Big QuestionsOur work related to complex challenges.

The Challenge

Reinvigorate the Bigelow Tea brand to help products stand out it in a crowded marketplace.


A refreshed positioning statement, identity, and packaging for Bigelow's line of more than 100 varieties of tea.

After almost 70 years of brewing classic teas, R.C. Bigelow found itself in a new marketplace rife with competition against brands that offer everything from butterscotch to banana flavors. Bigelow has kept up by greatly expanding its own offerings, now selling more than 100 varieties of tea, including kosher and organic products. The problem with all that growth: Amid a marketplace that has exploded with competition, consumers began to mistake Bigelow Tea for a giant, generic corporation selling “value” tea. Many people even confused the brand with its competitors.

To better articulate the Bigelow family values—obsessive about ingredients, environmentally conscious, community-oriented—the company asked IDEO to help convey its story to a younger demographic, for whom tea was popular but the Bigelow brand was not. Any changes to the product or its packaging would have to improve the offering without alienating Bigelow Tea’s loyal customers.

IDEO worked with the company to update its positioning statement, brand identity, and packaging. After many interviews with tea drinkers, IDEO and Bigelow executives learned that the brand could differentiate itself by crafting a strong point of view—one that cultivates and celebrates tea enthusiasts with a superior yet accessible product. With a refined positioning statement in hand, a refreshed identity system followed.

The new packaging ties together all of Bigelow’s lines of tea. Each box features bold graphic elements like a larger, easier-to-read logo, instructions for brewing a perfect cup of tea, a caffeine “caff-o-meter,” and the name of the team member who packed the box. Bigelow boxes now stand out when stacked on store shelves, winning over tea drinkers and retailers alike.

Food and Beverage
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