E-cigarettes are now widely available in the United States and Canada and they are increasingly popular in Europe.
However, the two biggest e-cigarette brands in the world – British American Tobacco (BAT) and Lorillard Tobacco (LVMH) – are struggling to keep pace with their competition.
The three main contenders for the title of best e-cig brand are Lorillard, e-Cigarettes UK, and Vapor Direct, according to research by brand researcher brand consultancy, Brandwatch.
The new research, released on Monday, comes as Lorillard is expected to report an earnings miss on Monday that will further raise concerns about the future of its cigarette business.
“Our analysis indicates that in 2017, Lorillard will miss the target by 0.5pc on revenues of $1.3bn and will miss by 0-2pc in operating profit,” Brandwatch CEO Paul Mott said.
He said the findings would further damage the brand’s future.
“Lorillard’s success as a company has been based on its commitment to the ‘sustainability of cigarettes’ and has also relied on a combination of innovation, quality control, marketing, distribution and marketing automation,” he said.
“Despite a strong start, it’s not enough to win the title.”‘
This is not a race’ Mr Mott warned that Lorillard’s failure to hit the mark would put pressure on other brands.
“The success of the new tobacco brands will have an impact on the brand as a whole and it will also have a bearing on other tobacco brands,” he warned.
“These three brands, and all the others, will face a huge challenge in the years to come.”
It will be difficult for them to continue to innovate, grow their business and compete effectively with brands such as Vapour Direct and Lorampatch,” he added.’
I don’t think there’s any way out’ The findings come just weeks after Lorillard reported a second-quarter profit that was down 1.6pc from the previous year.
It said it was facing a $1bn budget deficit and would have to cut its dividend to $0.40 per share.”
We believe we can remain on track to deliver positive results in the short-term as we continue to strengthen our core brands, which are the pillars of our business,” Mr Mott added.”
I think there is no way out.
We’re in a situation where we can’t stay on track.
“So the only way out is to take a longer-term approach, to invest more to expand our portfolio of brands, to improve our brand awareness and reach out to new audiences.”
The brand’s biggest competitor in the US is Vapor.
Mr Mason said the new research was just the latest indication that the two companies were in a difficult situation.
“In the US, there are some other brands that are doing well, but they’ve lost market share in recent years to Lorillard,” he told The Irish Times.
“For example, Vapors share of the e-liquid market has dropped by around 30pc to $2.3 billion, but it’s a very small proportion of the market.”
That’s the story across the world, and it’s certainly not the case for Lorillard.
“And the reason we’re seeing this is that Loramards success is driven by the ability to innovate and deliver products that are of the highest quality and that we can deliver to consumers that are looking for value.”
‘Vapour has made a big step forward’ “Lors share is down by 30pc, and the competition is much more competitive, and Lorams brand has made an even bigger step forward.”
This is one of the reasons why Lorillard has made such a big jump in recent times,” he explained.”
They’ve had to invest heavily in their brand in order to stay ahead.
“If they can stay ahead, it would help them achieve a better position in the long-term, but that’s not something that will happen overnight.”
But this is one more indication that we’re in the best position we can be.”‘
You need to do what is right” Lorillas brand ambassador, Michelle Ruggiero, said the company’s success was down to its commitment and dedication to quality.”
There’s no question in my mind that the brands that have been around for a long time have been successful,” she told The Independent.”
At Lorillard we are a brand of quality and quality is very important to us, it means that the products that we sell are the best that we have to offer.
“Vapor has been a brand that has stood the test of time.
They have always been able to deliver what we were looking for, and that is very hard to achieve in the market today.”
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