They say to be a successful salesperson, you need to not only understand your product or service, but you need to believe in it. The same can be said for business owners. If you don’t believe in the products you create, or the vision you have for your products, why would consumers believe in it?
THP has always prided itself on delivering the best possible product to the market, as well as creating new innovative products to win over consumers. This was one of the driving reasons behind our decision to walk away from a multi-billion-dollar deal with Coca-Cola. Entering a partnership with them would have required THP to give up one of our greatest strengths: new product development.
Setting a Standard of Believing
THP has a long-time record of product innovation which has been achieved through a hard-won understanding of our markets and the consumers we serve. Belief is what ultimately yields success, even when others are slow to believe themselves. That certainly was the case for our Zero Degree Green Tea which would eventually change the tea-drinking habits of the Vietnamese people. Launched in 2006, it was also one of the pioneering brands in the fast-growing ready-to-drink (RTD) tea segment, which has become increasingly popular.
When THP started developing a bottled cold tea, many industry observers thought the company had a loser. PepsiCo and Lipton had already collaborated on bottled green tea products in 2000 and again in 2002. But neither had worked and in 2005, they withdrew from the market. What PepsiCo and Lipton failed to do was show the Vietnamese people why it was more beneficial to drink bottled tea instead. They just presented it as a new form of tea. They hadn’t truly believed in the product and the benefit it could provide.
After Zero Degree Green Tea’s success, THP turned its attention to other tea-related drinks, and just two years later in 2008, we launched Dr Thanh Herbal Tea. My father led the project himself, against the advice of some of his marketers who did not believe in the project. How wrong they were. The reason being, Dr Thanh Herbal Tea tapped into the Vietnamese people’s understanding and appreciation of Eastern medicine. It is very common to buy bags of herbs from the TCM store, take them home, and boil them in water. THP decided to channel that practice by developing a drink that would retain all the attributes and goodness of TCM but was much more convenient.
The drink he came up with uses nine traditional herbs that all have a cooling effect on the body. They include honeysuckle, which helps to reduce inflammation; chrysanthemum, which has a soothing and cooling effect; monk fruit (a small melon), which is particularly good for chest infections; spruce, also good for the chest and throat; liccorice, which reduces liver fire; rosemary, which promotes wound healing and has antibacterial properties; and cucumber, which is also cooling.
Since its launch in 2008, it is still the leader in the ready-to-drink good-for-health herbal tea category. What is always interesting when creating new products is you become intimately aware of the different ingredients used in order to create something new. In the case of Dr Thanh Herbal Tea, one of the nine ingredients it uses is monk fruit. Leveraging this ingredient as a sweetener is a game-changer and becomes a tremendous product differentiator.
With growing awareness of sugar consumption, especially in beverages, the use of natural ingredients – like monk fruit – is revolutionary. Containing zero calories, and considered to be 100-250 times sweeter than sugar, we are able to create products that appeal to an increasing number of health-conscious consumers. Understanding the market and believing you can create a product that will meet the needs of consumers is an exciting thing. Utilizing the sweet and calorie-free properties of monk fruit, for example, helps us create a product like Dr Thanh Herbal Tea Sugar Free which changes the expectations for bottled tea for a more health-conscious generation.
It Always Comes Back to Belief
My father, the founder of THP, always believed what he had to offer was just as good as his competitors. It’s this spirit that has made this a reality. Once considered a small business, we have over the years competed with corporate giants and come out stronger and more successful in many cases. Belief is a powerful force.
One of THP’s core values is the mantra, “Nothing is Impossible.” It’s been a driving principle for THP from its inception. My father taught us the importance of daring to think differently; to approach challenges with enthusiasm and a willing spirit to succeed. The importance of a positive and can-do attitude with a focus on results was stressed. This attitude helps an individual to persevere and not give up until the desired results have been achieved. As a family, running a business, we place a lot of value in dreaming big, taking action to achieve the goals we believe in, and never giving up – just like my father did in the creation of Dr Thanh Herbal Tea. The belief that nothing is impossible has rewarded THP time and time again with game-changing products and innovations.
This way of thinking impacts every aspect of a company. When you believe nothing is impossible, then there is no limit to what you can create, deliver, and achieve when it comes to the products and services you provide.
While nothing is impossible, failure is inevitable – it plays a key role in eventual success. We try to encourage THP employees to understand that failure is all around us, and there is no reason to be afraid of it. It is something we should respect and try to learn from. Failure does not necessarily mean someone cannot do his or her job. For example, in the R&D section of the company, failure is generally a prerequisite before a breakthrough is made. It is the breeding ground for innovation.
With a strong belief in your products, motivation to learn more and improve, the prioritization of ongoing innovation, and a desire to deliver the best products, any company will succeed – THP is an example of this. To learn more about my latest thinking, subscribe at www.phuonguyentran.com/latest-thinking.