Label PRomotion | Vape Industry Demonstrates Need for Nimble Branding

Label converters should work with brand owners to ensure they put a "crisis rebranding plan" in place.

Last year, reports surfaced about young children nationwide ingesting liquid nicotine used in e-cigs. The industry’s fun flavors and colorful packaging appeal to children, a number of whom have ended up in emergency rooms. Local governments looking at such requirements as child-proof packaging have now been joined by the FDA.

The entire vape industry—encompassing such products as vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, electronic cigarettes (E-Cigarettes), and e-pipes, all of which use liquid containing nicotine that is vaporized and inhaled—is now under siege. In early May, the FDA announced a plan to extend tobacco regulations to e-cigs and other products. A CNN report notes, “Electronic cigarettes and hookahs will now be regulated like tobacco…Children will no longer be able to buy them; ingredients will be regulated; packages will carry warnings.”

Unless you happen to be in the vape industry, why should you care? Because it points out the need for nimble branding—being able to move quickly on everything from redoing labels and packaging to changing the entire dialog around which the marketing program is developed. And if you don’t think it can happen to you, go back to the pet food fiasco that led to many dead pets and tarnished brands.

In all likelihood, vape industry promotion will become less flamboyant as a result of legislation and regulations. After all, cigarette warnings about cancer and other maladies did put a damper on product marketing in that industry.

Instead of waiting to see what will happen, smart vape industry companies will do everything possible to get out in front of pending measures. This not only enables the company to be ready for what comes, it can present an excellent PR opportunity, too. There’s nothing more appealing to safety-conscious America than a company’s willingness to be responsive about its responsibility to keep the public safe.

Plus, much like reputation management crisis plans in place to handle future potential negative reports, getting organized in the branding arena shows professionalism and a commitment to ongoing product excellence—both important to company stakeholders.

Among “crisis rebranding” plans to put in place are:

  • Get the rebranding team in place now and develop relevant tasks, deadlines, budgets, and processes.
  • Create a prototype(s) for new branding based on one or more contingencies (e.g., what is happening in the vape industry).
  • Make sure that all printing and packaging systems can rapidly deploy. All the great rebranding in the world won’t do a lot of good if it can’t be rapidly set up and scaled up to accommodate revamped labeling and packaging needs.
  • Let the world know what you’re doing, to show that you’re serious with compliance and public safety while still wanting to offer some marketing pizzazz. Crowdsourcing for ideas about how best to blend marketing approaches with mandated warnings and protective requirements may prove helpful to rebranding strategies—plus generate some positive PR.

In today’s world, where almost daily recalls of foods, cars, and other items have become the norm, nobody and no industry is completely safe from emerging events that can alter the course of branding going forward.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is president of Lusky Enterprises Inc., a marketing communications and content development company. Since 2008, he has worked with Lightning Labels, a Denver-based all-digital custom label printing company, as a content developer specializing in expert advice articles. Lusky presents common-sense ideas grounded in doing what’s real and right for managing and enhancing public image.

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