It’s one of the few golden rules of advertising and branding and marketing.

If you can’t be unique, be relevant.

Be more relevant than the other guy.

It’s a harder road, especially for a new brand – because you’re not forging new trails, you’re trying to take over brand territory from deeply embedded existing brands. Brands which already have relevance.

Which is why I am delighted to say I have changed the tea I buy.

I still drink black tea.

I used to drink Lipton’s black label (the one with the yellow label) or Twinings English Breakfast (because Twinings seems like posh English tea and they’d know all about tea, right?) or the one with the green label grown in the tropic sun by some mate of Kamahl’s.

You know.

Black tea.

Recently I have found this.

Yorkshire Tea.

No alt text provided for this image

I bought it based on one simple word.


Proper Black Tea.

Not “fine tea” or “superior tea” or “grown the way nature intended”.

Proper tea.

Now I’m able to have a proper cup of tea.

Not a pretend cup of tea. Not a posh cup of tea which may, or may not, be brewed correctly or might be a little too twee and slightly too subtle-y flavoured for my rough middle class palette. Not the sort of tea with a rich aroma which sends you, if only briefly, to your happy place.

Just a cup of tea.

A proper cup of tea.

I like the way the word “proper” makes me feel. I like how, without saying, “it’s the tea you can relax with” I feel like this is a tea I can relax with. It has more relevance to why I drink tea than how the tea is grown or what the pack looks like.

I don’t know about the packaging so much. It seems a little “let’s stick as many Yorkshire clichés in there as we can”.  But I do love the name. Yorkshire Tea. (In my mind, if there’s a group of people you really don’t want to upset with your fancy, pretend-y teas, it’s the Yorkies. Yes. Another cliché, but one which supports my belief about how marvellous this tea will be.)

I also like the simple, “By appointment to HRH” at the top.

Nothing says “fancy” quite like a bunch of ostrich feathers stuck in a crown.

So this is, at the same time, both posh and working class.

Proper tea.

Proper. One simple word which separates this tea from every other tea. Because it is, to me, the most relevant word as far as tea goes.

If you own the relevant word, everything in the category becomes relevant.

And everyone else in the category becomes irrelevant.

Nice work, anonymous copywriter-slash-marketer.

Proper writing that.