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Viewing 25 posts - 176 through 200 (of 213 total)
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  • #6596

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    http://tech.ipstenu.org/2011/customize-wp-admin-bar/

  • #6595

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    http://css-tricks.com/forums/discussion/11990/styling-wordpress-admin-bar/p1

  • #6594

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    http://johanbrook.com/development/wordpress/customizing-the-wordpress-admin-bar/

  • #5935

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    I still have it on the roadmap and my notes for it, but when I emailed a point of contact (taken from the STI website) about it a few months ago, I never heard anything back.

    They probably thought I was some kind of nutter.
    Right now, I’d still like to do this in some way. In fact, I have an even better understanding now about how to do this on Tea Trade than I did before and I still think Tea Trade is a good place to handle it because of the unique capabilities we have built in.
    It has taken a backseat to other projects (refacing Tea Trade; building Leafbucks.com). All are revenue streams for us and the online tea class room is a larger, longer-term project that is going to require active and involved support in the planning and setup phases. That and I need STI on board – it doesn’t have value unless STI is willing to grant certifications to those who complete the courses, which means STI needs to be involved in the project from the beginning.
    I can build the infrastructure for it; I have a deep understanding of online learning and know what it needs – but I need support and investment from other areas.  It costs me time and money to build it all, and I’m willing to do it as an addition to Tea Trade, but then I need backing and support for it (and someone who is willing to manage the project as well – I could do it, but I don’t have enough hands). 
    Tea Trade has a back-office area for project management and could be used to coordinate the different responsibilities and requirements for this, but I’ve realized that something that big needs a team to put it all together.
  • #6278

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    Which makes me wonder what is prompting his commentary. It is known that Unilever is a major buyer of tea and well represented in England (with, no doubt, close ties to Gorman) – however, it’s been reported that Unilever does not own any farms in India like it does in Kenya. In India, Unilever (and others) compete for the price of tea.

    Bill’s statement could have an impact on the price of tea, simply because someone with that much influence can cause markets to shift just by opening his mouth. Those are pretty strong words to come from Gorman and could effect the way major buyers make buying decisions. If they feel that Indian tea is of lower quality, then they may shift their money to Kenyan tea, which will in turn lower the price on Indian tea. It some areas, lower prices can cause farms to become unsustainable and then need to sell. Farms up for sale, need to be bought (enter the multinational).
    This is not a far-fetched idea either, the agriculture business around the world deals with this kind of thing regularly. In countries that have less governmental support and subsidies for farmers to keep them afloat when the price of their product drops, the impact of such statements can be even more profound.
    Largely, while, if it were entirely true, Gorman made an observation about a decline in quality based on a study or other report it would be one thing, but he seemed to make a unilateral statement that Indian tea at large was of poor quality. That’s a pretty irresponsible statement for someone in his position to make.
  • #6219

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    Here’s a link to my final paper for my class: Blue Oceans of Tea

    The class was called Global Strategy and Competition, was interesting but went by quick. It was only an 8 week class. Anyhow, the paper actually only covers about half of the details of a Blue Ocean strategy, the teacher is lazy and specifically said that they shouldn’t be more than five pages.
    A properly written strategy document for the tea industry (with a focus on grocery store tea), would easily run about 15-20 pages or more. There are a lot of elements in the blue ocean methodology that would need to be covered in a properly prepared document.
  • #6217

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    Am in the process of writing my final project/paper for this class. Have learned a great deal about this strategy and way of looking at business opportunities.

