Thursday, November 3, 2016

Handmade VS Mass-production

In today’s culture it seems that everything is mass produced, automated and disposable. Even in the luxury market. It is very important to us to create beautifully made products that represent quality with extraordinary craftsmanship.

Working in a no mass-production way, we frequently have to consider the differences between handmade and mass-produced products. It’s not just the better quality of the product; there are also real differences in end consumer behaviours that have to be taken into account, especially as one produces for different national markets.

In the United States and central Europe for example, consumers have enough disposable income to be selective about their Mechanical Mods. 2016 just might be the best year in a decade for the Vape market, driven in no small part by specialty and quality Mods. Clearly, handmade Mech Mods can compete and win in that market, especially if these Mods bear one of the “consumer preferred” handmade labels.

In some countries, consumers generally don’t have the disposable income levels to consistently show financial preference for handmade Mods. Instead, the average consumer has a preference for Mods in its most affordable forms. Large local players or international mass producers dominate with cheap Mods that are inexpensive to produce and distribute. Quality is rather secondary. This is not to say that end consumers wouldn’t like a fine handmade MOD. The challenge is that many consumers are not deeply educated about the differences between handmade and mass produced, and even if they do appreciate the difference, price is a definite factor.

Consumers in the US have been trained to use a quality evaluation process in their life purchases. We see it from European buyers also, who are very concerned with quality. On the other hand, as a less wealthy nation consumers place price as a primary evaluation process when buying items like this. This can make it very hard for no mass-production producers to break through and win market share.

Do we see this changing in the long-term? Yes, but since the beginning of this project we think that Mech Mods are for a Niche market. The Niche market is gradually growing and moving toward the US and European markets in terms of product sophistication. Even in Asia the situation is changing. All over the world we have a client that prefer the authentic and the unique.

No matter where you fall on the “expensive is better” spectrum, we all have something in common: At every price point, we want a good Mech Mod.

What does "good" mean, though? It's a completely subjective measure? People talk about quality like a matter of preference, but while we've found that there are a number of personal preferences that influence what people like and think are best, there are also a number of objective factors.
To simplify, we made a comparison with quality wine (Port, Barolo or Château), we have boiled down those determinants of quality into three factors that anyone can recognize:

1. Complexity

In Wine, the more different notes and distinct flavour compositions you find, the more complex the wine, that's where you get descriptors of flavour profile like plum, wood, cherry, vanilla, or tobacco. The more of those flavours you can taste, the more complex the wine, and the more complex, the higher quality.

The material is different. We see in the market products made by gold, silver, bronze, and other new materials that have more resistance and “Class” than those found in mass-production Mods. In some Mods, the different parts of the product are made like jewellery and the complexity is there.

2. Intensity

The more intense is the wine, the more clearly the drinker can identify and distinguish between the flavours present. More intensely showing flavours make it easier to spot, appreciate, and recognize, when you have a very complex wine but all the flavours are fairly clear, the intensity is to the advantage of the wine quality."

The users of a quality Mech Mod senses in his hands a product with different weight, care for detail, exclusivity. It should never feel like a toy that could have never replaced the real thing.

Handmade items often have a story behind them, a purpose and inspiration for their existence. There’s a reason why it was created beyond just the obvious monetary reasons.

3. Balance

An optimal wine contains a number of flavour profiles: fruits, vegetables, oak notes, the structure and earthiness. The well-balanced wine shows the vast majority of all of these five components, integrated to a degree that they're visible, the proportion of taste in harmony and in good relationship to the other tastes shown. The exigent drinker knows it.

Balance is the idea that we have when we touch for the first time in a quality Mech Mod. Nevertheless, the best Mods are a product of the ever expanding industry that addresses every consumer’s needs. Mech Mods are more suitable for advanced vapers who are sufficiently informed about the do’s and don’ts of vaping

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