Light gray walls, log-colored tables and chairs, metallic lamps and doorframes, and bare cement ceiling … Is it hard to imagine that this is an office of a Pu ‘er tea brand?
In my impression, Pu ‘er tea was drunk after the 60s and 70s. It pays attention to tasting, collecting, investing and giving gifts. It has strong nonstandard attributes, a lot of knowledge and a high cognitive threshold. It is the talk of those rich enthusiasts. And a Pu ‘er tea company should have a lot of dark wooden furniture, including wood carvings and screens, which will burn incense.
But this Pu ‘er tea brand — — Jeep — — The office is very young, not only in decoration, but also in product color matching and design.
Zhang Yu, the founder of Jeep, was born after 1985. He was very young and energetic. In our interview, he not only talked about Kan Kan, a tea industry, but also often mentioned many favorite categories and brands of young people, such as new tea and coffee. It is obvious that he is thinking about how to make more young consumers fall in love with tea.
I learned from my communication with Zhang Yu that, in his view, the Pu ‘er tea collection market dominated by the post-60s and post-70s is gradually shrinking, but the younger generation of post-80s and post-90s gradually developed the habit of drinking tea. The main consumption of Pu ‘er tea is shifting to the younger generation of mass consumers, just like the style presented by this company.
However, Pu ‘er tea formed the threshold of cognition, purchase and drinking in the last stage, which made mass consumers flinch from Pu ‘er tea for a long time.
How to reduce the threshold and information gap of Pu ‘er tea, let more mass consumers drink Pu ‘er tea, and let Pu ‘er tea, an intangible craft, be passed down? Zhang Yu has gradually explored the answer in the past 10 years.
Zhang Yu, a native of Kunming, Yunnan, helped his classmates to buy tea at the tea market for the first time 10 years ago, which became an opportunity for him to get started in the tea industry. In the process of learning Pu ‘er tea, Zhang Yu gradually perceived the cultural connotation and charm of Pu ‘er tea, and founded Jeep in 2012. In the early days of its establishment, she also emphasized the interest of Pu ‘er tea tasting and collection, and called on young people to become Pu ‘er tea players. At that time, slogan was called "player Pu ‘er".
After predicting the trend change of consumer groups, Zhang Yu decided to break through the circle of Pu ‘er tea enthusiasts and push Pu ‘er tea to the younger generation of mass consumers.
He began to improve the fermentation technology of Pu ‘er tea, and changed the prohibitive "heap taste" of traditional cooked tea. Establish a product identification system to reduce the difficulty for consumers to identify products. Only by simplifying these two ends can Pu ‘er tea penetrate into the public, just like Suntory, Oriental Leaf and other ready-to-drink tea brands.
In terms of channel selection, Jeep laid out online channels closer to mass consumers from the beginning, and insisted on exporting popular science content in the tea industry.
In 2020, Jeep entered Tik Tok E-commerce as the core content export platform and main sales channel. Through the strong content attributes of Tik Tok e-commerce and the ability to undertake live broadcasts and shelves, Jeep can not only popularize science and show the products, origin and cultural charm of Pu ‘er tea to more mass consumers through short videos, but also undertake consumers’ purchasing needs through live broadcasts and shelf scenes, so that more consumers can fall in love with and drink Pu ‘er tea.
Push Pu ‘er tea to the mass market through standardization.
Although the history of Pu ‘er tea can be traced back to the Eastern Han Dynasty, it has been popularized in the mass market for nearly 20 years.
In ancient times, Pu ‘er tea was mainly used for court enjoyment and gifts to foreign missions. In modern times, it has been run by Yunnan state-owned enterprises, with export as the core sales model. For a long time, even Yunnan locals did not drink Pu ‘er tea. Until the state-owned enterprises were restructured in 2004, Yunnan Menghai, Lincang, Xiaguan and other Pu ‘er tea factories were transformed into private enterprises, and more self-employed and capital entered the Pu ‘er tea industry. In addition, under the influence of caravan entering Beijing and celebrity auction in 2005, Pu ‘er tea gradually entered the mass market.
In the first five years, Pu ‘er tea experienced a national tea drinking craze, and it was favored by fat-reducing people around 2010 and ushered in a wave of dividends in the mass consumer market. But what really made Pu ‘er tea develop at a high speed was the "Shantou Tea" culture that rose in 2008.
Shantou tea is a special name of Pu ‘er tea ancient tea tree, which grows on many hills in four major producing areas of Yunnan. Because of the differences in microclimate and tea farmers’ initial processing technology, it forms "one mountain blindly". The mountains are also divided into grades because of different factors such as altitude, tea tree year and scarcity.
