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Old 09-10-2019, 07:14 AM   #1
Herf God
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Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Metairie, LA
Posts: 84,556
What is it about "new" cigars.

Over on FB, Steve Saka posted this as his question of the week, and I like it. We have had this discussion here, but it has been a while. I have had this discussion in person with other herfers often.
Originally Posted by Steve Saka
Cigar Question of the Week

A flurry of basically one simple question:

Why do cigar smoking consumers constantly chase new even though almost all "NEW" releases are typical, middle of the road cigars?


It takes me on average about 2 year's work and investment to develop a core liga, in the case of Sin Compromiso well over 3 years, yet I will be at an Event or in an Interview and even though I just released Brand "X" only 2 months ago everyone wants to know what is next?

Are you f'ing kidding me?

There is a huge difference between getting occasionally lucky and being able to produce a cigar that smokes great for maybe a year VERSUS actually developing a blend, securing and working the leaf and putting in place the infrastructure to actually make a cigar that is not only great in the moment, but can be done so consistently for years.

Yet cigar smokers are always chasing... I honestly don't get it.

I am not anti-new, but new for new's sake has become the norm of our industry.

Consumers reward NEW, Media rewards NEW, Retailers reward NEW, but honestly we all just get a whole lot of new cigars that are not really all that great.

It has become a bit of a nightmare from our side, we make a product that requires real investment both cash and time wise to do right. I can actually tell you I have deferred any hope of being profitable creating the type of cigars I want and do create, but the ledger sheet side is rocky.

Now, if my brands remain successful for a 5-7 years all will work out so don't cry me a river, but the current trend line that most brands are on affords them only 1 year any longer.

It is impossible to make a truly worthy liga profitable in this time span, so the result is this "Pump and Dump" methodology of cigar making.

Media will rave about it because it is new, Retailers will buy it because it is new, and Consumers will do the same... but for a year, maybe, because "oh btw, here are another 300 new things for you to try... and it is the BEST ever!"

Why bother making great that requires long term success to be profitable, when you can make mediocre and make way more money now and not do all that much real work?

And this is the current state of the industry.

Everyone can give me that bullshit line that market is full of great cigars, but it is a lie. The market is full of decent, well branded and marketed cigars that smoke fine, but are ultimately nothing really special, but very new products are introduced that are truly great imo.

Will this nonsense ever end?

ps: What prompted this rant (and yes I realize it is more a rant than a question) is a telecon I had this morning with a Retail Customer regarding a unique special release I have been working on for over 9 months now and I had to tell him/her that I was not close to ready to even send them samples. They are chomping at the bit to have it before the Holidays.

For the record, I warned them from jump that the deadline was whenever I was done, but they feel as though the time I am taking is absurd. They reminded me repeatedly they get special releases from a dozen other companies in just 4-5 months, basically the time it takes to print a custom ring and make whatever cigar to slap that band on... I explained to them again that is not how I do things and here is the direct quote: "Nobody cares, your name will sell it, stop caring Saka."


Is this Retailer right? Does it not matter anymore?


pps: I cancelled the project - I going to continue the work, but going to sell it or use it elsewhere.
This is an excellent question, and one we have had some short, yet productive discussions on Cigar Weekly's forums. I guess those of us who are involved, in any way, in "cigar news" or whatever love to have new talking points and new stories to report. Sometimes I feel like an old curmudgeon if I have not tried this or that latest thing when all the other news outlets or bloggers are all running with it.

I told him to "keep caring" as his cigars, TO ME, are almost uniformly excellent.

+In Memory of E.Guevara(Cubano67) A.Morris (Knife) D.Odom (dodom) D.Revermann (dgr) S.Bouchard (sb1396) M.Cole (Matt76) S.Faccenda (TOJE) R.Smith(IBMer) V.Vandermeer (van55)M.Davis(boxdoctor)S.Singer(bassman)K.Doetze l (drillrk1)D.Hart(garme1962)J.Coleman(John C 81)T.Gossett(Dartplayer1)J.Bolt (jb)E.J.Ferralles(CaballoPinto)M.Cataldo(FVFanMC)K Payne(SanchoPanza) + Libby DeMers,MrsCrimson, MrsPhilip, MrsDeriffe LB
+Connor Olson+Micah Kercheval+Maggie Bonefas (LittleMean)+

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Dunbarton Trust, Question of the Week, Steve Saka
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