Many of us in the vaping community first started out by purchasing those over-the-counter e-cigarettes at our local convenience stores. One of the first to enter the market was Blu. After pouring millions of dollars into marketing and advertising, Blu was eventually sold to the Lorillard Company back in 2012. This is the same company that makes Pall Mall, Newport, and Camel brand tobacco cigarettes.
Soon Lorillard began buying air time for television commercials across the country, hawking the Blu brand to anyone and everyone who would listen. But it didn’t help. By the third quarter of 2014, sales had dropped by over 40 percent and continue to fall well into 2015.
What went wrong?
Lorillard’s first major mistake was in ignoring the rise in popularity of vaping. Somewhere along the line an incorrect assumption was made by Lorillard officials that e-cigs and vaping are two completely different animals. A recent survey conducted by the website ECF Vaping.com offers several other reasons that may have contributed to the rapid fall from grace of the Blu e-cig brand.
- Experienced users AVOID cigarette-style products.
Sure, the e-cig is a good first step to quitting smoking altogether. But once you make the transition from a traditional tobacco cigarette to an e-cig, most consumers simply want more for their money. E-cigs are still rather costly, still require heading to the store to buy more and more of them each and every week, and their quality of vapor just plain sucks in comparison to vaping. With vape bars opening up in major cities across America, the vaping wave is gaining a massive following. And who are these new vapers? Former Blu and other brands of e-cig buyers who want to join the fun and camaraderie of the vaping community.
- Vapers want more diversity of flavor.
Companies like Lorillard simply can’t compete with the unending supply of that vaping provides. Heck, vapers can even mix their own vaping concoctions with no real effort at all. Once the e-cig community realized that they no longer needed to be held hostage by the few limited products of Blu and other brands, they left in huge numbers almost overnight and joined the vaping community. In fact, a wider margin of vaping enthusiasts prefer the odder, more non-traditional flavors now than ever before. According to the ECF survey, 30 percent of vapers prefer fruity blends, 20 percent like the dessert flavors, and another 4 percent lean towards the fruity eliquid flavors. And let’s be honest. Blu was never going to make a chocolate-strawberry flavored e-cig in a million years.
- Vapers hate Big Tobacco.
After decades of lies and false advertising from the Tobacco Industry, it really should come as no surprise that former-smokers/vapers are not at all anxious to put more of their hard-earned money into the deep pockets of Big Tobacco yet again. Companies like Lorillard are the ones that got us hooked on tobacco in the first place. So, any smoking product that is either made or endorsed by Big Tobacco, like the Blu brand, is not going to win a great deal of favorable support by the vaping or e-cig community. As e-cig users transition into vaping, experienced vapers educate the newbies on these underhanded sales tactics of companies like Lorillard. Never underestimate the collective power of pissed off consumers. Lorillard did, and sales of their Blu brand is plummeting beyond recovery.