OWN LIFE Vapor Podcast Episode 108 | Mt Baker Vapor

OWN LIFE Vapor Podcast Episode 108 | Mt Baker Vapor


Okay, all right well this is the latest episode of own life vapor podcast episode 9 cast double I’m your host your hostess with the mostess Jaz Jones Randall Mount Baker vapor the director of sales here personally vaping for over seven years and I also used vaping to stop smoking so I’m living proof that vape saves lives we’ll be covering some really exciting topics today starting with is vape a fad then we’re going to be looking at organizing your store to maximize your profit after that we’ll be looking at advertising your shop what works what doesn’t and what may be illegal and then last but definitely not least house juices to do or not to do that is the question and we’re gonna be spending some time talking to our guests here we have Jonathan Wade of Chuy’s juice you want to introduce yourself John yeah guys I’m Jonathan Wade from Chuy’s juice I stole his thunder I have been a vapor since 2010 so I’m at about the eighth year mark vaping since before ego batteries even existed so I remember the the massive hype of egos I started my a juice company about four years ago now and yeah going strong and loving it awesome awesome okay well hey what we’ll do is we’ll break into this first topic which is is faking a Fed you know since vaping has evolved to such an extent many people are beginning to wonder if vaping as a concept was merely a fad but I certainly don’t think so especially when looking at the evidence of smoking populations dying down across the nation in 2014 sixteen point eight percent of Americans smoked but now in 2018 that number is down to fifteen percent and I know that doesn’t even really sound like that much it doesn’t sound like a huge drop but that equates to over three hundred thousand less smokers in America across the past four years so it’s really no surprise that big big tobacco was the first to jump on the all vaping is a fad train then of course something crazy happened they started to come out with their own versions of eight products and suddenly was no longer you know John do you think that the reduction in the smoking rates is what moved Big Tobacco to just move into our space I absolutely do you know when I first started vaping my first device was a little Sega like device a cheap knockoff of the blue cigs and you know they works terribly late they would work for five minutes and then stop so I had to have like eight of them right but even then I knew like just using it because up until then there was no alternative to smoking like vaping didn’t exist so when I tried that for the first time having never encountered it before I was blown away and I was like the is the future yeah this I’m experiencing the future maybe a decade before the technology is good enough to be worth it or five years but I knew back then that it was going to change everything and I could also tell that Big Tobacco wasn’t taking it seriously and they were leaving an area open for new players to come into the market and you know thankfully for that but it definitely is not a fad to me it is for me personally the only thing under the Sun that got me to quit smoking entirely and I’ve been smoke-free for quite a while now I say that it’s definitely changed my life and something that’s changed my life that much in my mind can’t possibly be a fad yeah and I totally agree you know for me when I saw Big Tobacco it excites me that not only is vaping not a fad but the technology surrounding the continues to evolve new mods new pods new accessories none of us know what a device is going to look like in 2025 but the only thing we know is going to look cool as hell that’s all and more proof that vaping isn’t a fad is the fact that public health England or the FDA UK publicly announced that vaping is 95 percent healthier than smoking and then the American Cancer Society acknowledged that vaping reduces harm because as you mentioned it is one of the only ways you can successfully quit smoking you know John have you seen this info impact the perception of vaping itself I have I think that there was initially a lot of misinformation thrown around from other parties but I have noticed an evening out of that information being balanced out by the good information the reliable studies that have been done and I’ve definitely noticed an impact and public perception as a result of that yeah and and me too and for me it validated every sneaking insecurity that I ever had you know just fading away it made me believe again because for a moment there I was like Debbie Downer with a rain cloud over living in crutches depressed over the possibility that vaping could just disappear but the evidence is showing that it’s definitely not a fad you know with this in mind we know that countless medical journals research studies and harm reduction reports show that it’s here to stay and so I hope you agree with when you say we should be excited and hopeful because we picked a winning industry absolutely I do agree awesome awesome well hey let’s jump into our second topic organizing your store to maximize profit a big area of contention and confusion that we see in vape and smoke shops is in store organization specifically how to set up a store to maximize profit the first big question that one should ask is the vibe that you want your store to create we all have limited real estate so make sure that the physical arrangement of the store matches the psychology of the customer of course and of course one thing we know is that it’s been scientifically proven that consumers have a natural inclination to shop counterclockwise so any display that’s just to the right of the door is prime real estate space did you know that I did not know that and that is fascinating it is cool I did a lot of research when I when I took this role I did a lot of research into what is the most impactful place to put merchandise especially because when you’re when you have tiny real estate you’ve got to maximize every single square inch and so I started doing a bit of research so any shopper that’s entering your in your shop was going to be drawn immediately there it’s it’s psychological so anything it’s almost like it’s they’re drawn there as if by magic that the displays are the right of our main entrance is full of high profit items with i popping graphics you know with John John cheese juices an eclectic brand and it has unique theme you please tell us how you encourage your partner shops to organize their in-store