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One e-cigarette device, called a Juul, has become increasingly popular since its launch in 2015.
Why is Juul so popular in our daily life? Could you pick out the reasons for it? I believe that all things become popular because of three factors: the quality of the product itself ( or great product design), marketing and availability & accessibility. Of course, Juul is no exception.
Juul Labs produces the Juul device and Juul pods, which are inserted into the Juul device. In appearance, the Juul device looks quite similar to a USB flash drive, and can in fact be charged in the USB port of a computer. According to Juul Labs, all Juul pods contain flavorings and 0.7mL e-liquid with 5% or 3% nicotine by weight; Juul Labs claims that the 5% pods contain the equivalent amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Juul pods come in eight flavors: Mango, Fruit, Cucumber, Creme, Mint, Menthol, Virginia Tobacco and Classic Tobacco. Other companies manufacture “Juul-compatible” pods in additional flavors; for example, Eonsmoke sells Juul-compatible pods in Blueberry, Silky Strawberry, Mango, Cool Mint, Watermelon, Tobacco, and Caffé Latte flavors. There are also companies that produce Juul “wraps” or “skins” decals that wrap around the Juul device and allow Juul users to customize their device with unique colors and patterns (and may be an appealing way for younger users to disguise their device).
The company that initially designed the Juul previously designed the Pax Vaporizer, an equally well-designed product used for vaporizing raw tobacco and cannabis. So they had experience and clout in the industry beforehand.
What really set them apart from the vaping competition is the small profile and effectiveness of the Juul. Previous vaping devices tended to be bulky and have high startup costs, like the box mod setups. Or they would be ineffective in producing vapor and feel cheaply made, like the eGO battery and cartomizers of a few years ago. Not only that, many people were put off by the selection of juices and the maintenance of the devices.
Juul bypassed all of these problems by creating a small device that can easily fit into just about any pocket and using a disposable pod system. Is the tank empty? Throw it away and pop in a new one! No need to refill a tank or change burnt out coils or any of that nonsense.
On top of the device itself, they formulated the new nicotine salt juice that is now becoming popular. This was especially great for smokers switching over because it provided a quick nicotine delivery that was extremely similar to cigarette smoking.
In short, Juul fixed just about every complaint that people switching from smoking had about vaping and then made it very accessible. With a light price tag of $40–$50 for a starter kit that includes pods, they definitely played their cards right.
Juul’s Youth-Friendly Marketing Launch
When Juul first launched in 2015, the company used colorful, eye-catching designs and youth-oriented imagery and themes, such as young people dancing and using Juul. Juul’s original marketing campaign included billboards in New York City’s Times Square, YouTube videos, advertising in Vice Magazine, launch parties and a sampling tour. According to the New York Times, “Cult Collective, the marketing company that created the 2015 campaign, “Vaporized,” claimed that the work “created ridiculous enthusiasm” for the campaign hashtag, part of a larger advertising effort that included music event sponsorships and retail marketing.”
Social media continued to fuel Juul’s popularity, with lasting effects. Juul was one of the first major e-cigarette brands to rely heavily on social media to market and promote its products. Juul’s initial marketing expenditures in traditional channels were modest compared to competing brands, and these expenditures decreased as the brand increased content and received more promotion on social media channels like Instagram and Twitter.
A study in JAMA Pediatrics found that 8 out of 10 of Juul’s Twitter followers in April 2018 were between the ages of 13 to 20. Additionally, user-generated posts that tag (e.g., #Juulvapor, #doit4Juul) and feature Juul do not have any Juul billboard in Times Square, New York City, 2015. These kinds of social media posts can increase exposure to pro-e-cigarette imagery and message, by making Juul use to look cool and rebellious.
Juul officials claim that its popularity among youth is purely accidental and that the product’s viral social media presence following its launch was beyond the company’s control. Ashley Gould, Chief Administrative Officer of Juul Labs, said that the explosion of youth users “was not anticipated and completely unexpected to us.” Gould has noted that “All of the things you see on social media, we have absolutely nothing to do with.” Contrary to these claims, a New York Times investigation interviewed a former senior manager at Juul who “said that he and others in the company were well aware the campaign launch might appeal to youth. After Juuls went on sale on June 2015, he said, the company quickly realized that teenagers were, in fact, using them because they posted images of themselves vaping Juuls on social media.”
In April 2018, the FDA sent an official request for information to Juul Labs to obtain more information about the youth appeal of the product, including the company’s marketing practices. Juul subsequently updated its marketing code with the purported goal of limiting youth exposure to its advertising. In June 2018, Juul announced a new social media policy that would no longer use models on those platforms but instead would feature former smokers who switched to Juul. FDA later called on Juul and other major e-cigarette makers to develop “robust plans on how they’ll convincingly address the widespread use of their products by minors.” As part of its response to FDA, in November 2018 Juul announced the suspension of its official social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook, and limits on its Twitter posts to “non-promotional communications only,” as well as age-restricting its Twitter account. In this same announcement, Juul noted its coordination with the major social media platforms to attempt to “police” content and “remove youth-oriented social media content from third-parties or users.”
Juul devices and Juul pods are available for sale on Juul’s website and other online retailers as well as in convenience stores, vape shops, and tobacco retailers. To access Juul’s website, users must indicate that they are 21 or older by simply clicking on a button, but Juul asserts that it uses stricter age verification processes (21+) for online purchases.
FDA law prohibits sales of e-cigarettes to those under age 18 and some state and local laws have higher minimum age-of-sale laws. Youth obtain Juul products from social sources who may be over age 18, online or in-person from retailers that are incompliant with state or federal law, or from online resellers like eBay and Craigslist that have no age verification. According to the 2018 Monitoring the Future Survey, more than 60% of 10th-grade students say it is easy to get vaping devices and e-liquids. The 2018 NYTS found that 14.8 percent of middle and high school e-cigarette users under 18 report obtaining e-cigarettes from a vape shop in the past month, 8.4 percent from a gas station or convenience store, and 6.5 percent from the Internet. A 2018 study found that among surveyed youth Juul users (ages 12-17), half had gotten Juul from a social source. In April 2018, the FDA sent warning letters to 40 retailers across the country for illegally selling Juul products to minors. Juul touted that the December 2018 investment by Altria will improve the products’ distribution to and presence in retail stores, as well as “expand its reach.”
Though the up-front cost of the device is high (a Juul starter kit, which includes the device, charger and 4 Juul pods of various flavors, is $49.99 on the Juul website), advocates have shared stories of kids pooling together money to share a device and sell “hits” from the device to recoup the cost. In addition, Juul products are sometimes offered for a lower price with promotions at retail locations.
Juul has also expanded its reach internationally, with sales in Canada, the European Union, Indonesia, South Korea, and the Philippines. Juul launched in Canada on September 2018, and just that same month, a survey found that 7.0% of Canadian teens had already tried Juul and it had become the third most popular brand among past-month users, with 10.3% reporting it as their usual brand.
This article also teaches us which channels to increase the popularity of our products, especially for a new product. thank you very much