Guo Yitao, from Hainan, China, completed her undergraduate and master’s studies in international trade management in France. The master’s thesis is to analyze the international brand strategy of Chinese tea brands, and propose some solutions for Chinese tea brands to enter the international market. In 2021, she officially started to make her own tea brand, Jiangnan Art, which is mainly aimed at the international market and adopts online promotion and sales. Her promotional videos are very popular, and the social media platform has more than 140000 fans.
Guo Yitao first became acquainted with tea when she was studying in France and strolled in the streets of Paris. She was very fond of visiting the local fine Chinese porcelain shops and interned in the French Import and Export Porcelain Company. After meeting with some designers, she did some ceramic cooperation projects and began to know more about tea. In 2020, when she was still studying for a master’s degree, she began to promote social media. In 2021, she officially launched her own teaware brand, Jiangnan Art, aiming at the international market, products are sold on the famous handicraft sales platform Esty, and promoted online. She often released small videos of the use of brand selection tea sets. The antique Chinese style is very popular with international audiences, and the fans of social media platforms soon reached more than 140000. She was satisfied with the product sales. There are many repeat customers. 90% of the customers are in the United States, and the rest are in Europe. She found that customers in the United States prefer online shopping, while those in Europe prefer physical stores. In the second half of 2023, her brand will launch an independent sales website. She plans to do webcast for the international market, and also plans to sell some classic Chinese tea. In the future, she will also consider opening stores offline if she has the opportunity.
At present, China maintains its position as the world’s largest tea producer and exporter, but China lacks world-class tea brands. All Chinese tea brands export Chinese tea as “tea raw materials” to world-class foreign tea companies at low prices, and even more than 70000 Chinese tea enterprises lag behind the British tea brand Lipton in terms of profit margins. Guo Yitao once worked as an intern in the state-owned Baisha Tea Company in Hainan, her hometown, and completed her master’s thesis “International Brand Strategy of Chinese Tea Brand”. Taking Baisha Tea Company as an example, she formulated its international brand strategy plan for the next ten years. For Chinese tea brands to enter the international market, especially in Europe and North America, she proposed some specific solutions to enhance brand value and establish contact with customers.
Guo Yitao’s master’s thesis conducted an in-depth analysis of Baisha Tea Company and conducted case studies on the brand strategies of some successful international tea brands, such as TWG and Tea Forté, which have a relatively short history in the tea industry, but have successfully created a strong brand image and achieved international expansion within a decade. I have noticed that the tea brand Paper&Tea in Berlin, Germany, has expanded rapidly in the busy business districts of major cities in Germany in recent years, and then expanded to neighboring countries. These successful examples also show to some extent that the international tea brand market has great development space, and there must be many opportunities for Chinese tea brands to take the international strategic route. Although Chinese tea brands are not familiar with foreign tea consumers, it is not easy to stand out and compete with existing famous international tea brands. Understanding customers and competitors is the first step to conquer the new market. Guo Yitao believes that tea brand positioning is very important. The brand needs to clarify its brand image and value displayed in the international market, and complete the internal and external analysis of the tea market.