Marketing and branding choices can cause a company to flourish or crumble, no matter the industry. Started by entrepreneurs, the vapor industry has largely honed in on the message of the freedom fighter, the urban progressive, the maturing youth’s sensationalization of the cloud, as well as flavors that remind consumers of their childhood.
Somewhere in the fog, the vapor industry lost its focus on directing consumers towards attractive alternatives to smoking. For this reason, there are few sophisticated brands marketing with the intention to serve the GenX (1965 – 1984) or the Boomer (1946 – 1964) generations. These generations currently have the most buying power in the United States and coincidentally are the largest consumers of standard tobacco products. The recent extension of the FDA’s regulations will buy more time to convert these consumers, who have traditionally been difficult to reach.
Curated with refinement in mind, Torden Consumer Products LLC set a precedent by launching their brand of e-liquid specifically to the GenX and Boomer generations from the start. With the intention to deliver traditional quality for the modern and confident consumer through well thought out marketing and branding strategies, TORDEN found success. Although TORDEN could have taken on the traditional trends in marketing at the time, they stayed confident in their straightforward, mature product line and created a brand specifically tailored to these discriminating generations. After two years of research and development, TORDEN has staked it’s claim in offering products that are reminiscent of time-honored style and taste; products that are bold, yet appealing in many ways to the seasoned consumer.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported in 2014 that consumers between the ages of 35-64 have more than double the income than that of consumers 25 years of age and younger, with monetary expenditures only decreasing as they approach retirement age. This means that this older group of consumers has more income to spend on vapor products, which opens a wide marketing window for the vapor industry.
Many consumers of the 35-65 year old age range also have a firm desire to quit smoking. A large number of these consumers have already tried to quit smoking with other methods and have failed. This repeated failure has left them willing to invest in an alternative that helps them quit smoking long term and, in some cases, offers a substitute to smoking as well. This substitution of smoking could create large amounts of income for manufacturers if they can adapt their strategies to reach this more mature group through marketing and branding choices.
Along with more expendable income and a stronger commitment to stop smoking, these older consumers make up nearly 18% of tobacco users compared to 13% of consumers between the age of 18-25, as reported by the Center for Disease Control in June of 2017. This means the nicotine dependant consumers are out there and ready to commit to a new alternative to smoking. As a result, the vapor industry gains a substantial market of consumers to focus their products towards.
Meeting the expectations of this more mature consumer group has created many challenges for manufacturers in the vapor industry. These consumers have a strong respect for simplicity of flavors, they value quality products as well as quality standards of practice within a company. This older age group also longs for a more mature looking product that they won’t be embarrassed to pull out of their pockets in a professional work setting or at a more formal event.
Other roadblocks to reaching this age group include immature branding, complicated flavor profiles and overly sweetened e-liquids currently on the market. These factors can cause older generations to become overwhelmed and frustrated when choosing products to vape. They can also induce these consumers to shy away from vaping, in which case, the industry loses customers along with their financial contributions.
The FDA has also clearly stated that it believes the vapor industry has, in the past, marketed to children and young adults through candy like flavors and childish branding. These statements are only solidified if the vapor industry continues to follow the trend of less than ethical branding practices and refuses to mature along with the largest and most financially appealing group of consumers available to manufacturers.
From the beginning, TORDEN has met the needs of the more sophisticated consumer by offering all of the above mentioned qualities. Though appealing to these generations through branding has created much attention for the company, TORDEN has shown maturity through their specific flavor profiles and consistent quality manufacturing practices. As a result, TORDEN stands as a true role model to other manufacturers that wish to shift their marketing and branding practices towards another profitable group of consumers. TORDEN offers consumers familiar, true to name flavors that call out to the more refined audience along with a sleek, proudly cultivated appearance.
While TORDEN offers its products to distributors, the brand started out with individual stores around the country and still cherishes their commitment to those businesses today. Bethany and TJ Grant are TORDEN customers who own “Offbeat and Unique Vape Boutique” in Gilbert, AZ. According to them, the main focus of their business is towards the 35-65 year age group. Bethany has personally found success with this demographic through solid, true to name flavors such as “Golden Tennessee,” a top selling TORDEN offering. She states that these unique yet familiar flavors have created many return buyers for her business.
TORDEN demonstrates that new and unique branding techniques are worth the time, expense, and long term investment. If a company has the willingness to commit to a new group of consumers in the vapor industry, this venture could create a huge new profit margin for all the parties involved. SVBS