Insights Into Cigar Smokers and What That Means for Cigar Brand Marketers

Cigar Marketing and Industry Research

With strict regulations on cigar marketing, there needs to be a heightened level of creativity to effectively market premium cigars. Cigar marketers can’t take advantage of the granular targeting of paid social media advertising, pay-per-click search engine marketing, or even YouTube advertising. So in order to understand the cigar smoking target market, we undertook some research to give us insights on how to be most effective in marketing to the cigar smoker.

Survey Results

What follows are some of the key insights of our research and how you can apply them to marketing your cigar brand. While not a huge data set, 140 survey respondents provide us with some compelling directional insights. If you are interested in more details about the survey, feel free to contact us.

cigar Market Survey Overview

cigar marketing survey

the questions


Cigar Marketing

  • Smoking cigars is more of a social activity than a solitary activity. It is even more social among the younger audience 21-45 year olds (64%).
How to apply this to your marketing
  •  Utilize visuals and copy that speak to the social aspects of smoking cigars with friends. This will help connect emotionally to cigar smokers who have good memories of sharing a cigar with friends and those that want to create more of those memories.


Cigar Marketing-Where are Cigars Purchased

  • Cigar/smoke shops are the top destination for where cigars are purchased. Online purchasing is more popular with the frequent smokers compared to the occasional smoker.
How to apply this to your marketing
  • Invest your time, energy, and budgets to focus on what you can do in the retail environment. Consider your presence on-shelf, and other point-of-purchase opportunities. Displays, brand-blocking, and point-of-sale education can increase your brand power in-store. While it certainly is important to have a well-rounded marketing plan, if you have to make decisions on where to concentrate, you should fish where the fish are.


Cigar Marketing-Where are Cigars Smoked

  • A home environment is where cigars are smoked most often. Occasional cigar smokers are smoking more frequently at special events. Cigar bars/shops are places where the frequent cigar smokers are smoking more often compared to the occasional smoker.
How to apply this to your marketing
  • Consider these environments in your creative. Decks/patios at homes, a group hanging outside a special event, on the golf course, etc. Help your audience see themselves in scenarios they are likely to be smoking a cigar.


Cigar Marketing-How Consumers Feel

  • Relaxed, Comraderie, and Celebratory are what people feel when they are smoking a cigar. Attributes like “cool”, “wealthy”, and “sexy” weren’t how cigar smokers described how they feel, despite what a lot of cigar marketing tries to convey.
How to apply this to your marketing
  • Amplify relaxation, being amongst friends, and celebrating in your marketing. Consider what your brand stands for and identify areas of opportunity to associate those attributes with your brand.


Marketing Cigars-Where Do Consumers Discover Cigars?

  • The cigar/smoke shop leads as the place where people are finding out about cigars. The frequent cigar smoker is finding out about cigars from magazines more than the occasional smoker.
How to apply this to your marketing
  • Ensure you have strong initiatives to help the cigar shop owners/employees with sell-through of your product. Engage with them on a regular basis, make sure they’re excited about your products and have a reason to believe in them, listen to what helps them do their job and provide them with the tools necessary. There are no shortage of brands vying for their attention, so the relationship needs to be continually nurtured.


Wine Marketing-What Consumers Are Interested in Learning

  • Like wine, flavor profiles are what people are most interested in when learning about cigars.
How to apply this to your marketing
  • Synesthesia is defined as “a sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization of a certain color.” When describing the flavor profiles of the cigar, choose words that are relatable, and can trigger someone’s sense of taste. Don’t just use nouns, but also adjectives. Also, consider being creative with your product descriptions and using that as another point of brand differentiation.

Other things to consider when investing in marketing for cigars brand

  • Take advantage of Google Trends – see what locations and search terms are trending upwards and take advantage of them through content or messaging. For example, a search of Google Trends shows that there is a 1,100% increase in search queries around the term “small batch cigars.” A product line that fits within this query may be ripe for promoting.
  • Invest in SEO – since PPC isn’t an option having a strong position in organic search is important.
  • Step Back and Observe – Get your hands on as many industry ads as you can and hang them up next to each other. Group them by type (e.g.-product focused, lifestyle-focused, etc), and see what the trends are. Notice what catches your eye, what compels you to read more. Then take stock of your marketing and see if you are standing out from the competitive landscape.

Want to create something that stands out in your industry? Contact us and let’s realize your brand’s ambition.