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Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Perfect Cut

This new Perfect Cut video is a significant milestone in TU’s development. The future of our academic curriculum, FAQ, and Glossary, will all be video and slideshow driven: giving consumers and Tobacconists educational alternatives with entertainment value. We are previewing The Perfect Cut here, before it goes up on the FAQ. Videos to follow include:
  • Lighter Maintenance
  • How To Light A Cigar
  • How To Pack A Pipe
  • Calibrating A Hygrometer
  • Seasoning A Humidor
  • and many, many more….


Friday, October 17, 2008

Gift Packs

Gift Packs, also known as Sampler, Variety, and/or Assortment Packs, are Tobacconist and customer favorites. A Gift Pack usually comes in a special box with a limited selection of cigars: the cigars can be a vertical, horizontal, random, multi-brand, and/or limited-edition/special-release assortment. Gift Packs can also include accoutrements like lighters, cutters, and humidifiers. We refer to them as ‘Gift’ Packs because they make great gifts and Tobacconists usually sell them as such. Consequently many companies release their special Gift Packs during the holidays. Retail Tobacconists sell more Gift Packs during December than all the other months combined.
Gift Packs give customers the opportunity to buy a small selection of beautifully packaged cigars without having to spend more on a standard box of 20 or 25. Astute and proactive retail Tobacconists can also create their own custom Gift Packs (see Gift Packaging) for their customers. Custom Gift Packs are a great way to tailor and add value to your customer’s experience, as well as a bona fide competitive advantage.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cutter Etiquette

Cigar Cutters touch the head of the cigar that will touch your mouth; so they must be kept clean. Tobacconists must have sanitary procedures in place to keep cutters clean and protect their customers. Every day customers put a cigar in their mouth and then ask for a cut or cutter. The easiest solution for retail Tobacconists is to have two cutter options on hand: a ‘Clean’ cutter and a ‘Saliva’ cutter. The Clean Cutter should never be used on a saliva tainted cigar. The Saliva Cutter can be used on the saliva tainted cigar and sterilized quickly with hand sanitizer afterwards.
Standard hand sanitizing gels can be used to sanitize a Cigar Cutter and blade. Simply use your hands or a paper towel to carefully coat the cutter with sanitizing gel, remove excess, and allow to dry for a few minutes.
All Cigar Cutters need an occasional cleaning as tobacco and oils accumulate. Often, the debris and oil can inhibit the cutting and/or movement of the blades. To clean blades, apply a solution of warm water and antibacterial soap with a cotton swab or cloth, then wipe dry. Also, remove any tobacco and debris from the cutter’s frame.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Gift Packaging

Nothing adds value like free Gift Packaging for customers. And, Tobacconists already have the most precious item on hand – empty cigar boxes! Packaging gifts for customers has many benefits, including:

· Higher Customer Satisfaction
· Competitive Advantage
· Stimulates Up-selling
· Branding Opportunity
· Promotes Loyalty
· More Memorable
· More Impressive

Gift Packaging, especially during the holidays, creates more special and valuable presents. The gift-givers will remember your store and the receivers will come back for more.
The cigar box Gift Packaging method shown here only requires Tobacconists to purchase inexpensive paper stuffing; as you should have branded business cards, ziptop bags, matches, and cutters in stock. In addition, this gift box shows a branded sticker opportunity on the inside lid and another sticker sealing the box – these stickers can be made on store bought labels with a rudimentary computer. Get creative and use every opportunity to reinforce your brand with your customers: it will pay off in the short and long term.

TIP I: Prepare your gift boxes ahead of busy times – keep them loaded with stuffing, business cards, resealable (ziptop) bags, matches, cutters, and stickers. That way, it will only take a few seconds to prepare and your customers will be impressed.

TIP II: During the holidays, add a red bow to anything and you have an instant gift pack.

TIP III: Have branded coffee mugs made and you have an instant up-sell.