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Why your brand is key for retail success

Mon Feb. 29th 2016

Xero In: Why your brand is key for retail success

"I really think the best thing that happened to retail was the internet. You have to be a great retailer, and a great retailer isn't someone with a shop. A great retailer is someone who offers a complete and absolute experience."

– Maryanne Shearer, T2 cofounder

In today's episode of Xero In, Maryanne chats with co-hosts Jeanne-Vida Douglas and Rob Stone about her journey: from failed homewares business to international buyout, and the value of a good cup of tea.

With T2 stores surviving the global financial crisis, and now going global, Maryanne shares her insights into creating a retail experience, inspiring brand love, and keeping your course during tough times.

Maryanne believes one of T2's great advantages is that they weren't just tea leaves – they were creating a retail experience. That meant a beautiful, welcoming environment, great music and amazingly passionate team members that loved what they sold.

"The way we injected them [their team members] with that knowledge was just making sure that they were passionate people. They would come in and they would get very excited about our more contemporary approach to tea. I think that was critical, right to the very end when, a few months ago, when I left, it was just hitting on 20 years of working on T2. I think that energy and passion is still there."

Brand is key to retail success

For Maryanne and her original business partner, Jan O'Connor, success meant conquering one huge challenge: making tea modern. Sure, it already existed and was already popular – but making it cool? To succeed at that would feel like magic.

"We decided that tea was just too daggy, if you like, for want of a better word. They were very sort of scones and doilies. We decided that maybe it needed to be a little more modern. It was a bit of a challenge to get that modern coffee drinker, juice drinker to drink good, old, daggy tea."

Do you have a business in Auckland and feel like you need professional advice? Contact us at Norton Chartered Accountants!