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Creating a Luxury Brand from the Ground Up

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Building Luxury Brands from Scratch: The Success of TWG Tea and Bacha Coffee

While TWG Tea and Bacha Coffee may appear to be heritage brands, their roots are relatively young. These luxury brands have thrived in post-pandemic Singapore, thanks to their grandeur and strategic positioning in upscale locations. Co-founders Taha Bouqdib and Maranda Barnes have successfully replicated their spare-no-expense model after building TWG Tea into a status symbol across Asia.

The Appeal of Affordable Luxury

Bouqdib describes their business as being in the "affordable luxury" sector, recognizing that tea and coffee are everyday products that consumers worldwide crave. With disposable income in Asia projected to surge by 60% through 2040, there is a growing willingness among consumers in the region to pay a premium for these products. Singapore, with its tea and coffee supply chains and lack of import duties, serves as an ideal base for Bouqdib and Barnes.

The Power of Design and Storytelling

TWG Tea and Bacha Coffee have successfully capitalized on the trust that Asian consumers place in heritage brands. The brands' stores are designed to transport customers to a world that feels older and wealthier, with carefully crafted narratives that evoke a sense of history and luxury. Customers are willing to wait in line and pay premium prices for the experience and the opportunity to share it on social media. The growth and success of TWG Tea and Bacha Coffee have not come without challenges. Legal battles and trademark disputes have been part of the journey, but Bouqdib and Barnes view them as inevitable in the process of building a global brand. They have invested in expanding their physical locations and adapting to the changing retail landscape, including the development of an e-commerce strategy during the pandemic. Looking ahead, TWG Tea and Bacha Coffee continue to expand their presence globally, with plans for more physical locations and potential partnerships or an initial public offering to further boost their businesses. The focus remains on building for the future and delivering a luxury experience that captivates consumers worldwide.

Lessons from TWG Tea and Bacha Coffee: Building a Luxury Brand in the Modern Age

The story of TWG Tea and Bacha Coffee provides a fascinating blueprint for new businesses looking to establish themselves in the luxury market. Despite their relatively young age, these brands have successfully positioned themselves as heritage brands, tapping into the appeal of "affordable luxury" and the growing disposable income in Asia.

Understanding the Market

Bouqdib and Barnes' strategy of offering everyday products like tea and coffee as luxury items is a masterstroke. It demonstrates a deep understanding of their target market's changing economic capabilities and desires. For new businesses, this underscores the importance of market research and the ability to adapt to evolving consumer trends.

Brand Storytelling and Design

TWG Tea and Bacha Coffee's success also highlights the power of effective brand storytelling and design. By creating a luxurious, historical atmosphere in their stores, they have turned the simple act of buying tea or coffee into an immersive experience. This strategy can be a powerful tool for new businesses looking to differentiate themselves in a crowded market.
Overcoming Challenges
However, the journey of these brands also serves as a reminder that success often comes with challenges. From legal battles to adapting to the digital landscape, Bouqdib and Barnes' experiences show that resilience and adaptability are crucial for any new business. In conclusion, the success of TWG Tea and Bacha Coffee offers valuable insights for new businesses, particularly in the luxury sector. By understanding their market, leveraging the power of storytelling and design, and being prepared to overcome challenges, new businesses can carve out their own success stories.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/how-to-make-a-luxury-brand-from-scratch
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