How we grow Tea With Strangers

In short, we think marketing should be an act of generosity. (Also, what is marketing anyway?)

Ankit Shah
Jun 28, 2018 · 2 min read

We live in a time of excessive information, promotion, and “content” (whatever that means.) In light of this excess, adding to it can feel useless, self-indulgent, or just disrespectful to the hivemind of the Internet.

For this reason, we think it useful to be clear about how we think about spreading the word about Tea With Strangers.

We don’t care about impressions, scale, or manipulating people into visiting TWS or joining tea times.

Here’s what we do care about:

  • Good conversations & willful participation
    We care to find people who light up at the idea of TWS, who want to bring curiosity to the table. These are people who have been waiting for something like this even before they knew it existed. These people show up and make tea times richer.
  • Open minds & growing perspectives
    We care to expand perspectives around social norms, to inspire people to grow in self-awareness, empathy, and acceptance of the people they interact with every day — whether passively (e.g. walking past a faceless stranger on the street) or actively (e.g. having a hard conversation with a loved one).
  • Generating serendipity
    We care to create moments that surprise people and remind them of a larger sense of our shared humanity. It’s easy to forget this — especially with the often divisive nature of the rhetoric being tossed around day to day (👋🏽 Hi 2018, so nice of you to join us!).

We believe that we achieve these things by getting people who *~vibe~* with TWS to come to tea time.

In this Venn diagram, the smaller circles are reflective of the ones that are best to focus on as far as getting the word out. The way we think of it, the better job we do of really hitting home with the small circles, the more likely it is that the folks from the smaller circles will share their stories and perspectives — making tea time far more attractive / palatable for people in the bigger ones.

Tea time is an opportunity to slow down and listen for the nuances that remind us that we’re more similar than we are different.

We think the world is better when we elevate the importance of these moments.

When we tell people about tea time, we’re less interested in them doing us a favor by attending and more eager to invite them to something we genuinely believe they’d enjoy.

Being a Host, by Tea With Strangers

Being a Host is a place where we offer food-for-thought…

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