3 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From The Vaping Industry
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With several cases against large tobacco companies, there’s a new nicotine product sweeping the global market.
It all started in 2002 when Hon Lik released the first production-grade e-cigarette to the market. Nicotine is delivered via a water-vapor, free from the traditional byproducts associated with combustion cigarettes. The high-tech nicotine delivery system has promised to be safer and more accessible.
But how did the e-cigarette (vape) market grow from just $20 million in sales in 2008 to more than $2.8 billion in revenue in 2015? There are a variety of factors that have helped “vaping” become the “cool” thing to do.
Let’s look at a couple of lessons that small businesses can learn from the vaping industry.
Vaping combines ‘Cool’ while being less harmful
The vast majority of e-cigarette users are former cigarette smokers, or those aggressively searching for a strategy to control their nicotine addiction. The strategy that allowed for vaping to become so popular was the process of convincing smokers that they could have their cake and eat it too.
Allowing consumers access to nicotine on-demand, while touting the less harmful effects of transitioning from traditional cigarettes gave consumers the motivation they needed to make the switch.
An article in the Money section of Time.com grabs readers’ attention with the headline,Vaping is 95 per cent Healthier and 40 per cent Cheaper than Smoking. The benefits of switching are easy to understand and impactful.
Today’s teens and young adults were raised in a society that told them smoking is bad for your health, not to mention illegal for anyone under the age of 18. Vaping, on the other hand, is significantly safer than smoking, and still gives users the feeling that comes from consuming nicotine.
If your product or brand can be seen as something that provides freedom and allows people to safely rebel, you’ll have the opportunity to build a cult-like following that sees your product as something cool.
There are few products or services that enjoy better brand loyalty than those that empower their users to make a statement about themselves to the outside world.
Make your product easily available
For some, the convenience of being able to purchase products from a computer, tablet or smartphone allows them to comparison shop and make decisions without leaving their home or office. According to eCommerce Guide, platforms like Shopify allow consumers and suppliers to connect online with visually stunning websites that create a brand image.
For the vaping community, image is a major part of what draws people. Vaping allows people of all ages to make a statement while tackling cigarette addiction.
According to Dan Merchant and Vlad Vassiliev, Managing Directors of Vape Club, their business lives and dies based on product availability and accessibility. “Rather than lose customers because they were simply overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start we had to make it easy for them. We implemented a simple to use, instinctive and effective search function which allows the user to filter the products to his exact requirements.”
Most products are bought for reasons like needs, wants, convenience, benefits, image, and several emotional reasons. The next time you think about branding – think about all these factors and look for a combination of these.