    Interestingly, as I went through the methodology and surveyed the idea – it still seems like a good one. Here is the Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas. The bottom displays the factors of competition and the scale is the level of investment.
  • #6412

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    This is fascinating reading. The best part of it all is that the statistics as presented by the writer really make it sound there is nothing but greatness ahead. Despite this he makes an interesting conclusion at the end:

    Valuation: no margin of safety if you invest in this company. We find it difficult to justify these valuations. If the company misses their revenue or earnings guidance, the price of the stock could suffer. Moreover, you have a private equity investor ready to liquidate as soon as they find the opportunity.
    As a business there will be natural stock growth as the company reinvests into itself in physical growth – doubling the number of stores by 2014. This makes it look attractive, but the other side of this (which the author doesn’t mention) is that while Teavana has slightly increasing same store sales (which translates to store performance over time) the company doesn’t really have a long tail with consumers. Too much competition online for better quality product at better prices. The Teavana consumer connection is for novices and new tea drinkers – the longer someone drinks tea in their lifetime the more likely they will graduate from Teavana. I would even argue that the transition could take less than a year in some areas because of a number of factors associated with driving to the mall for tea ( a commodity item).
    The only way for Teavana to increase in value is a rapid geographic expansion of the company. Due to the short tail, to keep themselves present in the minds of consumers, the expansion is necessary – even though they, like everyone else in the industry, benefit from the market’s natural growth.
    Here’s a link to the 1 year price chart for Teavana, since they went public. You might consider taking a short-term position now before the Christmas rush (as a mall store there should be a brief rise in value over the season) and cash in January.
    From the same website here is another, less rosy, assessment of Teavana written last week.
  • #6407

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    Oh yes, I’m going to read this entire thing. This is fascinating, in fact, I would love to have some input on it from an experienced tea blender too. Chances are good that the ideas and concepts written about back in the 1800s when this was published are very much the same today. However, today tea blenders deal more with flavouring oils because of the large demand for flavored tea. 

    Either way, this looks to be a fascinating read.
  • #6215

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    One thing that is unique about the ideas presented using blue ocean, is that it actually allows you to plan and visualize your differentiation. One of the fundamental concepts is to create a strategy canvas in which you list all the elements of your industry. Then you rank your competitors and what the industry does as a whole and how they invest in each of those elements.

    Then you decide how you want to address each element. You either want to increase investment in it, reduce it, eliminate it, or create a new element.
    For example, in supermarkets (I use interchangeably with grocery stores), the tea bag is king in probably 90% of the markets. So are small cardboard boxes wrapped in cellophane. The boxes are always pretty. A blue ocean to attack supermarkets would likely involve reducing and eliminating those particular elements (at least they would be my strategy).
    Additionally, another concept to think about in blue ocean is that in planning, the focus shifts away from competitors to alternatives and customers to non-customers. This last part is very important. Who are the non-customers? Those are the folks who stand about 20 feet down the tea aisle near the coffee. So, if you are trying to reduce and eliminate the cold and traditional packaging of the tea aisle (which will be necessary for this approach) then you might as well do the thing that will make coffee drinkers more comfortable. Package your tea in coffee bags.
    Traditional bulk tea packaging is not suitable for grocery store shelves. They don’t organize or pack in easily. Coffee bags do, and they break down the psychological barrier of switching to a frilly-looking box of tea. The other thing that is king in grocery stores is packaging, and this is true on every aisle. Grocery packaging a study in human psychology and behavior – marketing textbooks have whole chapters on it and things like color and shape affect behavior (there is a reason why the majority of the laundry detergents are in blue).
    These are just a few of the ideas about how to a blue ocean approach to tea could be implemented. There is much more to this of course, and this only touches the surface.
  • #6385

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    I can’t say that I agree that luxury and idealism cannot be tied together because it all comes down to marketing and image. Of course, there was a time when colonialism, empire building and idealism where somewhat intermixed. Admittedly, colonialist ideals seem rather archaic these days…

    Besides, how many people can say that they own a company (or brand) that is 400 years old? He has to, by default, do something special and magnificent with it – and he can never dilute the brand at all by too much expansion.
    The trouble is, in the long-term, how does he build a brand that gives him the ability to play on the legacy without having it corrupted by the harder realities of the history. I do hope that he is successful enough to build it beyond one store. I would love to see EIC stores in major cities around the globe – however, I don’t think their services are yet complete enough for differentiation. If he expanded, it would be a fancy name on a fancy shopping street among dozens of other fancy names. He does own the single most unique and special name in business that ever existed, but he needs to find a way to create a service that goes beyond just a luxury retail store. 
  • #6539

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    Look for the Tea Trader link in your dashboard. The signup and payment options are on that page. You can get to it directly into your dashboard, if you are logged in by following this link. (that link won’t work for anyone else, it only goes into your website.)

