The Alchemy of Tea Marketing: Godin

T h e A l c h e m y o f T e a M a r k e t i n g : G o d i n

Delving further into tea marketing alchemy shifts the view from the planet-level considerations of Peter Drucker to the climatic considerations of Seth Godin.

As a brief review, The Alchemy of Tea Marketing looks to bring some of the most popular marketing thinkers and apply their concepts to the business of tea. The three influential marketers covered, and their level of influence include:

  1. Peter Drucker – the planetary level of marketing concepts
  2. Seth Godin – the climate level of marketing concepts
  3. Rory Sutherland – the weather level of marketing concepts

Seth Godin has become one of the most influential marketers of the 21st Century. His best-selling works include:

  • Permission Marketing
  • Purple Cow
  • All Marketers Are Liars


Hawaii’s Big Island – full of climates

Once a marketer has cultivated a desirable Drucker-level planet in which to engage in marketing, it is time to consider climate-level variations. Gaining a viable and sizeable audience will require reaching across a variety of worldviews that are nuanced yet sharing in some shared traits. Consider, for example, the Big Island of Hawaii. This island’s population shares life on a land area of about 4,000 square miles, who deal with up to 10 different climate zones (ranging from desert to rainforest to polar conditions). One shared tropical island with various climatic traits.

Combining elements from Godin’s marketing principles allows for tea marketing alchemy at the climate-level, including the key concepts and their application.

Marketing on Drucker’s planet level is about adapting the product and its associated characteristics. Marketing on Godin’s climate level is about shaping worldview, brand, and story.


For Godin, worldview is a fundamental element of crafting an engaging story that people will relate to and act in accordance with. Every person has a worldview- regardless of whether they can recognize it or define it. It is this oft unseen set of internal predispositions that affects whether a marketing message can:

  • Attract Attention. Getting audience attention is a factor of knowing what kinds of things they will tune-in to receive.
  • Leverage Biases. All people have assumptions about the world around them, the way things are, and the way they should be. Effective marketing engages those biases to paint a picture.
  • Employ Vernacular. A worldview includes certain ways of seeing, thinking, and communicating. Connecting to a group of people with a common worldview means speaking their language.

The challenge of course, is knowing which impressions will get noticed, and when they will get noticed.


More consistent, continuous brand and product stories can be woven together when marketing understands the attention, biases, and vernacular involved in a marketing climate.

A good marketing story does 2 things:

  1. Good stories fulfill the desires in a worldview
  2. Good stories tell a better story than the one currently believed

Good stories resonate with their audience when they:

  1. Agree with the worldview(s) of the audience
  2. Appeal to the right senses
  3. Contain truth
  4. Make a promise
  5. Are subtle enough- letting the audience “read in” the impressions they instinctively want to form
  6. Reach a Minimum Viable Audience (MVA)

When these stories are effective, they yield:

  1. Attention
  2. Trust
  3. Action


When it comes to tea stories that engage worldview, tea marketers have generally framed their brand and product stories around 1 or 2 out of 3 main aspects:

  1. CRAFT: How the process of creation relates to a story/worldview
  2. COMPONENT: What the elements/ingredients contribute to the story/worldview
  3. CHARM: Why the brand/product embodies a lifestyle
M= Mediocrity, with no outstanding qualities


Piper & Leaf of North Alabama serves as a great example of employing Component + Charm to create a marketing climate that engages a worldview with consistent brand and product stories.

They use

  1. Charm to harken back to a simpler lifestyle “made for the Southern tradition of sweet tea on the front porch…”
  2. Components in their teas associated with down-home Southern life, including: sweet potato, blackberry, peach, and sarsaparilla

But the list could go on of tea companies engaging their audience’s worldviews,

  • Yogi Tea tells the story of wellness
  • Celestial Seasonings tells the story of comfort


Combining the lessons of Drucker and Godin to create meaningful, tea-marketing alchemy means:

  1. Shape your planet of product+service in ways that will create customers
  2. Build a climate that resonates with an audience by appealing to their worldviews with story