Benchmarking IQOS for a billion-dollar market

By April 29, 2021Blog, IQOS Updates

Received nearly 100 million yuan of investment, he robbed the market of more than one billion US dollars against IQOS.

1.Handled 3 e-cigarettes in 5 years

“The YOWO I stepped in and started is already the top five e-cigarette brand in the United States, with a sales volume of more than one billion yuan a year, but I think it is possible to make e-cigarettes 1:1 to restore the taste and lip feel of traditional cigarettes. It’s a big market.”

The picture shows the project focus team members, the second from the left is Wang Yong.

Regarding sales channels, the overseas sales channels of the products have reached strategic mutual assistance with a leading global brand. At home, the online channels of the product will also involve e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and JD; offline, UWOO has signed an agent with the department’s channel dealers with 3C, FMCG, and e-cigarette specialty store resources.

In 2017, Wang Yong and the original blue and white e-cigarette team cooperated to establish UWOO, which is a mouth-to-mouth electronic atomizing cigarette. This e-cigarette is equipped with a disposable and replaceable fuel tank and lithium battery. Users can also choose the appetite stick according to their personal preferences.

At that time, the annual output value of the e-cigarette market was increasing exponentially, and the project he worked hard on at the company was about to come to an end. After weighing the two parties, he decided to switch to e-cigarettes.

The e-cigarette brand launched by Wang Yong this time is UWOO. In fact, the intersection between him and e-cigarettes will be mentioned from the end of 2014, when he was still working in a photovoltaic company. Occasionally, he saw a factory producing hardware accessories for e-cigarettes, and the shipment volume of inventions was very large. He decided to get to know this industry in depth.

In 2015, the case of nicotine salt was broken through and the atomization skills were promoted. At that time, the story of JUUL’s wealth creation has not spread to the country. Wang Yong once again seized the opportunity to start the e-cigarette brand YOWO as a key member and made some morphological changes to mainstream e-cigarette products on the market. Currently, YOWO ranks among the top five e-cigarette brands in the United States.

Within a year, Wang Yong experimented with many materials until he succeeded in trying a new type of material. At the same time, he also developed a semi-automatic production machine. However, because of the different circumstances, when the product moves from the laboratory to the factory for mass production, there are still errors in the actual production process.

“At that time, many e-cigarette brands failed to solve the user’s pain points, which affected the user’s satisfaction to a large extent.” Therefore, when Wang Yong opened UWOO, he focused on the appetite stick. It is more like a cigarette and can also prevent the condensate from flowing back. At that time, how to find the right materials and the dullness that can properly produce these materials into mouth-to-mouth sticks became the first question before Wang Yong.

2.Benchmarking IQOS for a billion-dollar market

The first issue|Received nearly 10,000 investment. He used to have 3 e-cigarettes: now he is competing with IQOS to grab the domestic market of more than one billion US dollars.

Wang Yong, who was new to the industry, was not in a hurry to create a new brand. He tried to figure out the doorway of this by acting as an agent of the Chinese merchants’ e-cigarette brand. One and a half years later, he invented a problem: Although there are always new customers coming to the door, the condensate sucked into the mouth from time to time, making the user’s loyalty to the product not high.

uwoo ym

IQOS has been in the overseas market for nearly 5 years, but it is not justified in the domestic market. By consulting China’s customs data, he found that more than one billion U.S. dollars of IQOS enter the domestic market every year, and the presentation of UWOO is also to harvest users in this sector.

At the beginning of 2019, UWOO completed an angel round investment of nearly 10,000 yuan, and the capital was a private investor in Apple’s supply chain system.

Under an occasional opportunity, Wang Yong fought against IQOS, which was highly similar to real smoke. “IQOS’s cigarette holder is very similar to traditional cigarette holders. If this cigarette holder can be transplanted to e-cigarettes, the user experience will be improved and the product’s competitive barriers will be strengthened.”

“Smokers are very picky users. If the product cannot guarantee consistency, in my opinion, mass production is impossible.” Since the machine is semi-automatic, there must be signs of manual intervention in assembly, and the ability of each worker varies. , So there will be some differences. To narrow the difference, the team spent nearly 2 months debugging equipment. At present, a piece of equipment may be able to produce more than 30,000 e-cigarettes every day.

In this case, looking at the e-cigarettes on the market, Wang Yong believes that they can be divided into three categories: traditional e-cigarettes represented by JUUL; heat-not-burn type represented by IQOS; mouth-to-mouth stick mist represented by UWOO E-cigarette.

“These three categories are independent of each other.” Regarding the small cigarettes represented by JUUL, Wang Yong added that, in reality, most of the users who smoke small cigarettes at the moment are users who have smoked large cigarettes, and the number of users who smoke large cigarettes is limited. Yes, so there are many other cigarette smokers on the market that have not been converted by e-cigarettes.

3.On the one hand, the cost does not go away.

In April 2018, IJOY announced the completion of the A round of 300 million yuan in financing; in June, RELX received an investment of 38 million yuan in the angel round, with source code leading the investment and IDG co-investment; in July, Gippro Dragon Dance completed tens of thousands of co-creation projects Ten thousand yuan in angel round financing; in November, Jingyan Technology received an investment of 20 million yuan; in December, MOTI completed a pre-A round of financing of 10 million U.S. dollars from Zhen Fund. According to incomplete statistics, in the first half of 2019, there were 13 financing transactions in the e-cigarette industry, and the financing amount may reach 1 billion yuan.

In the same year, Wang Yong launched the e-cigarette brand UWOO. He hopes to establish a brand of mouth-to-stomach electronic atomized cigarettes, which can restore the smokers’ feeling of traditional cigarettes to the greatest level but can reduce the harmful substances released by burning tobacco while avoiding impropriety.

On the other hand, e-cigarette-related policies are emerging one after another. In June 2018, the Hong Kong medical community urged the authorities to exercise restraint on e-cigarettes; after entering 2019, the smoking bans in Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong have been upgraded. At the 315 parties, e-cigarettes were also named.

In 2017, under an occasional opportunity, Wang Yong fought to IQOS. At that time, IQOS had been popular in Japan for nearly 5 years, and users believed that it was nearly 90% similar to real cigarettes. “Can we transplant the cigarette holder of IQOS to the small cigarette (similar to JUUL’s atomized e-cigarette) to bring users a different experience?”

Note: Wang Yong promised that the data in the article was correct and worked hard for the authenticity of the content. The pencil track is an objective and true record, and the speed record has been backed up.

12 months, 365 days, 8760 hours, from the decision to explore the material of the mouth-to-mouth stick (similar to the cigarette holder of a traditional cigarette), Wang Yong and the team usually fell into a cycle, and every morning was filled with hopefully first things. The night ended in frustration.

From the first exploration in 2017 to the launch of the product in 2019, Wang Yong and his team have been discussing products in the workshop. At this time, the market has already quietly changed.

The first issue|Received nearly 10,000 investment. He used to have 3 e-cigarettes: now he is competing with IQOS to grab the domestic market of more than one billion US dollars.

Wang Yong did not worry about policy issues either. He hinted that e-cigarettes have a history of 15 years since they grew up, and from the perspective of the process of globalization, there is no one-size-fits-all. In addition, he very much hopes that a responsive policy will be introduced to purify the market situation.

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