Case Study: Whittard of Chelsea, reinstating a tea brand

Hub reveal the process behind creating Whittard of Chelsea's first TV spot, How to make a cold brew.

Hub was asked by Whittard of Chelsea to help reinstate its position as a tea, coffee and ceramic stockist and categorise the brand among luxury tea retailers. This Whittard case study reveals how the team used video and social to make them stand out from the crowd.

Background

Founded in 1886, Whittard of Chelsea has grown from a single shop on Fleet Street to an internationally renowned retailer of coffee, tea and high-end gifts.

Already established as a high street favourite, Whittard embarked on a communication strategy that would amplify the high-end experience available in store. Whittard was keen to start using video promotion as part of their overall social marketing strategy but wanted clarity to understand which content would best resonate with their audience.

Strategy

Hub proposed a Video Strategy Discovery programme to plot a route forward. This consisted of an insight phase of research and investigation, looking at analytics and performance of existing content, competitor analysis and search analytics that would ultimately help to frame and structure the video and content strategy for the next 12 months.

From this discovery insight process, Hub identified that the first phase would be to focus on building out Help content (part of its Triple H strategy). From here Hub developed a creative treatment, devised to make the brand visible when its target market asked key questions about its products or sector. Four live action films were then commissioned under the two most searched queries, ‘How to..?’ And ‘What is..?’.

Hub’s creative treatment focused on bottling and amplifying the customer experience that consumers receive in store; leading viewers of the content to feel empowered as their tea knowledge expands. This enables them as consumers to make a more informed decision about the type of tea that they drink and allows them to act as a brand ambassador in passing on their new found expertise.

Working with Whittard’s marketing team and specialist tea tasters, it was possible to highlight the deep knowledge and enthusiasm for the brand. This helped formulate the structure and topics for the content, combined with information drawn from the insight-phase of the project.

Content distribution and social media were both a consideration throughout the project, with content formatted for multiple platforms. From insight research, engagement varied per platform: shorter content that only relayed one or two key points, subtitled versions for silent playback and different aspect ratios, performed better than using a standardised format across all destinations. Each of the four films would have cut downs in wide-screen for Facebook and Youtube, square for Instagram feeds and vertical for stories.

Impact

Whittard launched its new campaign, How to Cold Brew in July, timed to fall in-line with their summer marketing calendar and the launch of a new redesigned website.

The launch has outperformed initial expectations, reaching the same audience in 5 days that their previously most successful video took 11 months to achieve and at a cost of less than 1p per view. With an engagement rate of 84%, this also exceeds comparable Help content performance metrics.

You can find Whittards Garden Party Oolong Loose Tea here.

Help & How to Content

To learn more about Hub's help content, watch the video on demand on Hub’s Insight Breakfast page. Our Triple H strategy series discussing - Help, Hero & Hub content have been led by specialists from the industry. Tom Reding from Redbull shares interesting insights on each topic.

David Hunstone is CEO and director of content at Hub.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.