As is customary, when we review a brand of eliquid that is new to us we conduct an interview with the owner, CEO, President, or in this case, the VP of Marketing Strategy. Don’t forget to check out the interview for the NJOY Artist Collection!
SPINFUEL: Welcome to the pages of Spinfuel. We’ve been looking forward to talking to you. Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
ERIC: Hi, I’m Eric from NJOY.
ERIC: I’m the Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Product Innovation – but also the VP of Vaping for short.
SPINFUEL: NJOY isn’t exactly known for high-end eliquids, most people think of a small cig-a-like when they think about NJOY. But NJOY is much more than the maker of the tiny NJOY King, isn’t it? Tell us about NJOY the company, tell us what it is we don’t know about NJOY.
ERIC: NJOY is an independent American company hell bent on making the tobacco cigarette obsolete. That’s our mission, and it’s the driving force behind everything we are and everything we do. It drives our product innovation – from the cigalikes and beginner open systems that provide smokers with a great entry point into vaping, now to more high-end liquids for more advanced vapers that shop in B&Ms. It also drives our advocacy – from the lawsuit we fought (and won) against the FDA in 2010 to protect the industry from extinction during its infancy to our full-time government relations advocates fighting in local, state, and federal battles everyday against unfair taxation, bans on flavors, bans on open systems, etc. And it drives who we are – we’re independently funded and independently owned, and will never, ever be owned by Big Tobacco. We’re about making the cigarette obsolete. And I personally can’t wait for the day when I can tell my son that I helped in some small part to make that happen.
Thanks for that question – I’m really passionate about what we do and really appreciate the opportunity to share that openly.
ERIC: Vaping is showing signs of being fundamentally more disruptive and effective in getting smokers to switch than cigalikes. And that’s because vaping, and specifically flavors, has already accomplished something extraordinary – it’s not just a substitute for smoking, it’s a flat-out replacement that is more pleasurable than smoking ever was. There is something truly amazing happening here, and it’s happening quickly, and vape shops are at the epicenter of that as the cultural and educational backbone of the community.
We want to do everything we can to support these shops by offering great juice made with the highest standards and backed by some really exciting and innovative marketing. And the best way to offer great juice is to work with some of the best people making juice today. That’s why we developed the Artist Collection, a premium juice line completely distinct from our e-liquid line at convenience stores and designed exclusively for tobacco-free vape shops.
SPINFUEL: How were the individual artists chosen? Was there an audition process? Did the artists have the opportunity to submit more than one flavor? Tell us about the process, how were the 5 chosen?
ERIC: Our first stop was Daniel Walsh, the CEO of the FlavorZ Academy and the true High Priest of vaping. We knew we wanted to make great juice, and it was actually Daniel that suggested that we put a proper dream team together. There wasn’t an audition process. We approached Anne-Claire, George, Jeremy, and Randy the same way we approached Daniel – knowing they were true artists who made amazing juice and proposing we collaborate on this line. It was an honor that they all said yes, and we were off and running.
Each of the artists submitted between 2 and 4 flavors, and the final flavors were chosen to give us the best, balanced portfolio. Man, was that the toughest part! Some of the submissions that aren’t in this release were also really, really good.
SPINFUEL: How was the collection put together? I mean, you have the artists you want to work with, you have their eliquids, so how was it decided to offer the collection in the way they are offered? Deluxe packaging, sophisticated, elegant, and definitely artsy, why go this way?
ERIC: We’re right on the edge of a real cultural phenomenon with vaping, and as my colleague Geoff Vuleta says, great juice makers are the Andy Warhols of right now. They are true artists, in every sense, and all of our packaging, branding, and even the language and tone of how we represent it is meant to celebrate that. We’re really proud of how it turned out.
SPINFUEL: Who is your target audience?
ERIC: The AC is meant for experienced vapers. Folks that shop in B&Ms.
ERIC: Amazing. The product only just starting reached shops about a week ago, and already 25% of our doors have placed reorders. A series of films we’ve launched to announce and celebrate the flavors have already had over 300K views on YouTube with over 800 comments. And the reviews started to hit YouTube and elsewhere this week, and we’ve gotten a ton of positive response. But most of all, it’s been so great to talk with shop owners, reviewers, and advocates about our shared goals in growing this industry and getting smokers to switch to vaping.
SPINFUEL: Where can vapers buy the collection? I suppose they will be available as individual eliquids so that people won’t have to buy the entire collection, is that correct?
ERIC: Yeah, that’s right. The AC is available at vape shops around the country, both in their B&Ms and in their online shops. The list is growing everyday, and you can find where to buy it at www.njoyac.com by clicking on “Find a store”.
SPINFUEL: : Can you envision further Artist Collections or was this a one-off production? Can we expect to see Artist Collection 2, or is this the only collection coming from NJOY?
ERIC: This is the beginning, not the end. Of course there’s more to come!
SPINFUEL: What do you want our readers to take away from the NJOY Artist Collection?
ERIC: That it’s great juice, of course. But also that we’re all part of a community – and that collaborations like the Artist Collection show how great things can happen when we work together.