shopping experience around your brand well sure um first and foremost my brand does have my beaming face on it so if they could just put that front and center maybe on a massive pedestal that would really be perfect for me know I would say that when you’re organizing your shop each shop has its own unique vibe and feel every shop has their different target customer bases so you might have a shop that’s near a college campus that’s young and hip and you’re going to want to have like cool posters on the wall things that really grab the interest of like the college kids that are going in there whereas you might have a shop that’s in a more a part of town that’s more geared towards middle-aged people and they’re not going to want to see all these i popping graphics and colors in their face and and you know posters for cloud competitions and all this stuff that’s not where their heads at so I think the best way to organize your shop is to to know your customer base and to gear it towards their comfort level and what their interests are awesome you know and with experience being the key to customer attention owners always have to worry about the environment that they’re setting up you know some want to create a lounging environment so that vaping becomes a social activity that and speaking of vape shops they said that it reinforces the mental image of the normal lonely activity of smoking a cigarette so it just it reminds you of experiencing vape via social interaction is pretty essential if you are vaping to quit smoking when you agree I would absolutely agree you know and another thing that vape shop owners are looking at in terms of organization is they wanted to feel like a home away from home remind you of your favorite drinking bar but regardless of a theme you choose there are a few critical rules and really old-school retail philosophy that will drive more profit into your store so with vaping essentials like juices and coils you want to keep them as far from the entrance as possible see just like with any other staples that’s the reason why when you walk into a grocery store the drinks and milk and eggs are all as far back as possible so the same the same principles apply here because you want to increase the time that your customers spin in the store and to push them to cover ground as they can the more ground they cover the more time they spend meaning the more money they spend absolutely and so in terms of shelving that’s another area John do you have a recommendation as to where a shop would place your product would it be eye level would it be on a shelf where would you recommend them to place a premium juice like Julie’s I would recommend to place that at eye level I know that for me personally I walk into vape shops many times all day every day so you know probably about 20 shop visits a week is what I do and I’ve got a lot of experience with seeing how they do things and the people who tend to put their juice in like the cases that are where you have to look downward to be able to see the juice it just somehow reduces the efficacy of that visual you know there’s there’s just something about that downward point-of-view that psychologically affects how you’re perceiving the products that your view that is so true and that’s that’s one thing that that I noticed as well is that customers are going to bend or reach if it’s cheap they don’t mind if it’s something that’s cheap they’ll it they’ll Bend and reach as much as possible but you want to make it easier for a minute purchase the products are gonna boost your profitability your premium juices and if you carry a house juice so you want to keep our eye on the prize which would be profit exactly awesome all right next we’re gonna step into advertising your shop what works what doesn’t and what may be legal interesting this is an interesting topic because there’s so many different opinions that people have on how we’re gonna advertise but we do know that gone are the heydays of APE advertising or we’re able to pretty much make any claims we want a longer life I there was one that was like everlasting satisfaction how can we even measure one of the metrics what are the metrics I’m very interested to know how how we pin this down it was my everlasting satisfaction like that is you know that yeah I can see why I can see that but you know we still have to advertise our shops and our brand you know and just say that advertising for vape shops is a challenge is really a huge understatement oh that’s a massive understatement massive massive and many of our partners feel the pain especially especially smaller vape shops so it may be in saturated areas you know John what advertising challenges have you faced in promoting Chuy’s well my first advertising challenge that I ever faced was that hey this product got me to quit smoking and that’s pretty cool and I would love to promote that but unfortunately we aren’t obviously we are not allowed to promote our devices and our products as smoking cessation devices and that’s a hundred percent the largest hurdle that we have we can’t necessarily promote it the way that we view it ourselves so I would say that that’s my number one challenge and and then the number two challenge is with the compliance of the regulations that have been coming through for example I I would love to be posting on Instagram and Facebook all day every day oh snap a cool little pic and upload it but we are to the point now where we need to make sure that we’re including warnings and deeming regulation compliant warnings on all the images that we put out there and it just adds extra steps to me reaching my audience it really really does and you know advertising mediums for example are probably where a lot of merchants and a lot of shops run into difficulty like for example paid search it appears to be the most effective means to be ranked from first glance but once you dig a little deeper you’ll start to notice that with so many companies that are competing for the same search terms rankings are never guaranteed and even if you do get noticed it’s like flying a plane in a hurricane to kind of wrangle into a realistic monthly spin you’re like it was $200 in short Google and being ads you know whenever you’re lucky enough to find an ad network that might actually allow you to buy media they drain your budget yeah you know another popular medium is affiliate sites and they’re great for capturing traffic in our ad space but most affiliates and tell me if you agree that they have no interest in your actual