Tobacconist University
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The New Customer

Customers are defined by their Values.
Tobacconists are defined by the Value they Add!
Just like Cigars, Retail Customers come in many different shapes, styles, and sizes, so to speak. It is impossible to categorize them all. In fact, the very individualistic nature of cigar and pipe smokers defies our ability to define a “typical” customer. But of course, as a University we must attempt to define and understand. TU categorizes Customers in a variety of ways in order to help us understand and service them better. The one Customer Varietal that stands out above all, perhaps the most important Customer, is The New Customer.
Whether a Customer is New to your B&M or to the art of luxury tobacco, they are the most important type of Customer. Obviously we must earn New Customers to thrive. In 1900, 7 out of 10 men smoked cigars. This means that almost everyone has the palette to enjoy our products; women too. So there is a massive undiscovered potential in our industry. Aside from Smokerism and Anti-Smoking hysteria, there is one major challenge for Tobacconists when earning new customers, and that is: the overwhelming majority of people who try their first cigar are unimpressed and/or disgusted. Most people try their first cigar from a convenience store or a sub-standard smokeshop. Most people cannot fathom the quality of gourmet tobacco.
Imagine the potential to turn people on to luxury tobacco if they went to a qualified Retail Tobacconist to try their first cigar!
The good news is that 50 years ago most people thought wine was just fermented grape juice…

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