Well, I'm slightly depressed. If it wasn't going to be me to open a tea shop in the Middle East after Starbucks conveniently chipped in $250 million to purchase Teavana, it was going to be some other cash cow seeker. I won't mope for long. In fact, I made the effort to visit the new Bahrain City Center store opening day. Hell, I made a purchase. Why? Because Teavana has got a formula for success that even Starbucks couldn't ignore. Their driving force? Complementary tea sampling and anchoring product knowledge.
Complementary Tea Tasting
Teavana is a culture rich apothecary of tea ware and loose leaf blends that begs you to be an informed shopper. If it isn't enough that Teavana employees are conspiring to educate you, there are plenty of samples to keep you ignorantly nodding in agreement - four stations in approximately 30 sq. m of dense real estate. This isn't an Apple store with enough breathing room between products and people you could pitch a tent. Whether or not all the information that is coming out of these sales associates is correct, you will be none-the-less constantly engaged. There is so much innovation in tea steeping alone, your mind will be blown.
Anchoring Product Knowledge
This is where they get you. Teavana's loose leaf blends are relatively expensive. You could easily spend 105 BHD (almost 300 USD) for a kilo of the Youthberry White Tea Blend (the white tin pictured above). Their teapots and accessories are not cheap either. And so you're torn. You've just experienced some great tea, one of which is the 'rarest in the world' and you refuse to budget for even 50 grams. You may be a bit skeptical about Monkey-Picked Oolong being the rarest tea in the world, but by assigning a product as 'the rarest' you are lead to believe that there is high value in Teavana tea. So you decide to just take a cup. Their ready-to-drink cups probably have the highest margins and yet you've just convinced yourself that you walked out winning.