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Ellis Island Tea

Brand Strategy

Product Packaging

Voice & Messaging

A well-traveled tea

Ellis Island Tea has a fascinating, compelling brand story: a century-old family recipe brought to New York City from Jamaica. A young female owner employing a team of Detroiters. Unique, all-natural ingredients. Our task? Bring this story to life on a label.

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Ellis Island Tea
Photo credit: Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson for Shoppe Black

Our team conducted an in-depth competitive branding analysis of the ready-to-drink tea space. After extensive first-person and secondary research, we crafted a brand strategy that would set Ellis Island Tea apart from the pack while driving home its authentic origins and hand-brewed quality.

Ellis Island Tea Bottles

With Caribbean roots and Detroit soul, Ellis Island Tea is a delicious cultural fusion.

Throwback inspiration

Our preliminary design research spanned space and time, from hand-painted Jamaican signage to vintage travel tags. Drawing on the tea’s rich heritage, we crafted a fresh brand story, tagline, and packaging design. Busy shoppers are encouraged to take a moment to enjoy some “Bottled Bliss.”

Ellis Island Jamaican Sweet Tea Bottle Label Vintage Travel Tags Inspiration Ellis Island Jamaican Sweet Tea Bottle Label Jamaican Dance Hall Posters Inspiration

Ellis Island Tea Bottle LabelsEllis Island Tea Bottle Labels

The results

Founder and owner Nailah Ellis-Brown was featured on MSNBC’s “Your Business” and the show called on us to overhaul the tea’s brand identity and packaging for wider distribution.

After the redesign, sales went up 800%—a success both Nailah and Sam’s Club credit to the new packaging. Ellis Island Tea went from a small start-up to a national brand almost overnight.

Ellis Island Jamaican Sweet Tea Packaging Label Logo Pencil Phone

You guys are the most strategic creative agency I’ve ever worked with.

—Scott Miller, MSNBC Branding Expert

Ellis Island Tea Bottles Bliss

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