    Once you’ve signed up, you’ll then have the Products menu available in your dashboard. In that menu, start with Store Settings. There is a full help page to familiarize you and you’ll want to work your way through the tabs settings things up.
  • #6185

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    I like that you put that chart there @xavier. It really made me think about this. 

    I do personally believe that the US is a very young market for tea. To put it in perspective, I live in a region of 2.5 million people and we have two tea shops (a Teavana and an independent shop that barely registers because their prices are so high and their tea offerings are boring).
    If I had to put the US on that curve, I would put us somewhere between Early Adopters and Early Majority–we (the connected online tea community) are very much Early Adopters, but there are a significant number of tea people out there who call self-refer as tea drinkers who would never think of being part of the online tea community. They drink tea, but they are fresh.
    I say we are there and this article at Seven Cups seems to support it. After all, I would not have formulated and started Tea Trade if I wasn’t sure we are in a pre-boom era…;) I’m intentionally positioning Tea Trade to both ride and help create the wave, either way, I intend to be part of it.
    The boom is not going to come from growth, it will come from innovation. This innovation might come in the form of logistics, supply or distribution. It may even come from marketing. Can you imagine what would happen if Lipton started to push a serious line of teas. It wouldn’t take more than ten good tea products in that line to change the American perspective on tea. They already own the retail space in tea, all they have to do is upgrade it to better products. That would be real innovation, the kind that would shift demand upward because it would appear that luxury tea products are now available in the grocery store.
    I’ve been saying this since the day we started Leafbox Tea back in the fall of 2009 – solidifying grocery store distribution of decent-to-good loose leaf tea products is going to be the key that starts this wave, the established firms may not do it because they are so heavily invested in tea bags and their status quo. It will be a new firm with money and connections or a corporation with entrepreneurial muscle, devoted to that cause and market which is going to make it happen.
  • #6175

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    @latteteadah said: “I honestly don’t see their focus on teaware as being a bad thing.  If people will pay 3x more for a cast iron dragon teapot, that’s the purchaser’s decision, their right to choose.  But they put teaware in the minds of people who wouldn’t otherwise think about it before.

    I absolutely agree with that statement. I’m not big on teaware, but browsing the store really put my mind to it and I admit to feeling the urge to buy. I can’t afford their prices and so my rational mind reminded that I can find the same types online for less. 
    That said, Teavana is a fantastic to go to and handle, manipulate and look at various types of interesting tea ware. Their line in this was pretty wide, there was modern stuff, a touch of traditional Victorian style and Asian influenced sets as well. For this, I cannot fault them, and they do offer a place to get an understanding of size, weight and look, far better than can be had online.
  • #6167

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    lol! I do think its funny that they pick tasty things out of the tea. It seems like such a minumum wager thing to do.

    @liberteas – you really are on to something when you talk about passion for product. I bought a suit recently from a guy who really knew what he was talking about. At the store I bought it from, he only makes a little bit more than minimum wage (though he may get a commission of sales bonus). Either way, I know the sales staff there is not highly paid.
    Anyhow, tea and suits are both niche products, though the comparison stops at price. Either way, that suit salesman knew his stuff. He just knew suits. He was well dressed, and sold me things I didn’t want to buy because of his interest and skill.
    Tea sales need to be the same way. It helps if the sales staff is comfortable and knowledgable enough to sell tea to an experience tea drinker. I would like that, because it would make me feel valued by the store. I don’t like that I can’t go into the store, browse their products myself (though I could in the suit shop…) and decide what I want without interference.
    I know that Teavana wants to make the sale, hence the gatekeeper design, but they would appeal to actual regular tea drinkers more if they discovered  a way to strike a balance.
  • #6141

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    I’ve been reading about this with some interest for awhile now. It seems that the Purple Tea is currently available at wholesale prices from Royal Tea of Kenya. Which by itself, without that fancy tea is a fascinating company–they just partnered up with Jane Pettigrew. They are clearly priming themselves for a great deal of success in the coming years.