Pu ‘er tea at this stage, like wenwan and wine, has formed several major characteristics in everyone’s cognition — — Products are non-standard, expensive and opaque, with value-added properties and high learning threshold. It coincides with the rise of the middle class after 1960s and 1970s, and Shantou tea has become their product to establish identity labels because of its nonstandard and scarcity.
In the eyes of these old tea drinkers, non-standard is the charm of Pu ‘er tea, but since 2017, the main consumption of Pu ‘er tea has gradually changed, and after 80 s and 90 s, tea is slowly started. These consumers’ pursuit of value-added and collection of Pu ‘er tea is weak, and they care more about cost performance, taste and brand identity. Shantou culture has become the threshold for their consumption of Pu ‘er tea.
In 2017, Jeep changed slogan into a "rational Pu ‘er tea player". In those years, Zhang Yu has been studying how to standardize the production and products, so as to lower the cognitive and consumption threshold of Pu ‘er tea and lay the foundation for the popularization of Pu ‘er tea.
On the production side, Jeep has gradually standardized the initial production, fermentation and storage of Pu ‘er tea in the past 10 years.
For example, the traditional fermentation process of Pu ‘er cooked tea is limited by the fermentation environment and industrial development, and the tea produced by the same fermentation process may have different tastes and is prone to odor (heap taste). In 2016, Jeep introduced the meta-cooked fermentation process to improve the fermentation environment and conditions, and reduce the non-standard and odor problems caused by the fermentation process.
Zhang Yu is introducing the upgrade of meta-cooked fermentation technology.
On the consumer side, Jeep established a digital system in 2019 based on the name of the mountain. According to the degree of entry, the producing area of main ingredients, the tenderness of raw leaves, and the grade of main ingredients, even novices can easily find out the right tea. They also gradually improved the product form. Apart from the traditional big tea cakes, they also introduced small tea cakes, 7 grams of sprouted cakes, 2 grams of "daily tea" camellia oleifera abel. and teabags. Since 2021, they have also opened 10 tea shops in Kunming to "drink tea in the mountains".
Digital System of Jeep’s Products
Jeep makes "drinking tea" more and more convenient, which is more suitable for mass consumers, especially young people. These products let us see the whole process of a consumer from beginner to enthusiast, similar to the advanced journey from ready-made coffee, instant coffee to coffee beans.
Reach the mass consumers online.
From the first day of brand establishment, Jeep has been based on online channels, which is also a more efficient way to reach mass consumers.
Traditional offline tea shops are engaged in tasting business, and the daily average flow of people is not high. Therefore, it is necessary to enlarge the customer unit price of a single transaction to balance the expenses of the store. Therefore, many Pu ‘er tea shops have high prices, and they are not priced, and they are completely priced by people. Non-standard, opaque and humanized sales model has become an obstacle for mass consumers to spend in stores. Online channels can reduce intermediate costs, unify products and pricing throughout the network, and remove the information difference of prices.
However, there are also problems such as high trust cost and difficulty for users to taste drinks online. Therefore, from the very beginning, Jeep tried to reduce the information gap in the industry, build trust and brand awareness through sales model innovation and content science popularization, and let more mass consumers know about Pu ‘er tea and Jeep.
In 2013, Jeep pioneered the online pre-sale of spring tea (several batches of Pu ‘er tea newly sprouted in spring). By broadcasting the pictures and videos of Chashan in the store, it showed the whole process of Pu ‘er tea from germination to suppression, allowing users to see the birth process of tea cakes in real time. In 2016, Jeep launched the popular science program "Chashan slang" on several video platforms. By introducing the knowledge of Chashan, Yunnan tea and the founder’s thinking on the tea industry, consumers can know more about Pu ‘er tea and Jeep.
After switching to multiple content platforms, Jeep began to synchronize short videos of popular science in Tik Tok in 2019, and laid out e-commerce in Tik Tok in 2022. Nowadays, e-commerce in Tik Tok has become the core content channel and one of the most important sales channels of Jeep, which makes Jeep reach more relatively young consumers.
Jeep’s Chashan slang has been serialized for more than 1000 issues.
The core reason why Jeep is deeply involved in e-commerce in Tik Tok is that in an e-commerce platform that started with content, good content can play a greater role, which not only plays the role of popular science, but also incites natural traffic, so that potential users can understand and buy products more conveniently and directly through the collaboration between live broadcast rooms. The pre-sale mode of spring tea mentioned above can also be presented to consumers more timely and comprehensively through short videos and live broadcasts.
Focusing on the category, Zhang Yu believes that the efficiency improvement brought by the combination of product and effect will be more obvious than other categories. Because Pu ‘er tea is a category with low maturity and the mass consumption is still in the training stage, there are no head brands and explosive items, but there are more long tail brands and products. Through the content and the mechanism of Tik Tok e-commerce, Pu ‘er tea merchants can more accurately match their products to personalized consumers with potential needs.
