Move over Joe, David is in town.

By Jeanie Hendrie

Interrupting the morning routine is an impossible task for most brands. We’re tired, cranky and stressed. Before 9am, we don’t think; we just do. Starbucks or Tim Horton’s? Many of us made that choice before we open our eyes. And yet, somehow, someway, David`s Tea has clawed its way into the hearts and wallets of so many Canadian consumers.

Since its 2008 inception, David’s Tea has expanded rapidly from a mom-and-pop shop to multiple locations across Canada and the northeastern United States. In a category that has been around for (quite literally) thousands of years, how has a little brand from Montreal managed to break through and achieve cult status?

  • David’s democratised the category: Lululemon did it for yoga. And how about 50 Shades of Grey? David’s may not have been the first (see Teaopia or Tealish) but it has absolutely been the most successful in bringing loose leaf to the masses. Gone are the days of musty-scented, dust-covered tea shops. David’s has made buying tea fun, easy and unintimidating. Move over little-old-lady, there’s a new one in town…they’re younger, better-dressed and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and rainbow colours. David’s disrupted the market as no one else had.
  • Quality, quality, quality: When it comes to taste, David’s delivers. And once you prove yourself enough times, consumers will actually blame themselves for your own misstep. Think about it – David’s Tea creates its own brews based on flavours and recipes that are thousands of years old. If my tea tastes funny, it’s not because David’s used the wrong mix of ingredients, it’s because I don’t know enough about tea to appreciate it. I blame myself for not appreciating the distinct taste and David’s becomes the flavour authority.
  • Hire the smile, teach the rest: These employees are engaged, excited and passionate about the company and the category. And if not, they’re putting on one heck of a show. While I still find the whole tea “smelling” phenomenon a little strange, the staff at David’s don’t make you feel like a fool for doing it. And in fact, pulling canisters off shelves faster than you can say Earl Grey’s your uncle. Creating a superior customer shopping experience through employee engagement is a top priority and it shows.

So there you have it teatotalers; by our standards, David’s is a completely loveable brand.