    Courtney, you noted on your blog that they are selling their teas at wholesale prices. I hear the word wholesale and I think the word opportunity. Courtney, don’t you have an online tea store…?! I’ll be a customer…
  • #6517

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    We’ve got a pretty good anti-spam regime setup here. Pretty much all the robot spammers are blocked. Each day we get a handful of hired spammers who create new sites on the network manually. Many of those are flagged by our automated system either when they sign up, or when they start posting.

    The few that manage to sneak by our automated defenses, get tagged by Jackie or I each morning. We are both pretty diligent about checking for this each day, but our systems actually get better over time because they tap into an intelligent internet-wide databases that monitors IP addresses of spammers, and those databases grow a little each day.
    I appreciate spam reports, but don’t trouble yourself in reporting them too much, that’s our job and we like doing it. It’s part of keeping Tea Trade a nice place to be!
  • #6086

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    @teasetc I’d be interested in reading the source on that information. That Argentina info is interesting since, that makes up for a huge amount of the American tea supply. Never viewed the Argentinian tea industry as one with that kind of capacity.

  • #6069

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    Thread is locked.

  • #6530

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    Research done. Fixed the Facebook login issues. Anyone who experiences problems, should post in this thread (if they can), otherwise send an email to info at teatra.de

  • #6016

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

  • #6529

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    It didn’t work. More research is needed….

  • #5992

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    I have to agree with Jackie, I’ve been largely disappointed with RTDs. Of course, that comes as part of the the whole Amercian Flavor Experience, which often translates to add more sugar, Bob. I have marginally enjoyed RTDs from Honest Tea (which uses less sugar/sweetener than typical RTD beverages) and ITO’s offering from Japan. The latter ones area available without any sweetener at all, which I think is wonderful. When it says green tea on the bottle, that is what you are getting, just green tea. Of course, a $4+ a bottle ITO’s American offerings are prohibitively expensive for tea.

    I would love to attend the Expo. Once we get our new Marketplace 2.0 launched here and it starts to fill up with products, we may be well positioned to setup a booth at WTE next year. As part of our advances here, we are planning to offer more services to attract small business and startup tea vendors, which in turn may allow us to present ourselves a factor at WTE instead of a wanderer!
    Unfortunately, I don’t think we will be ready to present at the show in Philly in the fall this year. We could, and we probably would be able to drum up some good business, but I think it would be too soon for us to be worth the investment (of course, attending as a wanderer there would be fun and fascinating!)
  • #6526

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    Are you logging in via Facebook or with your Tea Trade login credentials.

    FB login has been buggy and I upgraded it to something more robust 2 days ago, but folks who logged in the the former FB login may experience some problems since it had some compatibility issues.
  • #6533

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    Charles,

    Thanks for stopping by, this is a feature we are working on. There is a notification system, but it isn’t working properly with the forums yet. It is a bug/feature we are tracking but it remains elusive. 
    The forum software we are using is basic and there is a lot of development going on right now with it and we intend to upgrade our forums to a newer version in the not so distant future. This puts us in one of those classical Info Technology connumdrums where we have to decide if it is worth the time and effort to hammer out bugs which will be fixed automatically in a the newer version. For now, we’ve been taking the “let’s wait” stance since we know the fix is already in the pending version of the software. 
    I do realize the importance of the notifications, they already work properly across our activity stream and @ notifications, but the forums have been a little finicky with it.
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peter

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@peter

active 5 days, 9 hours ago