-
Advertorial
-
FOCUS
-
Guide
-
Lifestyle
-
Tech and Vogue
-
TechandScience
-
CHTF Special
-
Nanhan
-
Futian Today
-
Hit Bravo
-
Special Report
-
Junior Journalist Program
-
World Economy
-
Opinion
-
Diversions
-
Hotels
-
Movies
-
People
-
Person of the week
-
Weekend
-
Photo Highlights
-
Currency Focus
-
Kaleidoscope
-
Tech and Science
-
News Picks
-
Yes Teens
-
Fun
-
Budding Writers
-
Campus
-
Glamour
-
News
-
Digital Paper
-
Food drink
-
Majors_Forum
-
Speak Shenzhen
-
Business_Markets
-
Shopping
-
Travel
-
Restaurants
-
Hotels
-
Investment
-
Yearend Review
-
In depth
-
Leisure Highlights
-
Sports
-
World
-
QINGDAO TODAY
-
Entertainment
-
Business
-
Markets
-
Culture
-
China
-
Shenzhen
-
Important news
在线翻译:
szdaily -> Hotels
The story of an Internet-era tea shop
    2017-September-1  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Lei Kaibin

raylei21@163.com

IF you happened to have Chinese millennial friends on your social media, you would find little difficulty in seeing their mention of a milk tea shop named Heytea, along with themselves or the drinks posing for a well-composed picture.

This is especially the case in Guangdong and Shanghai, where most of the beverage brand’s stores are located. At some of these Heytea stores, a line of nearly 100 people can be seen, which means a wait of up to six hours for a cup of tea.

Nie Yunchen, the founder of Heytea, kicked off his startup Royaltea — the predecessor of Heytea in Jiangmen, Guangdong in 2012. The then 21-year-old entrepreneur was doing every bit of works in the shop, including renovation, menu design and product design.

Heytea Cheese, a flagship product invented by Nie, attracted an increasing number of customers and gave the brand a boost to expand to other cities. By hitting the headlines on social media and media reports, Heytea soon became a celebrity among tea shops.

After being copied by other stores with similar names and products, the brand changed its name to Heytea in February 2016.

In August 2016, the company received a combined amount of investment totaling up to 100 million yuan (US$14.7 million) from IDG Capital and He Boquan.

One of the factors that differentiates Heytea from other tea shops is its focus on its products, according to the company.

One example is the time and effort he invested in research and design — tasting more than 20 cups of milk tea per day. What’s more, tea leaves are imported from Thailand, India and China’s Taiwan, where unpolluted soils allow better flavors to be extracted.

Besides embedding elements welcomed by the young people into the brand’s graphic design and shops’ interior design to personalize its brand image, Heytea also attracted millennials with graphic works drawn by illustrators.

In terms of marketing, Heytea sets its mindset beyond a level of being just a tea shop. Nie said that he values useful reviews from customers and make changes accordingly.

Additionally, the company divides its products into two categories — one holds the goal of encouraging customers to share their drinks on their social media, while the other aims to enhance customers’ brand recognition by putting emphasis on products.

However, a recent discussion of Heytea hiring people to queue brought a backlash to the brand. In response, Nie said that such an approach would not help the shops survive a year.

He also refuted the rumors by laying out a set of numbers — the average number of cups of tea produced by a Heytea shop has soared from a maximum of 700 to 800 cups to 3,000 cups per day, yet Heytea still fails to fulfill customers’ demand.

“I go there [Heytea] around once every two weeks. The shop near my home usually takes me half an hour waiting in line, and another half hour for getting my tea,” said Xiong Chunyao, a Dongguan resident. “For the past two months, I have been seeing long lines in front of the shop every time I go there. But I think the flavor is much better than other tea shops.”

When asked about the rumors spread online, Xiong said he believed that Heytea was involved in hiring people to queue because a shop can’t become that popular in such an unnoticed instant.

“In some ways it is understandable because it is a marketing approach and such an approach has worked,” he said.

深圳报业集团版权所有, 未经授权禁止复制; Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.
Shenzhen Daily E-mail:szdaily@szszd.com.cn