• 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