Marci Furutani of Novato’s The Republic of Tea wins an 11th annual Forty Under 40 award from North Bay Business Journal.
Responsibilities with your company: Six years ago, I started at The Republic of Tea right after obtaining my MBA managing our direct to consumer business. Our team transformed this channel from one primarily based on direct mail to a comprehensive web business that encompassed all digital channels. Growing and developing the DTC channel allowed The Republic of Tea to connect with its citizens in new and innovative ways. Our team contributed year over year double digit growth for the four years I led this channel.
Two years ago, I was promoted to serve as the Minister of Brand Engagement (marketing director). I lead the team that conducts market research, data analysis and then executes on our new tea launches. This 360 degree approach has led to very successful innovations that have over achieved our launch projections. Most importantly, our team continues to find meaningful ways to engage with our citizens (customers) whether through social media, direct mail or content driven marketing explaining the health benefits of our teas. We strive to help citizens live a sip by sip rather than gulp by gulp lifestyle and enrich their lives through premium tea, education and innovation.
In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?
“I am a leader, authentic and empathetic. I motivate and provide purpose. I listen, ask questions, collaborate and mentor. I am passionate, enthusiastic and driven.”
Years with company: 6
Length of time in current position: 2 years
Number of employees who report to you: 5
Greatest professional accomplishment: Taking over leadership of a well-established 25-year-old premium specialty food brand at 33 and delivering on our mission to enrich our citizens lives through premium tea, education and innovation. Enriching our citizens’ lives is central to all marketing we do at The Republic of Tea. Our SuperGreen Tea collection launched in May 2015 did just that! We took Matcha which is becoming ubiquitous in the marketplace and took it to the next level. We artfully blended it with green tea leaves and functional herbs to create four flavorful premium teas that contributes to a healthy lifestyle by boosting the immune system, improving cognitive function, and aiding in relaxation and weight loss. This collection represented the first new tea collection launch I saw through to completion under my leadership as Minister of Brand Engagement. It represents all of my marketing and leadership talents and over delivered by more than doubling our initial launch projections. In addition, this week we launched our new SuperHerbs for Women collection, taking ancient herbs like Sage (for hot flashes), Fenugreek (for nursing moms) and Red Raspberry Leaf (for women’s health) that women have relied on for centuries, particularly through major life cycles, and blended them with fruits and spices in delicious blends. These teas are designed to meet the real needs our citizens are facing and aid them in natural way. In essence, the new innovations I spearheaded like our SuperGreen and SuperHerb for Women collections, enrich the lives of our citizens nationwide and in our backyard, the north bay. “
Greatest professional challenge: My greatest challenge as a marketer is one that is universal and is at the foundation of what I do every day. It is truly understanding our citizen/customer and what her needs and wants are. The advent of ever changing technologies and the world adds a complexity to this challenge, but the dynamic nature of marketing is what I love. My strategy to overcoming this challenge, ask the right questions!
Minister of Brand Engagement (marketing director)
The Republic of Tea
5 Hamilton Landing # 100, Novato, 94949