VAZO: To develop overseas markets, we must respect and accommodate local culture

“If you want to win the trust of consumers in a certain country and have a certain market acceptance in a certain country, you must understand, respect and accommodate the local people and culture.”

On June 15th, at the 2022 Electronic Cigarette Industry 6th Standardization Development Conference and the 1st Export Service Development Conference, how to further expand exports and establish a good brand image in the international market became a hot topic of the day. Gao Wenhan, Marketing Director of ZIPPO VAZO Greater China, said in an interview with reporters that a solid overseas market survey must be done before exporting.

On the day of the conference, the “2022 Electronic Cigarette Industry Export Blue Book” jointly produced by the Electronic Cigarette Committee of the China Electronic Chamber of Commerce and the two supremes was released. The data shows that the global electronic cigarette market will exceed 100 billion US dollars in 2022. It is expected that by 2022 The scale of the overseas e-cigarette market will maintain a growth rate of 35% in 2018. In terms of exports, it is expected that the total export value of electronic cigarettes will also exceed 180 billion yuan in 2022, with an expected growth rate of 35%.

At present, there are more than 1,500 electronic cigarette manufacturers and brand enterprises in China, and more than 70% of them mainly export their products overseas. It can be seen that it is the general trend of the development of China’s electronic cigarette industry to continue to expand exports and actively export foreign exchange. So, how can domestic e-cigarette brands go abroad and quickly open up in the fiercely competitive international market? VAZO, a high-end electronic atomization brand inherited from ZIPPO in the United States, has its own unique experience in developing overseas markets.

According to reports, VAZO’s layout in overseas markets has been prepared for a long time. So far, various VAZO products have been exported to South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Spain, Kenya and other countries and regions. In Korea, VAZO has reached a channel cooperation with GS25, one of the largest local convenience store channels in Korea, and has achieved impressive results in product coverage and user mentality.

As the saying goes, “the troops and horses are not moved, the food and grass go first”. According to Gao Wenhan, in-depth market research is an essential step before VAZO enters every new overseas region. For example, visit local dealers, experience local market culture, hire local consultants, etc., trying to create localized products that meet local people’s preferences in terms of packaging, design, taste and other aspects.

Gao Wenhan believes that brands should focus on longer-term interests and truly prepare to embrace the market, so as to contribute to the virtuous circle between the market and consumers and the long-term development of the brand.

“For example, in the localization of products we made for African countries, we abandoned the original packaging pattern, but adopted many design elements with local African characteristics, so that the entire packaging is more in line with the aesthetics of the local population; In terms of taste adjustment, according to our preliminary research, different from domestic consumers’ preference for low cooling and low sweetness, African consumers prefer the taste with extreme sweetness and brightness. Some adjustments have been made.”

In addition, VAZO will hire cultural consultants locally. In order to understand the customs, taboos, etc. of each country in terms of culture, religion, customs, etc. Brands can be recognized by different consumers only if they respect the differences in different regions culturally.

According to reports, in order to adapt to the local Kenyan market, it took VAZO about three months to adjust the packaging design and product taste. “Although the time is long, our preparations in the early stage are still worthwhile. At present, we have done a good job in terms of sales volume, market share, and repurchase rate in the local area.”

As a typical African country, after Kenya entered the Kenyan market, it became much easier for VAZO to explore other African countries with similar cultural customs and consumption preferences, such as South Africa and Ethiopia. “Bringing Chinese products and Chinese culture to the world is what we want to see.”

At present, China’s e-cigarette export is still facing many challenges. Gao Wenhan believes that on the one hand, it is necessary to deal with the changing e-cigarette policies of various exporting countries. On the other hand, China’s e-cigarette products are seriously homogenized, which intensifies the competition in the industry. . To this end, on the one hand, we must do a good job in the localization of overseas markets; on the other hand, it is necessary to insist on making good products, innovate constantly, and make Chinese products into benchmark products in the global market.

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