Starting a business in the vape industry is no easy feat, as the government continues to implement changes and regulations for how these businesses can be run. Because vapes are considered a tobacco product, although they do not contain any tobacco, companies are restricted from using paid advertising services, much like the regulations placed on cigarette and alcohol companies.
Even with these strict rules in place, vape companies continue to persevere, with new businesses being created and becoming successful all the time. Businesses in nearly every industry can take some tips from the vape industry and implement different strategies to grow their brands.
Build a Culture Around Your Company
Companies with a strong identity tend to have an easier time attracting a loyal customer base. Without repeat customers, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of capital on marketing without reaping all the benefits. Your brand should be about much more than just a company name and a logo—it’s a lifestyle—and vape companies understand this well.
Social media is a great channel to establish your brand and attract potential customers that are interested in your products. Post photos to Instagram that encapsulate the lifestyle your target market lives.
For example, many vape companies will add pictures of real people using their products (but make sure the photos are good quality). Many vapers also attend music festivals, so including photos from events that your customers are attending also builds a brand lifestyle. Brainstorm what your company’s brand identity is, then create a social media calendar to organize and plan posts that will resonate with your audience.
Allow Shoppers to Buy Online
eCommerce is dominating the retail world right now. Though many people do still buy from brick-and-mortar stores, the trend is shifting toward online shopping because it’s easy and convenient and can be done from virtually anywhere. The easier a product is to buy, the more likely consumers are to purchase it.
For the vape industry, this can be a bit difficult because companies are restricted from paid advertising, but other businesses can implement social media sponsored ads, which allow them to market to customers right in their social media feeds. Consumers like these types of ads because they don’t have to leave their app or website to browse an eCommerce shop.
When it comes to vaping companies, their websites are their main channels for sales. Using other legal marketing methods, these businesses drive customers to their sites and promote offers like free, quick shipping to get products to their customers’ door without them ever needing to leave the house.
Some vape companies use a subscription-based method as well. Because vapers typically need to purchase more e-liquid or new parts for their mods, some businesses allow users to sign up for regular product delivery. You can choose to have a different vape juice sent to your house every two weeks (or however often you find yourself needing more).
If your company sells a product that needs to be replaced on a regular basis (for a simple example, let’s say you sell body products like face wash and lotion), you can test out this subscription method as well. Customers appreciate this method because they never need to remember to order more of a product, and companies are guaranteed to make a sale every month.
Stay Up-to-Date on Regulations
The most difficult challenge that the vape industry faces is that of regulations. The government’s motivation behind regulations are good; we want to keep products intended for adults out of the hands of minors. Yet this also poses problems for how these companies can grow their businesses.
If you’re involved in an industry that is highly regulated as well, the best way to be successful is by keeping up with the newest regulations. Because vaping is still relatively new, the industry has seen a slew of new and modified regulations over the years. To avoid heavy fines and potential lash-back, try to stay in the loop about regulations and, when new ones come about, immediately make changes to abide by these laws.
Don’t Be Afraid to Implement Changes
On that note, don’t shy away from making changes to your business. Once a company has begun to succeed, business owners are wary of making changes for fear that they will lose business. However, change can be good. Read up on different trends within your industry to predict how it may change in the future.
Vapes have come a long way since the first few models, which were designed to be disposable and look like a traditional cigarette. Now, some vapers favor the larger vape mods that often look nothing like a cigarette but which feature stronger batteries and tanks with more capacity. In the future, this trend may alter, with vapers looking for a new type of device. To keep your business relevant, you need to be aware of your target market’s problems and desires and offer a product that fits their needs.
Develop and Modify Your Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy should never be static; you need to be willing to implement new methods every so often to increase revenue and attract new customers. You can create an overarching marketing approach to keep you on track, but, as with changing your product line, you need to be open to testing out new marketing methods.
With the rise of social media, many companies had to learn how to use these channels to home in on their target market and attract them to their company. If you’re using content marketing strategies, you’ll need to continually add fresh, new content in order to rank on a search engine’s result list. Regularly updating landing page and product page descriptions is another great way to refresh your marketing strategy and potentially gain more exposure.
Plan for What’s Ahead
The vaping industry has taught us a lot about how to build a brand culture and market products, even with heavy regulations. While paid advertising can be beneficial to companies that are not restricted from it, you should expand your marketing efforts through some of these strategies used by vape companies. Be open to change and stay on top of trends, and your business will flourish in the coming years.