Understanding your customers can be a challenge. Especially when your product spans across, well, everyone. Paying attention to the trends they are interested in will not only inform future decisions, but it will foster a closer relationship benefiting both parties in the long run and the industry as a whole. understands this and articulates the more well known stereotypes beautifully in this video. (Yeah I’m #1 Guy and #2 Guy…….. Don’t ask)
While much has been achieved in such a short time since this industry began lift off back in 2010 the many challenges presented by the throngs of people so eager to keep regular cigarettes the status quo and pushing abstinence the next 20 years……. After all it will yield another 3% drop in smoking rates with in 10 years this time! But I digress. With these poorly informed agendas taking hold worldwide and here in Canada as of JULY 1st 2018, saying the Vape Industry is regulated with the little guy in mind is like saying laws are made with our best interests in mind. No matter which side of the many arguments you may be on, the future poses some significant challenges for anyone entering or growing in this market which is why customer service will play a key role in the future of your business.
If you watched the video below, you will notice that no matter what personality was being portrayed, all discussion of flavour was, for lack of a better word, singular. That is to say, the description of what the consumer experiences when tasting the flavour gets communicated with singular word type descriptions. Words like sweet, or cinnamon, or menthol. These are the more common culprits that are commonly used to describe the entire range of that flavours profile. Now granted, some flavours deserve a singular word as their description. But these days there few and far between.
As the industry matures, so too, must the nomenclature in which we use to discuss things, like flavour, if we are . Getting to know your customers flavour preferences will allow for you to know what flavours you should offer them. they in turn will be able to trust you without needing the ability to sample that is now illegal thanks to Media fear-mongering.
Now, you may recall, that couple years back I had started an initiative called The Ejuice Journalist. It was in this context of communication, that I had begun to build a system to solve this problem and contribute, if nothing else, an idea towards a framework for standards similar to that of a wine sommelier. The project is not dead I simply got to busy to carry on with it appropriately. In a few weeks I should have a different vantage point in life with which i hope to use to continue this so I’ll have to leave off the rest of the details about that, but bringing together a common set of terms will allow the consumers to better communicate their likes and dislikes to juice makers who will then, have actionable data to produce better products that respond to the consumers feed back with a plan and expectation in mind. I’m sure anyone who deals in any flavour based market will tell you that “to sweet” offers very little when the feedback could be something like :
“while the stated flavour tasted more like an artificial version of the real thing, the thick syrup like sweetness left me patched you know, more like a donut than, say, a plum”.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is not the only solution, nor is it addressing any of the larger issues but this is merely one avenue I plan to explore with the hope that customers will prefer being able to articulate their wants in a more verbose and articulated fashion. When customers know they are being listened to and understood, everything feels better. Even, if the desired outcome doesn’t happen, at least they know that you understood what they meant and hopefully you have clearly provided an equally ,if not more, attractive alternative and agreed on a new solution.
Customer Loyalty is earned with time from a basis of trust and, as with any company, it’s up to the leadership to walk the walk if they expect to cultivate a sustainable and recognized culture that will resonate. Referrals don’t come easy but the value in a referral from a marketing perspective is priceless.
In closing it’s good to remember that innovation only happens when rigid constraints are place before us. So let the innovation begin!
After all:
“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” (A. Einstein).

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