product unless you’re willing to pay more than action right yeah and that and you know for me if you have a budget for that it’s extremely effective but if you’re a small shop with very limited marketing budget you find you might find that affiliates just leave you wanting more absolutely you know John do you have any like advertising tips that you could give our shop owners that may be listening well sure advertising tips for the shop owners I would say that first of all and as we said before and know your audience know the demographic of the people in your area and of the vapors in your area for example I know one local shop that I really really appreciate focuses on like older people in the working field who are you know vaping while they’re out on a site working in the hot Sun and you know reaching out to those people is different than reaching out to the 21 year old college kid I would say that yeah so good you’ll forget for sure I would say the number one thing in my mind that a shop owner can do is get involved with their community and customer base get onto social media have have some events where they can just come and meet you and interact with you as the normal real person that you are be yourself and be yourself around your customers and make sure that they know that they are welcome in your shop and that you’re throwing events that will bring them into the door and get to experience that firsthand awesome awesome you know and one creative way that I’ve seen to advertise a shop is by calling a local talk radio show and if you make sure to mention the name your location your store anyone listening to that show has just been exposed to your brand it’s one of those ways that you don’t have to have a budget for that if you’re just wildly enough it’s a call like like I’ve done hey I’m gonna call and talk about something it actually works one of the another one that there’s no rules inst it’s contacting your local newspaper and requesting to speak with an op-ed columnist you know these are the guys that are looking to make ways and challenge social norms and are the most likely to support industries like ours that are perceived as alternatives and you know that’s a great point dissent because so many people outside of our industry don’t understand our industry if you just approach them and say hey I’m from the vape industry and I’d like to tell you something about it more often than not you’re going to get a response you’re going to get someone who wants to hear what you have to say because by default there is lots of in misinformation and aside from that we have a history of lack of information reached out public that’s exactly true and you know reaching out to a journalist that is exactly what they’re looking for they’re looking for information they want to be the person known as delivering this information to the public and you know they won’t be able to get you a full a full page ad in their online newspaper edition but they will shine a light on your shop and on our industry and I really think that helps us as an entire industry absolutely you know and you are just mentioning social media and and that is very true it’s still the most effective way to advertise your shop Post engaging content speak to the problems you help your customers solve encourage vaping advocacy and really appeal to the mentality of the desired customer and then hit Facebook Twitter Instagram snapchat with the goal of social saturation would you agree absolutely I would agree awesome okay and now our last top house Jesus to do or not to do that is the question sure is how actually all the most profit for vape shops which is why we mentioned them and that anyone who manufactures their own juice and sometimes they carry over six hundred percent profit but the question I have is is it really the best position to put oneself in how do you feel about a house juices John I don’t think it’s well you know of course I ran a premium juice line so if I thought that house juice was the best way to go it would have been the direction that I took so that right there is an example of part of my opinion on that but first thing you need to consider with a house juice is the sanitary nature of the environment that it’s being produced that’s not to say that because it’s a house juice its unsanitary that’s not the case at all but if you’re doing a house juice in shop like you know shake and vape then you’re by default not doing the whole controlled laboratory environment that likes for example my juices so first of all you have to consider the sanitary nature of the environment are the people mixing it wearing gloves where are they storing their materials or is it sitting on the floor in the back which is something that I have seen at certain places and things like that second of all in shops like that you frequently have different people mixing the juice at different times depending on who’s on shift so like for example the juices that we make are made in batches that are large enough that any minor variants any single extra drop that might accidentally go in doesn’t adjust the overall composure of the mix itself a lot of juice lines have flavors that take nineteen flavor concentrates going into it and if you’re making a tiny 30 mil bottle of that and you get one drop of something wrong it throws off the entire mixture and it can taste differently I’ve heard people coming coming to me saying they went to a certain shop and it’s amazing when Michelle makes it but it’s really not so great whenever Steve makes it and so you’ve got that variance among great guy but maybe he should sell the mod so you’ve got consistency issues as well and then the most important issue to me with it is that you also might not be compliant with the law the way you’re mixing it in house only not not in every way but insofar as our our products are registered with the FDA with exact specific percentages of the ingredients that are going into them and if you’re mixing in shop and you accidentally put you know half a milliliter extra of this or you know maybe 1/10 of a milliliter extra of that all of a sudden the product you’re selling to that customer is technically illegal and not the product that you have registered with the FDA so there are a multitude of concerns and if if there’s a place with house juice that’s great great but just be aware of all the different pitfalls that can happen if that’s how you choose to operate exactly you know and personally I I feel similarly that house juices aren’t the way to go and mainly just