How Vaping Went from an Unknown to a Marketing Marvel
A vape is a type of electronic cigarette that was created to feel like smoking without having as many negative health impacts. A vape is made up of a power source, usually, a battery, an atomizer, and a container like a small tank. It was called a vape as instead of inhaling smoke the user would be inhaling the vapor. How it works is that you pour liquid into the small tank and the atomizer heats this liquid up turning it into a vapor, there is usually a button on a vape and when you press this the liquid will heat up and you can smoke it. As the vape was only invented in 2003 the history of vaping isn’t a long one, when the product was invented back in 2003 they were not widely used or known about but the marketing of vapes has led to a rapid increase in how many people are using them, in 2011 there were 7 million people using e-cigs and by 2020 this had massively increased to 68 million and every day this number is growing. In 2008 the World Health Organisation released a statement saying that vaping was not a legitimate way to quit smoking and that anyone selling these products must remove anything that claims the WHO are in support of them, but this didn’t deter people from taking up vaping. Since this statement from the WHO many states and countries have tried to prevent people from using vapes but the marketing of vapes has been so successful that even this did not prevent them from becoming popular.
The health impacts
One of the reasons why marketing for vaping has been so successful is because a vape really is a product that sells itself. Smoking cigarettes is one of the most harmful things that people can do to their bodies and their health. Smoking is associated with many health issues including increasing your blood pressure, increasing your risk of a stroke, and increasing your risk of heart disease. Over 30% of deaths from heart disease can be traced back to either smoking or second-hand smoke. There are hundreds of dangerous chemicals in tobacco that wreak havoc on your body and your health as they cause damage to almost all of your organs. Smokers are aware of this but as nicotine is one of the most addictive substances there is, studies have revealed that it is just as addictive as cocaine which makes it hard for smokers to quit. 7 out of 10 people who smoke want to quit smoking but can’t, this is what makes marketing for the vape so easy as all of these smokers are looking for a way to quit, and vaping instead of smoking is a great step in the right direction. It gives the same feeling as smoking without being as damaging and it allows you to lower the amount of nicotine you’re inhaling gradually until you’re no longer dependent on it.
Like many other products, social media has been a fantastic tool to help companies market their products. Social media allows marketing campaigns to reach more people than has ever been possible before, Instagram has millions of active accounts that will be engaging and spreading things that you post, helping them to reach more people and promote your product further. The popular vape brand Juul has massive success by marketing on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. Their marketing plan heavily relied on social media as they were aware this is the new best way to reach people, a recent study on how vaping became so popular claims that Juul spent over $1 million on online marketing. They also used Twitter and YouTube to make their products look like they were cool and to try and associate Juul vapes with fun, freedom, and sex appeal. This was a really successful marketing tactic which many people will likely follow, a study revealed that the more Juul-related tweets there were, the more sales Juul were making. Before the campaign, there were on average around 700 tweets a month mentioning Juul products but after the campaign, this increased to over 30,000 tweets a month in 2017. As this campaign spread so much awareness, by the end of 2017 Juul was taking at least half of the e-cigarette market share and they are still the most well-known vaping brand.
To try and deter people from smoking, flavored cigarettes and menthol were banned as many smokers only smoke menthol. This gives e-cigarettes a unique selling point as e-cigarettes can be any flavor. E-cigarette companies use this laxation in regulations to target the youth by creating youth-friendly flavors like bubblegum and candy floss. A study revealed that over 40% of young vapers took up vaping as they were interested in trying all of the different flavors. As there were many high school students involved in this study, following this, regulations were tightened but this was mainly aimed at the packaging and any flavor e-liquid is still allowed. With so many different flavors to promote this is a great marketing technique, there are tasty flavors like strawberry and to keep people interested there are also less appealing flavors like crab and roast chicken which are more of a novelty but the variety helps to keep people vaping.