Around the world, new e-liquid companies appear almost every day. Some of those companies will go on to enjoy great success, but most will simply flounder for a while until their owners give up. The fact that new e-liquid companies can still appear and find success is a good sign that the industry is healthy and has plenty of room for growth.
Why, then, do so many e-liquid companies fail? Although there is room for new companies in the vaping industry, finding an audience is no longer easy. Some people go into business without an understanding of this industry’s many challenges. In this article, we’ll look at the reasons why things don’t always work out for new e-liquid companies.
Lack of Differentiation
Before you launch a website or offer a single product for sale, you should have an answer to this one question: What makes your e-liquid company different from the rest?
You should study your competition thoroughly – look at as many e-liquid websites as possible – and decide how you can be better or different without simply copying someone else’s tactics. If your website, logo, bottle design and flavor profiles look like everyone else’s, what reason do customers have to choose you?
If you’ve tried many different e-liquids with the same flavor profile – strawberries and cream, for example – you’ve probably noticed that some of them taste almost identical. Since many e-liquid companies have their products made in outside laboratories (outsourcing), some e-liquids might actually beidentical.
Yet, some e-liquids are hits, and others are ignored. If you can learn why some companies perform much better than others while selling virtually identical products, you’ll be a step closer to unlocking your company’s potential.
Is Your E-Liquid Too Edgy or Strange
Uniqueness is a great thing in the vaping industry – but you can go too far. There are smokers and vapers within every locality, race, education level and income bracket. If your website or product has text or imagery that’s too sexual, graphic or profane, though, you’ll automatically exclude a large portion of your potential customers. Try to find a middle ground that allows you to be different without being offensive unless you are aiming to stay within a certain niche of the industry.
Not Offering What People Want
Trends change constantly in the vaping industry. Although there’s a place for every vaping style, you need to offer the type of e-liquid that most people want if you want your product to have mass appeal. But, again, if you’re looking to build a niche audience, then perhaps this can apply to flavor profiles too. Just remember that when aiming for a niche, you’re limiting growth.
Among those who buy bottled e-liquid, lower nicotine strengths and high-VG blends are currently most popular. Higher nicotine strengths aren’t very popular except in conjunction with nicotine salts.
In the past, companies could get away with charging upwards of $1.00 per ml of e-liquid. Those days are gone. Unless you can come up with a reason to justify a higher price tag, you’ll need to keep your prices competitive if you want to have a chance.
That’s not to say that you’ll enjoy instant success with 100mL bottles for $9.99(USD), many Vapers look at these e-liquids as the low-quality, coil-killer grade. 100mL bottles for ten bucks attracts attention, but for how long?
Uninteresting E-Liquid Flavors
As the owner of an e-liquid company, you can find success by offering the flavor profiles that people want. There will always be people who want custard, cereal, fruit, candy and dessert e-liquids. You can do even better, though, by offering flavor profiles that people don’t know they want yet.
If you’re the first company out of the gate with a brand new flavor idea that has mass appeal, you could have an instant hit on your hands while your competitors struggle to catch up.
No matter what flavor profiles you ultimately offer, you should prepare to devote extensive time to research, development and testing. You will not find success squirting a single flavor into a VG/PG base. Even two-flavor e-liquids are a tough sell these days; the e-liquid industry has more than enough cheesecake variations.
You need to offer creative, nuanced and unique blends that aren’t available elsewhere. Don’t forget that an e-liquid’s text description is almost as important as the e-liquid itself. No matter how delicious an e-liquid may be, no one will buy it if it doesn’t soundtasty.
Search engine optimization matters in any industry. It’s doubly important in the vaping industry, though, since neither Google nor any of the major social media platforms allow vaping companies to advertise. Many vaping-related websites do sell ad space, giving you one potential avenue for paid traffic.