because the FDA classifies is a classifies any company or shop that’s bottling e-juice and labeling it as a manufacturer not a retailer a lot of a lot of shops don’t realize that they’ll be like oh I’m just a retailer not if you’re bottling and labeling you’re right and the kicker here is this regardless of the size of the business they don’t care if you’re a tiny manufacturer or if you’re a Mount Baker vapor they keep they could care less you know and that’s really the point that a large majority of the vapeshot are shop owners fail to acknowledge whether they produce 10 bottles or a thousand you’re considered a manufacturer exactly and you know the reason that this distinction is so important is because when vape shop owners reach out to the FDA for clarification on major issues the advice that they’re receiving is nearly on always about a shop that’s simply a reseller of a product that’s manufactured by someone else but unless they’ve actually registered as an e juice manufacturer with the FDA they have to realize that all the advice from the FDA that they’re receiving as a store owner / retailer won’t protect them an enforcement event and that’s the the scary part is they’re like oh yeah the FDA told me I’m gonna be fine there’s a lot of misinformation that’s out there and so I can keep producing this there’s no problem all I guy do is throw my label on there and yeah I’ll be fine there’s no need right and another thing about doing the shaken vape methodology of delivering juice to the customers is that you have to also be forward-thinking in this industry because this industry is so new and is so young and of course as we all know we’re under heavy scrutiny from the FDA so if you’re operating that way shake and vape in shop one bottle at a time that’s not a sustainable model for what’s going to be coming down the pipe in the future and at at best you buy at best you’re okay right now and at worst who knows one month two months six months from now something might happen that just totally kills how you’re operating and you won’t be able to do that anymore so your best bet is to keep up with everything that’s coming down the pipe from the FDA keep up with regulations and do your best to make your product as be compliant before the compliance is even in place exactly you know and that’s one thing is like they’re like oh well they’re the FDA left this open to interpretation because they want us to look at the deeming regs a certain way well conversely it also allows for states to come in and enforce regulations from the FDA and pretty much any way they see fit which is why we’re seeing bills in nearly every state house that’s aiming to bleed the industry dry you know and I do want as John are you about that life are you pro shop I’d say I’m pro shop okay good because you’re not golf pro shop you know just in support of the vape shop light golf pro shops are cool I’m about that and as premium juice manufacturers use our responsibility to kind of look out for the shops that keep us all afloat absolutely it is and you know the thing is there are many many good players among us tons of people like ourselves who want to be at the forefront of the industry and want to do things properly in a way that’s safe for the consumer and compliant with the FDA regulations there are a few bad players out there that unfortunately cast a pall over the whole industry in all of us but there’s so many great shop owners and a it’s rare that I meet one that isn’t genuine and in a kind person who’s genuinely doing what they do because they want to help people and that’s something that I really value I value that too and because some of these shops are out there fighting for their piece of the pie you know they’re feeling like they’re being cheated because they’ve been put in a tough spot by these players who you know just really have no respect for any of the FDA regulations and so they’re like do I continue to drop my price to compete with hack Shack down the street you know who’s pumping out crappy juice with chunks of contaminants in it but he serves 500 customers a day you know is it that guy that didn’t register with the FDA that shop that smells questionable when you walk in the door all of those things are considered but you know if you’re having trouble nailing down this in this issue let us help you don’t devalue your company’s image just to compete with these cash grab shops who are in it just long enough to cash out buy buy an affordable FDA registered and FDA compliant juice for any of your budget conscious customers and then push burden of responsibility on companies like Mount Baker vapor Chuy’s use and in things of that nature but please don’t try to be a 1 or 2 shop manufacturer as that makes you a prime target for the FDA and you know they’re looking for a low-hanging fruit to just pluck just don’t get plucked don’t get huge juice don’t get plucked shirts you know like we just said don’t get plucked out here everybody and I wanted to wrap it up with everyone and just just say that this information is really just to help support any vape shop owner who feels like they’re out there by themselves you know and so did you have anything important coming up John going on with you is that you wanted to share with our audience well I’ve been traveling all across Arizona lately so if you’re in the Arizona area then absolutely there’s plenty to look forward to I’ve been working on a lot of things one of the things that I’m really excited about is thus far my juice has been in glass bottles and I’m in the next couple weeks I’m updating all of my labels to be FDA compliant unfortunately my labels had a very unique shape to them which I am having to abandon to make room for multiple warning labels but I still kept the the heart of the business at the heart of the presentation of the product the same and I’m going to be releasing them in new chubby gorilla bottles much easier to use beautiful and should be looking forward to seeing it on many many more shelves very soon awesome well this will draw to close the latest episode of own life vapor podcast and if you need anything from us reach out to wholesale at Mount Baker vapor com if you have any ideas thoughts suggestions feel free and make sure to check us out on Facebook and don’t forget to follow cheese juice and Mount Baker vapor on Facebook Twitter and Instagram thank you so much for your time everybody and I hope you have a great life and keep calm and babe all that’s right you

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