far. It’s a real pleasure to see how markets respond so positively to the work we’ve done, and incorporate it into their writing.”

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