Mindful, slow, Zen, white tea… the Chinese way.

Yong Fu Monastry Complex, Wenzhou, China

I am running seminars at Rennes School of Business every Spring called Corporate Design in the Luxury Industry with 4 groups of International students who are studying on this course. My first seminar gives them an Introduction to design, corporate identity, packaging, design history, architecture, sound and aroma design. The second one, focuses on the Luxury personal brand and they have to develop their own luxury brand as the final part of their assessment.

As part of the course, we talk about brand positioning. Positioning is tricky in the luxury industry right now, as the lines are blurring between Luxury and Premium, as more luxury brands try to attract younger audiences with lower priced products, and this gives premium brands the opportunity to try and trade up to a luxury positioning.

We carry out several creative exercises during the seminar. At the end of the first seminar, I get the students to design a piece of packaging for tea – they have one hour to cut out the template and design it, find a name and selling line and illustrate it. They then have 1 minute to each explain their packs.

The project is for the Yong Fu Temple, located in the foothills next to Longwanhai Town, Wenzhou, China. Other than being known as a quiet place of worship with beautiful mountain views, Yong Fu Temple is also known for its organic tea products, particularly its white tea found in the mountains, picked, dried and packaged by the Buddhists living in the temple. With a great boost in the demand for tea products, Yong Fu temple is currently focused on developing their brand “Yun Xu Gu” through innovative packaging, and they wanting to sell its products not just in the Temple shop but in other retail outlets.

The students can choose between 3 types of positioning:

High-end Products:

• Important Keywords: Luxury, Delicacy and Collectable

Packs with a ‘high End’ positioning. Touches of gold and wrap-around designs.

Middle range Products

• Important Keywords: Classic, Modest and Presentable

Packs with premium/mid-range positioning


Low-end Products:

• Important Keywords: Affordable, Practical and Portable

All packs developed.

The key things they have to think about are to:

  • Emphasise its unique brand identity: Organic, hand-made and natural
  • Eye-catching and easily distinguished from other tea products
  • Simplified consuming process for modern life style
  • Promote the spirit of Zen
  • Highlight the culture of Yong Fu Temple
  • To embody nature from creative aspects: form, graphic, materials etc.
  • Create variation based on the current logos to emphasise each product range

The students are not design students, they are predominantly “business” students, but they want to have an all-round knowledge of Marketing and Branding for their future professional lives. I believe they did a very good job, and they really enjoyed doing it.


If you would like to commission me for a similar course or seminar. Please get in touch 


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