Next up, Dom Dwight, Head of Communications Development for Yorkshire Tea, talking about Yorkshire Tea’s fabulous campaign from April this year: Tea on the Train. Keep refreshing the page for updates.

Dom: The everyday black tea market is shrinking. Lack of pro-active interest in tea…but huge “latent” loyalty. Young people aren’t drinking too much tea, they drink some “normal” tea, and a lot of other stuff. The only way we can grow is by looking at people drinking Tetleys or PG Tips and convince them they’re drinking the wrong thing.

People tend to be fiercely loyal to their tea brand without knowing why. Often it’s because it’s what their mum drank. In this age of fragmented media, there’s not one way to reach everybody. We’re not a big multinational like Unilever, so from our perspective, the fragmented media side is an amazing advantage.

Earlier this year, we wanted to look at a way to disrupt what we call the “tea trance” – this latent loyalty. We came up with a party on a train. Not just any train – the Orient Express – and not just any party. We wanted to captivate the press and make them believe Yorkshire Tea was worth writing about. We also wanted to throw a party for our most loyal fans. At the time when we realised we could put these two together, we thought we’d struck gold. [Dom credits agency BEcause for coming up with the initial idea].

This train journey organically developed into a smart integrated idea: it was a reward to loyalists, it was a press trip, it tied to our new advertising campaign.

Now I’m working on internal comms as well. I have a dual role. So an integrated event like this didn’t just please the press and the loyalists, but also our staff. We had 25 of them on board acting as ambassadors, convincing the customers that we were real. To have that interaction between the staff and the loyalists in front of journalists worked really well. We had this really rich mix.

Our tea tasters talk with such ridiculous passion about tasting tea, and our suppliers. Doug’s point earlier about finding the people who have most fun really resonates with this.

These values of ethical production and caring about our suppliers, we didn’t just invent them when CSR came along. We’ve always had them, and now social media gives us the opportunity to share that.

We’re very lucky because Louis [Tomlinson] from One Direction agreed to come on the train – for some reason he happens to loves us – we’ve trended three times globally because he’s mentioned Yorkshire Tea in a tweet (one time was because of a photo of a birthday cake we sent him, shaped like a packet of Yorkshire Tea). He came and bought along his girlfriend, mum and stepdad-to-be. This is magic fairy dust that you can’t possibly replicate. The word of mouth that was generated from him turning up was enormous. The learning here is understanding the effect from your influencers.

Having Louis on board has really shifted our demographic because the average Yorkshire Tea drinker is 55 years old and we now have a huge number of fans who are 14. But being on social media has also helped that.

In the week following the train journey, there were 38,283 mentions of Yorkshire Tea on Twitter, 4,118 of Tetley and 390 of Typhoo. So the effect was fabulous. Dom used the monitoring tool Whisper to help measure the impact of the campaign.

We put out a lot of nice content but if we didn’t come in every so often with these big events, these “home runs” as Doug called them, we wouldn’t get the real boosts in growth that we need.

Photo: Still from The Yorkshire Tea Train video on YouTube.