Strengthening the brand positioning for tea’s global membership organisation 

The Brief

ETP is tea’s global membership organisation. In 2022, it was decided that ETP needed to rearticulate its mission and purpose, to support its ambitious Strategy2030. After a competitive tender process, ETP appointed Barley to collaborate on the membership organisation rebrand, including repositioning and developing a new visual identity.

The programme of work needed to:  

  • Unify the perspectives and vision of ETP’s membership, team members and the Board 
  • Provide consistency and clarity in ETP’s messaging that resonated with all stakeholders 
  • Visually reflect ETP’s position, one that is credible and pro-business while also being relevant to everybody working in tea 
  • Move away from the perception that ETP is a certification body  
  • Help members deepen their understanding of their position and capabilities within the tea sector 
  • Herald a new chapter for the organisation into the future 

Insights and Approach

Given multiple stakeholders, countries, cultures and agendas, we prioritised getting a holistic understanding of ETP as an organisation, its complexities and nuances.  

During the immersion phase we conducted team and staff surveys and interviews, as well as a Board workshop and a hybrid vision-led workshop with over 80 people attending from ETP’s membership of 45 plus organisations.  

Difficulties with the organisation’s name Ethical Tea Partnership were unearthed: colonial connotations and certification perceptions associated with the words ‘ethical’ and ‘partnership’ did not reflect where ETP wanted to position itself.  

After further research, which included using AI tools to aggregate definitions of ‘ethical’ and ‘partnership’, as well as running quantitative research from members, it became clear that a name change was important, but retaining brand recognition was also imperative. This signalled a clear approach for the next step of the brand programme. 

The Outcome

When we started working with ETP, the vision was of a thriving, socially just and environmentally sustainable tea sector. 

We helped them craft a mission to support their vision: catalysing systemic change, to benefit everybody working in tea – particularly those in tea-producing regions.  

Through this, we produce messaging guidelines and tone of voice guidance, to ensure a consistent feeling of credibility, authority, compassion and collaboration. 

We also advised changing the organisation name to ETP, so that the brand legacy could be retained, while removing contentious and inaccurate words. 

This helped guide the visual brand design. With a shortened name, we worked with design partner Yoke to create a credible, serious and sophisticated brand that represents the complexity and ever-shifting landscape of tea while centring people at the heart of what ETP does:  

  • The logo is made up of three elements (tea; people; the world) which when put together, are greater than the sum of their parts 
  • Overlapping shapes and text visually represent the sector’s complex challenges and opportunities, with the intersection of these representing where ETP can help  
  • Organic textures and patterns highlight the depth and grounded nature of ETP’s work 
  • Photography is sourced and commissioned with the subject in mind, reinforcing people at the heart of what ETP does 
  • Softness is incorporated by rounding the corners of images and shapes  

See more of the visual brand work on Yoke’s website.

ETP has worked with Barley Communications to redefine our mission, review and update our brand identity, and redevelop our website. They have been a true partner each step of the way. The Barley team made a conscious effort to understand our work, embed themselves in the team, and ensure a collaborative environment. Working with Barley Communications ensured a successful re-brand for ETP - and I would not hesitate for a second to recommend them. I am, personally, very grateful to Adam, Nic, and Fiona at Barley for their commitment and passion for ETP.

Brian Lainoff | Head of Communications