By Vape Flavor on Oct 10, 2017 12:11:07 PM
If you want to have a successful vape retail business it goes without saying that you need to target your marketing to meet the needs, wants and desires of your ideal customer. But do you really know who your customers are?
If you're selling Gucci bags this answer is simple, you're target is an upwardly mobile, 25+ middle to high income earning female with a taste for the finer things in life.
However when it comes to selling vapes, defining your ideal customer is not so easy as vape users come from a very wide demographic. Herein lies the problem for many vape retail businesses.
If you try to target everyone you appeal to no one.
Whether you're vape store or online shop. to be successful you need to decide exactly who your target audience is and develop a marketing strategy that speaks directly to their tastes,needs, wants, desires and pains.
But who are the different types of customers? Let's start with broad demographic groups then dig a little deeper into more specific vaping sub culture groups.
Vape User Age Demographic Groups
As vape products are adult only there are basically 3 age demographics
- Gen Y (Millennial)
- Gen X
- Baby Boomers
Milennials, are generally defined as those who are aged between their 20's and early 30's. Having grown up in the digital age this group is generally regarded as technology and social media savvy.
They listen more to the opinions and recommendations of their friends than official brand marketing, have a much stronger trust in e-commerce and look for transparency from their retailers.
They are also very dependent on the Internet for learning how to do things and are proactive in sharing both positive and negative experiences with products and services.
These guys vape to be cool, are often into cloud chasing and sub ohm vaping.
Gen X are broadly defined as those aged between their early 30's and mid 50's. They grew up in a time of transition into the digital age. Generation X members like their counterparts Generation Y are market savvy. They are smarter than people think, are more capable than expected.
Gen X’s tendency toward affluence, and brand loyalty make them unique characters in the marketplace. Generation X’s buying potential makes this demographic of consumers aged 35 to 54 a must-know for marketers.
So what makes Gen X's tick? According to new research from Nielsen,
"both men and women in this demographic connect with everyday household and family activities. Unlike other demographics, such as Millennials, real-world situations and authenticity appeal most to consumers between 35-54."
Main reasons for taking up vaping include economics (it's much cheaper), health, to quit smoking and/or smoke marijuana.
The Baby Boomers are fifty plus to late sixties. They grew up in a time of excess and easy wealth but are in a state of denial regarding their own aging and death "Imagine former (or still) hippies, thinking they will stay young and live forever but are continuously getting shocked by reading obituaries of those the same age or even younger".
Like Gen X the baby boomers see vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes and an opportunity to continue their denial regarding aging and squeeze a few more years out of life.. However, Baby Boomers have not always had the ability to shop online and as a result retailers have to consider the age of this target market, as it is going to determine how they accommodate them.
The info graphic below from Nextopia.com provides some great insights into the differences between Millennials and Baby Boomers.
Within and between these three broad demographic categories there are also sub-culture subsets of vape users these mainly include:
Tech geeks love to build and modify vape kits, experiment with different coils and talk sub-ohm atomizers, wattage, and a host of other jargon.
Cloud chasers are customers who are into cloud chasing and blowing big vape clouds. They are interested in sub ohm vaping. Like their conterparts , tech geeks they are also interested in building their own coils and customizing their vape mods to maximize vape cloud size.
Marijuana smokers are the latest sub culture group to be drawn towards vaping and their interest in vaping technology and products continues to grow. Whether they are using marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, they are interested in maximizing the release of THC without the negative side affects associated with traditional smoking. ie. burning paper, smoke and associated unnecessary chemicals including the cancer driver, tar.
By far the biggest sub culture group are smokers who are trying to quit. Many of them love smoking but understand it's negative health consequences and are looking for a healthier alternative.
There are also subsets of these folks, who can be identified via their tastes in music, fashion, social activities and a host of other features.
Who are your natural market vape business customers?
Who your natural market vape shop business customers are firstly depends on which of the broad generation groups you fit into and where your interests lie. In short you age and interests will largely determine your reliability to your customers.
To run a successful vape shop business you need to be able to understand and relate to your customers. In short your relate-ability to those who are close to you in age, taste and understanding will give you a natural edge over your competition.
We call this your natural market. Why? Because you understand their pains, challenges, goals and desires, probably have had similar life experiences and because of your generation, have a similar sub set of values.
While your natural market is a great place to start identifying your target market it's just the tip of the iceberg. To really hit a home run with attracting customers and online visitors it's highly advisable to spend some time researching the wants, needs, desires and pains of different generational and sub-culture group customers.
While you may think you know who your customers are and what they want this is a bold and often naive assumption that is fraught with danger. The truth is successful businesses build customer personas and ensure everything they do with regard to products, advice, marketing and promotions is tailored to speak directly to a specific market segment.
Our advice, remember one shoe doesn't fit all. Don't try to guess who your customers are, spend some time and do some research. Knowledge is power and really understanding who your customers are will allow you to develop powerful marketing messages that will grow your business.
To help you truly understand customer personas we've put together a more detailed article you can read here
We've also put together a free downloadable persona development guide, including a powerful question list and persona template to help you build your personas fast and start growing your vape business. To download this great guide simply click on the banner below this post.
If you've got questions or comments feel free to place them in the comments section below and don't forget to share this article on social media.
Here's to your vape business success.