GOOD

To Create an Authentic Brand, The Boba Guys Keep It Real

A startup's brand should make it stand out from the crowd. Here's how to get there.

After getting traction on our formula, we started shifting our attention toward building a brand from scratch. Our prior work experience was at companies that had a brand persona defined before we came along. This was our chance to create something for ourselves, so exploring the identity of Boba Guys became our favorite lunch topic: Positioning, tone, and targeting, oh my! Before we started brainstorming ideas, we went to our paper napkin mission statement: "Bring the world quality boba milk tea." Everything about our brand had to fit into this mission.


It may sound like an intellectual and self-indulgent exercise, but we were very pragmatic in our approach. “Keep it real, son,” is the motto that led to our position in the white space. We like being different. In our personal lives, we always found ourselves drawn to individuals who challenged the status quo and explored the boundaries of life.
While we still frequent other bubble tea joints to sample special flavors, we did not want to ape their approach. We could not compete with their extensive menus, ubiquity or price point. If we wanted to provide quality boba milk tea, we had to change the entire business model. This includes speaking to a different crowd. Sorry, Mom, Boba Guys isn’t for you.
We see the artisan coffee phenomenon as a good proxy for our business. A segment of people who appreciate the art of coffee began emerging in our own backyard: San Francisco. We saw small businesses around us blossom with loyal followers who lived and breathed coffee.
We felt that we could do the same with boba, milk tea, or both. Therefore, every aspect of our product and tasting experience had to align with our obsession with boba. Even our logo hinged on the premise that even the most obscure of animals, the glorious aardvark, has an infatuation with boba. Of course, it’s also because he rocks a straw courtesy of Mama Nature.
Once we had locked in our identity, we needed to breathe life into it. Our persona required a look and feel, so it would be easier to communicate Boba Guys’ core values. For our next post, we’ll go into detail about how the Boba Guys’ brand identity was conceived and designed. See you Monday!
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