Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cigars 2.0

In our insanely connected world, information seems to travel faster than ever before. Want proof?

• Review sites like Stogie Review and Stogie Guys are rapidly supplanting traditional cigar media outlets
• Facebook, MySpace and YouTube allow the average cigar smoker to share his or her thoughts on cigars, accessories, and industry goings-on
• New, personal cigar blogs like A Cigar Smoker are popping up all the time
Twitter offers a more real time exchange of information and ideas than even cigar forums

I'm not proposing this as new information, but rather to frame an important question: How is this affecting the cigar industry? I think a couple things are happening.

First, it's giving a voice to the smaller manufacturers out there. In years past, brands like Tatuaje, Illusione, or Jesus Fuego wouldn't have stood a chance against General Cigar or Altadis brands without some serious venture capital.

Cigar smokers are now much more involved behind-the-scenes, because manufacturers and retailers have a new way to engage them. At times it can almost get gossipy - I'm not certain if this is a good thing.

Competition and quality are better than ever. If a company attempts to foist a dog rocket upon the unsuspecting cigar smoking public, word spreads like a virus. To remain profitable, manufacturers must focus on blending quality tobaccos to create quality brands.

Surely you can think of at least one more. Let me know in the comments section.

- Hayward Tenney

2 comments:

Linus T said...

I do think that it will allow for true grassroots response to things like SCHIRP in the future. It also allows personal bloggers -- like myself -- to have access to some of the "big names" without necessarily knowing some inside network. More than anything it does allow for the ultimate global HERF ;), which is a good thing in my book.

Leo Leal said...

Finally, someone nails the point. We're no longer the same smokers from the final boom years, where, as you well state Hayward, manufacturers' could have given us dog turds and we would have bought them provided they came with enough "buzz". Word now spreads like wildfire and these issues also appear even in some of the Spanish language blogs and forums I frequent, keeping in mind that outside the US, Cubans are still the top rated cigar out there. But the times have allowed for better communication about the extraordinary things being rolled outside the island.