This mechanism has also driven the growth of Pu ‘er tea industry in Tik Tok. According to official data, since 2021, the scale of Pu ‘er tea business in Tik Tok has increased 15 times.
Zhang Zhiwei, the ceramic tea operation manager of Tik Tok e-commerce comprehensive business, also mentioned at the Yunnan Industrial Belt Forum that many of the 10 million users who bought Pu ‘er tea in Tik Tok e-commerce in the past year were not overlapping users of offline tea merchants. "What do Pu ‘er tea merchants think is the most valuable for Tik Tok e-commerce? It’s not sales, the most important thing is new customers. 」
Interest in e-commerce growth in Tik Tok
In Tik Tok e-commerce, Jeep continues to play the team’s content, achieving the integration of product and effect based on the linkage of short video and live broadcast, and carrying the repurchase with shelf scenes, which is also the core of many industrial belt merchants we have interviewed in the past to produce explosive products and brand voices in Tik Tok e-commerce.
In the content scene, in addition to exporting brand values and tea industry thinking, Jeep now has more content based on products.
Focusing on a product, Jeep will trace back to the production process of the product, explain the taste and brewing method of the product, and brew and taste tea soup in the user’s tea drinking scene through the scene content.
In Jeep’s daily topic "What do employees of tea enterprises drink", employees of different departments will brew or drink Jeep’s products in real office scenes such as workstations, tea rooms and tea tables. As Pu ‘er tea lovers, they will output the flavor characteristics, drinking methods, suitable scenes/seasons, product characteristics and so on during the sharing process, which are all dimensions that consumers are more interested in.
Daily topic "What do employees of tea enterprises drink"
In some products, Jeep will also export brand values through the thinking behind the products. Zhang Yu also hopes to increase the proportion of this part in the future and form a value resonance with users.
Through short videos and live broadcasts, Jeep’s efficiency in obtaining market feedback is also improving. After a new product is launched for three days, they can evaluate the product volume in the future through the content and the efficiency of product transaction, and make better product planning. After the content is released, the brand team of Jeep will quickly adjust the focus and rhythm of the content and optimize the products according to the data and comments of the content. "Basically, the results and feedback can be run in one week. 」
After Tik Tok e-commerce was upgraded to a global interest e-commerce, Jeep also began to lay out shelf scenes, put on shelves products, decorated shops, titles and details pages, and optimized shelf details such as product display on the home page through data analysis.
Jeep’s shop in Tik Tok e-commerce
In Zhang Yu’s view, when users repurchase, the most efficient way is to enter the shelf instead of entering the live broadcast room. Therefore, merchants must set up the shelf e-commerce to serve the user’s purchase link. In 2023, the proportion of Jeep’s shelf sales has increased from 13% at the beginning of the year to 27%, effectively undertaking the search and repurchase of old users.
The Jeep team said that they will continue to optimize the shelf e-commerce, especially the keywords, and use shopping malls and search keywords to obtain natural traffic. "This is the most obvious way to improve sales in the past six months, and it is also worth continuing to invest in the layout section. 」
Looking back on the past ten years, Jeep has promoted the standardization of technology and products step by step, and promoted the spread and inheritance of Pu ‘er tea among more mass consumers through the innovation of online sales model. On December 20th this year, Tik Tok E-commerce also launched a special support activity for revitalizing the industrial belt in Yunnan, attracting more Tik Tok E-commerce users to pay attention to and buy Yunnan Pu ‘er tea through special tracing, marketing support and publicity.
Jeep’s team told Narrow Broadcast that Tik Tok Electric Chamber of Commerce joined forces with high-quality authors to trace the origin and lead consumers to understand the origin, technology and industrial belt brand. The special event of Huanxin Intangible Cultural Heritage Yunnan Station will join KOL such as @ Yuqianpu, @ JiaoyouTea Teaset, @ Chi Rui to introduce intangible cultural heritage tea making skills and promote Yunnan Pu ‘er tea through short videos and live broadcasts.
In addition to content support, Tik Tok E-commerce also continues to provide live training for businesses in Yunnan Pu ‘er tea industry belt. In the past two years, the platform has been trained in product selection and live broadcast skills, and Jeep has also participated. Tik Tok e-commerce will also regularly explain the new policies of the platform to merchants, so as to help brands better follow the trends and play changes.
Since its launch in August this year, "Huanxin Intangible Cultural Heritage" has been carried out in Jingdezhen Ceramics, Yixing Zisha, Donghai Crystal and other industrial belts, helping more industrial belt brands, like Jeep, and rejuvenating intangible cultural heritage industries through multi-field collaboration of global interest e-commerce.