Serenitea: Future-proofing a Homegrown Brand



Serenitea Milk Tea is one of the leading milk tea brands in the Philippines. By 2014, it had over 60 stores nationwide, had a loyal set of followers and was poised for the next stage of its evolution. To do this, the owners wanted to understand the market dynamics of the bigger, more daunting beverage-driven retail industry, identify the true strengths of the brand and to plot its future growth and innovation strategies.

What we did

Market scanning

Psychological interviews

Ethnographic store observations

Expert interviews

Digital listening

Competitive Analysis

Brand DNA & Strategy

Product Development

Brand & Store Experience

Logo & Visual Identity

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Our Process

CIA Bootleg Manila conducted an immersive insighting initiative. CIA Bootleg Manila’s insighting team interviewed various milk tea and coffee drinkers, chefs, food writers, nutritionists and fitness experts. The insighting team also conducted ethnographic research in the stores of Serenitea and its competitors (milk tea and coffee shops), focusing on how the customers and the store employees behaved and interacted, as well as how the service scape (i.e. store furniture, signages, environment, processes) was designed and delivered.

Serenitea’s and its competitors’ marketing communications and visual identities and collaterals were studied versus best-in-class brands in the overall beverage-driven retail industry in the Philippines and abroad.


These newfound insights on the market and customers allowed Bootleg to help Serenitea identify which customers to focus on and what deeper need and wants to address. More importantly, Bootleg guided Serenitea in crafting its long-term direction by articulating its overall brand vision, mission and value proposition. Bootleg then developed a new tagline that perfectly captures the new brand strategy – “Have a Moment of Serenitea.” This tagline clearly captures the brand’s new direction of moving away from a milk tea-focused store to a rejuvenating beverage experience.

Bootleg partnered with Team Manila to create a new logo that features a more modern and sophisticated butterfly, punctuated by fresh green tones. The swirl on the letter S from the old logo was given a makeover, replaced by a swirl that features both a tea leaf and the yin-yang symbol to evoke the brand’s promise of creating and giving moments of Serenitea.

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Result &

These long-term strategies were then translated into a brand equity development plan which plotted the specific product, service, price, place and promotion strategies and programs Serenitea needed to implement within the next year to start seizing the various opportunities identified and embodying the newly-designed brand identity.

With CIA Bootleg Manila’s help, Serenitea was able to hone its long-term strategies, crystallizing its future as a dominant brand in the beverage-driven retail industry.

To date, Serenitea has solidified its place as an established and well-respected brand in the Philippine beverage retail industry.

"Working with Bootleg helped me deliver the necessary upgrades to Serenitea’s business model. I became a better brand and marketing strategist. Now I’m more confident in collaborating with bigger brands. It helped redefine our brand as one that is clearly different in the market and with the ability to withstand food waves or crazes."

– Jules Herrera-Chen, President & Founder, Serenitea