The world of tobacco products has seen rises and falls in demand since tobacco consumerism originally began. Right now, we are facing a massive rise in demand that has been going on for the past couple of years. While this rise in demand seems like it will stay, it can never hurt to take steps to make sure it stays around. One of the biggest things that cigar manufacturers and retailers alike can do is make sure that they are marketing to the next generation of cigar aficionados, meaning those men and women who have recently become of age and are curious about the world of fine cigars. Here are some tips on making sure you can capture that surging part of the market and ensure that the rising demand for cigars is here to stay.
Keep Variety in Your Shop
Variety is the spice of life. There was a point in time when the trend with cigar smokers was once they found one cigar they liked, they stuck with it. But for the twenty-one and up the crowd that is getting into cigars, that is not the case.
Many twentysomethings are going into shops and buying varieties of different sizes, shapes, wrappers, and origins, trying to find all the different flavor possibilities that are out there with cigars. This means that the best way to appeal to this market is to make sure they have plenty to choose from.
A Mix of Old and New Brands.
For most shops, this is not a radical idea. Many cigar shops have a number of different cigar brands to choose from already, but the key is finding the right mix of old and new brands. The same generation you are trying to market towards grew up in a boom of craft goods. Take breweries, for example. They grew up in a world in which craft beer was exploding, and now you can hardly go into any medium-sized city in the United States without stepping on a brewery.
This shows us that what people are looking for now is new and exciting products, with tons of variety at their disposal. Sure, twenty-five-year-olds still drink Budweiser, but they are also going to venture out and try a bunch of different craft beers. The same concept applies to cigars. Many new smokers might get into cigars in the first place because their father or grandfather smoked, so they probably remember their relatives smoking older brands like Fuente or Macanudo when they were growing up. So while there is a place for those cigars amongst this new generation of aficionados, there is clearly a market for new and exciting brands with something different to offer.
Use Events to Invite the Next Generation of Cigar Aficionados In
The world of cigars can be daunting to an outsider. There are so many different choices and information out there that it can feel like an overload to somebody new to the hobby. Plus, going into a cigar lounge for the first time can make someone feel like a bit of an outsider. For many people in that age group looking to get into cigars, their only knowledge of cigar smokers might be from a cartoon they saw as a kid where there was a rich old white man in a suit smoking a big fat cigar. But that could not be further from the reality. The world of cigars is hugely diverse and anybody is welcome to enjoy fine tobacco.
This being said, using events can be an extremely effective way to bring in different demographics and have everyone mingle together and find community. There are many different types of events to utilize, here are a few to get started.
While the pandemic may have slowed down cigar brand sales reps’ travels, many are back on the road now and doing events at retailers. Take a brand that is successful, or try a new brand, and have someone from the company come in with extensive knowledge of the product lineup. With the amount of information that is out there in the world of cigars, events are great for the newbies because it can narrow down the possible choices to one specific brand, and it helps to have someone with a large amount of knowledge on that brand on hand to answer all of the many questions new smokers are sure to have. Plus, for some new smokers, meeting a big name in the cigar industry can feel like meeting a celebrity.
As mentioned earlier, the rise in demand for both cigars and craft beer has gone hand in hand. Many breweries will go to other locations to showcase their brand, so having them come to your shop can be a great way for your businesses to collaborate for mutual success. In addition to bringing in the next generation of cigar smokers, tap takeovers will also bring in a market of beer drinkers who might otherwise not frequent cigar shops. If your shop does not have a kegerator or taps, don’t worry, breweries and beer distributors usually have jockey boxes, or portable draft systems, that they can bring in the day of the event so you can still take advantage of the benefits of a tap takeover.
If you’ve got the space, consider bringing in some live entertainment if possible. Have a band come in and play, or get some audience participation with a comedy open mic night that will have everyone in stitches.
This one is more suited to shops located in college towns. Fraternities and sororities are always looking for venues to host date parties, mixers, and brotherhood events. Contact any Greek organizations near you and see if they will book a party with your shop or cigar bar. It will bring in quite a few customers the night of the event, and if done right, many of those people will come back and become regulars after that.
Utilize Social Media
It’s no secret that social media has all but taken over, with just about every individual and business having some type of online presence. Having a solid social media presence is crucial to growing your business.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be used to showcase your shop, announce new arrivals, and advertise specials and events that you are running. If you’re not skilled with social media, don’t worry, our team at Cigarketing is full of social media experts that are here to help manage your business’s online presence.
Finding the Next Generation of Cigar Smokers
The next generation of cigar smokers is here, and they are craving good smokes. Utilize the advice we mentioned here and you can grab onto them and keep them coming back for more. We can help at every step of the way to make sure that not only will you be able to find the twentysomethings looking to get into cigars, but also that they will be able to find you. Contact our team at Cigarketing to learn more about how we can help grow your business and market to the next generation of cigar aficionados.