When conflict is a good idea

Amsterdam-based creative agency Lemon Scented Tea specialises in storytelling and uses the idea of conflict associated with a brand to engage audiences and stir their emotions

Lemon Scented Tea’s offices are designed as a great place to share thoughts and ideas. The entrance is styled as a neighbourhood café, with a bar instead of a reception, as a symbol of its relaxed company culture.
Lemon Scented Tea’s offices are designed as a great place to share thoughts and ideas. The entrance is styled as a neighbourhood café, with a bar instead of a reception, as a symbol of its relaxed company culture.

Lemon Scented Tea is an independent Amsterdam agency known for its creative work for brands like Nuon/Vattenfall, K-Swiss and Visit Sweden. Its creative portfolio is diverse, but every campaign it produces shares a similar characteristic: conflict. It uses the power of conflict in storytelling to move people, transform businesses and reinvent brands. 

No conflict, no story
"All compelling stories have a crystal-clear conflict in common. Whether it is the Bible, a great novel or a film, a good story is always rooted in a conflict. Without it, it’s just not interesting," says Rogier Heijning, creative director. Based on this universal storytelling structure, the agency has developed the Brand Conflict Model: a powerful tool that helps companies identify their central conflict and lays the foundation for a unique and compelling brand story. 

Storytelling in a special mould
Isolating a brand’s central conflict and defining its story is the foundation for all Lemon Scented Tea’s creative work. "We use this information to structure brand communication and create compelling campaigns and content," says Gijsbregt Vijn, managing director and partner. More specifically, the agency uses three key methods: story mining, story creating and story doing.

Story mining
A brand’s central story is often hidden just underneath the surface. The agency works like journalists, digging up beautiful and often lost stories floating around a company. 

Story creating
As a creative agency, it is a specialist in conjuring up new worlds. By projecting brands into these fantastic new worlds, it gives them new context. And with this comes unexpected ideas. 

Story doing
We live in a time where brands need more than a story to tell. So Lemon Scented Tea actively involves employees and customers in achieving a brand’s goal. In doing this, the campaign unfolds. 

Ever wondered how your brand becomes really engaging? Lemon Scented Tea is the place to go.


Campaign "You gotta know your classics"
Brand K-Swiss
Medium Global blog, PR and retail
The story The rebel shoe that revolutionised the tennis industry.

Campaign "Åre and Östersund. Fit for the Winter Games. Since 1986."
Brand Visit Sweden 
Medium Fully integrated 
The story Putting Sweden on the winter sports map by showing the unrelenting enthusiasm of the people of Åre and Östersund to host the Olympic Winter Games.

Campaign "The world’s first professional plastic fishing company" 
Brand Plastic Whale 
Medium Fully integrated 
The story How one man’s focus on building a boat from plastic waste turned into a successful, sustainable company. 

Campaign "Creating tomorrow"
Brand Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Medium Fully integrated
The story Unifying seven schools under a single brand umbrella by finding a shared point of pride for the future.

Lemon Scented Tea in numbers 

  • 1st to charter non-stop flights from the netherlands to Åre (and back) 

  • 2 ownership stakes in plastic waste companies

  • 50/50 ratio of male-female in the management team

Lemon Scented Tea’s Brand Conflict Model uses the ancient structure of storytelling to help brands find their story. There is always a hero with a goal, means and an adversary, which creates a conflict – the foundation for a compelling brand story.

Open-door policy  
Situated on one of the city’s most beautiful canals in the heart of Amsterdam, Lemon Scented Tea’s offices, with their huge windows, overlook the city’s most unorthodox shopping street. The entrance is designed as a small neighbourhood café with a bar top and a housedog. Tourists often accidently enter the office, grab a seat and order a cup of "hello sunshine" tea. "Sometimes they’re even served" says Gijsbregt Vijn, managing director and partner. "We like things this way."  

"After working in the ivory towers of New York’s Madison Avenue, I wanted to create an agency that has both feet on the ground," adds Vijn. "We are figuratively and literally a transparent and open agency with a relaxed, informal and eclectic culture. Like most small international agencies, we function as a hub for an extensive network of international freelance specialist and partner agencies. Our team is a mixture of young talent and experienced thinkers with various backgrounds. The bar is the place where everyone comes together." 

Campaign UK

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