I should probably introduce myself…. I’m the other half of Bluebird Tea Co.. I guess you could say I’m ThatBluebirdBoy.
I’ve been pestering ThatBluebirdGirl to update her blog for the last couple of days and finally she snapped and suggested I do it (those weren’t her exact words!). So for this edition you guys are lucky enough to get a guest blogger!
As I don’t usually write the blog and with Bluebird I often focus on the less interesting bits, I struggled to think about what to write. I had a suspicion people wouldn’t be interested in reading the reasons why we are considering changing the legal structure of our company or which free accounting program seems the best for us.
So I thought I would just write about what we are, and how we got here. We touch upon this on our website, but not very deeply. We explain what our philosophies are, but not so much why they are and I think that it’s important to understand why people think the way they do in order to really understand what they think. You would never guess I studied philosophy!
Hopefully by explaining why we say that Bluebird’s world is responsible, our people are fulfilled, our customers are exceptional and our tea is happy you will see that this isn’t just the normal marketing spin. So many companies say this now that we have become desensitized to it. But to us it’s more than a marketing gimmick. It’s how we try to live and it’s how we want our company to thrive.
As kids, everyone wants to change the world. Over time we saw and understood the different ways we could make a difference. We could work for a charity, as teachers, we could become politicians.
As we worked in various different unsatisfying jobs we realised the capacity companies have to change the world. We realised that they don’t have to play politics or beg for money. They have the power to change the world a little bit straight away. Just by helping to make sure team members are happy and fulfilled they can immediately improve lives. By improving one person’s life you improve the lives of everyone around them. Happiness spreads, and a person’s place of work has a huge impact on how happy they are.
We started to realise that businesses aren’t these evil profit machines, they are communities of individuals. These communities have an amazing power to do good. It’s just a case of giving them direction.
They can do good in themselves too, by creating new things or helping people enjoy their lives more. As neither of us are clever enough to invent a cure for cancer, and both of us are customer service obsessed we decided we wanted to give people happy experiences. We wanted to give people bluebird days!
I have always been passionate about the environment, I drive my family mad by following them around turning things off. But it seems pointless when every computer and every light is left on in so many offices around the world every night. And that’s before you even start thinking about all the other places for savings.
So we knew what we wanted to do, just not how to do it. We knew that we needed a vehicle through which to make people happy (customers and team members) and to generally improve the world. In lots of ways the vehicle itself was the least important thing. By a company taking small decisions to think about these impacts, they can have a far bigger effect than any individuals could on themselves. Just think how much of a difference all those lights turning off would be!
Hopefully if you are reading this, you know that we developed an idea of ‘tea mixology’, we decided to take a staple product and have fun with it. Take it from something comforting and make it something fun in itself. Make people happy with it!
So we get to what we are creating now, a company where everything is focussed on making sure our customers are happy. We don’t have a team yet, but if we are lucky enough to grow we want them to be happy. We care about the world and we think about it when we make decisions.
We know that when you buy one of our iced teas (if you have been lucky enough to track us down in person!), your cup won’t end up in a bush forever or filling a landfill because they are all biodegradable. At the moment that might not be saving a huge amount when compared to some of the big players, but over time it will make a massive difference.
How much of a difference would it make if Starbucks took the same decision?
People are surprised when we say that we run a business. In a lot of ways we’re the opposite of what you expect. We didn’t make our first millions in the school playground. People even call us hippies because we love to go to new places, and meet new people. Every year we work at Glastonbury as members of CND with all the other hippies!
Not quite the image of ‘business people’ you sometimes get from the newspapers, but actually the more ‘business people’ we meet the less I think we’re unusual! Hopefully it’s something that will work and let us leave the world a little better than we found it. Isn’t that everyone’s real goal?