Spinfuel VAPE, the online magazine where you are reading this, sells more advertising than any other like-magazine because of the large audience and affordable prices. Especially the benefit that Spinfuel VAPE does not sell “impressions”, they sell “time”. Pay for a month, or a quarter, and the Ad spot you choose is all yours, 24/7. You won’t share your spot with anyone else. This is rare.
If you’re not advertising in Spinfuel VAPE or other online vaping magazines, then most of your traffic will come from Google’s search results pages. Your website can’t appear on those search results pages, though, without high-quality text content – and if you don’t have web traffic, you don’t have a business. As soon as you launch your website, you should start a blog and begin writing content that’s likely to appeal to your potential customers. If you can’t create good content for your e-liquid website, reach out to content providers, such as Spinfuel VAPE, and work out an arrangement where they can supply content for a simple link in return.
Do you plan to sell e-liquid to consumers, businesses or both? What are some of the search terms that your potential customers would use if they were looking for a company like yours? Keep those search terms in mind as you brainstorm potential article topics for your blog. Search terms can be monitored, but they are one of the most difficult obstacles to conquer.
There is much more to good SEO than just good content, and you can always check to see how your website is doing according to SEO best practices by visiting GTMETRIX and typing in a few of your URL’s for page load speed, caching, and a 100 more important aspects of good SEO. And, if you plan to selling your e-liquid on your website, or not, always buy a secure socket layer, or SSL certificate, so your website will begin with https and not http. That makes a huge difference in SEO and domain authority.
Poor Marketing and Relationship Development
For any e-liquid company, one of the most important aspects of marketing is simply getting your name out there to build brand awareness. No matter how great your website is – and how much content you have – you can’t simply post articles and wait for the traffic to come in – you have to let people know that you exist.
One of the best ways to do that is by contacting website owners and influential social media users. Ask for links and honest reviews in exchange for product samples. Everyone loves free e-liquid, so you’ll get a lot of interest. That said, unless you’re ready to expose your product to the absolute truth of professional reviewers, stay away from Spinfuel VAPE. This site can make you, or break you, depending on the quality of your product.
It’s also wise to build relationships with distributors of vaping products. Many vape shops buy their products exclusively from distributors – not from manufacturers. If your e-liquid appears in a distributor’s catalog and the profit potential looks good, many vape shop owners may take a chance on your products.
Failure to Think Outside the Box
As mentioned above, you can’t use any of the traditional advertising channels outside the targeted online magazines mentioned above when you’re in the vaping industry. Since you can’t simply buy your web traffic from traditional sources and social media, you’ll have to think outside the box when it comes to promoting your e-liquid company online. When you do find a promotional method that works, you can’t become complacent. If you can grab a spot on a site like Spinfuel VAPE, if it works for you, stay put but be sure to change up the Ad content. Don’t let readers become blind to your Ad spot.
Many e-liquid companies found success back in the day using Reddit as a means of increasing consumer awareness. In 2018, though, Reddit banned all links to e-liquid sellers. The ban made Reddit essentially useless as a marketing platform for e-liquid companies. You’ll need to be creative in looking for ways to reach your audience. If you can’t think outside the box, your e-liquid company will fail. One way to do that is to make sure your loyal customers are promoting the websites where you can advertise in Reddit, thereby bringing eyes to your Ad indirectly.
Using a very targeted online magazine, like Spinfuel VAPE, allows you to reach people that are already vaping, or researching e-cigarettes, sub-ohm tanks, box mods, and what-have-you, and for a lot less than you might expect, Vapers can view your Ad Campaign in a completely legal, and precise way.
It’s not easy to launch a new company, especially an e-liquid company. But it can be done. Your work doesn’t end with the formulation of your liquids, it just begins. You must keep your name in front of as many Vapers as you can, for as little cost as you can.
About the Author
Jason Cugle is the owner / curator of Triple 7 Vaping, a vendor that offers vaping products to the public at wholesale prices. Triple 7 Vaping specializes in all things Aspire including tanks, mods, parts and accessories. Orders over $30 ship the same day