You may be asking, why is Catfish writing about a cigar app when there are tons of cigar apps out there that are completely useless and we want to know about cigars! Personally, I use a scanner app on my phone as a consumer all the time. I use it for electronics, price checks, to look up info from bar codes, and generally because I hate salespeople. I consider myself an educated consumer when I make purchases, and try not to buy things spur of the moment. For cigars, I love to dig through shops looking for old faithful, or new blends no one has heard of. I cannot stand it when some nontobacco loving douche stands over me telling me the newest 70rg Nicaraguan is what I should buy ( I love Dominican Connecticut’s), or dealing with the a****** that hands me a dipped Gurkha for $18. Enter the UberGuide, a means to scan a cigar band or box, and instantly connect with the company, social media world, and all the information one could ask for on a cigar. Why is this important Catfish? Well, because I want to punch the pushy salesman, and the guy who pitches dipped Gurkha can kiss my ass, so this app made my list of important booths for IPCPR 2014 with one simple demonstration during a time of total exhaustion, which just happened to take place next to the Atabey booth, go figure.
Right now more than ever, we are experiencing a boutique boom in the cigar world, and shelf space at your local B&M is filled with tons of companies and new cigar releases competing for consumer attention. The visual stimulation is overwhelming to the consumer, and in most cases is confusing to the eye. Sensory overload is taking place, and the cigar world is not one to take into account the environmental psychology between branding, product placement, and consumer buying habits. Boutique manufacturers should embrace the UberGuide, as consumers will pass up little known brands for larger brands simply because their eyes will be confused with band after band of branding they know nothing about. This will lead them to gravitate to something they know or recognize, instead of exploring the wide world of cigars out there. Larger companies take heed as well, as the opposite holds true, given the boutiques taking that valuable shelf space from the big guns one release at a time. It makes sense that in this marketplace, connecting to consumers, and bridging the gap between the consumer and manufacturer with the simple swipe of a phone app could make for an effective marketing tool. Watch the video, and see how fast information is relayed to the consumer.
Not only that, but the app will have a built in rewards system that can be used anywhere in the country as long as companies are involved with the UberGuide.
My video explains the importance of the app and functionality better than I can, so I will leave that to my buddy Solo. Just listen to the video and do not ask me questions, as I am sure Solo and his team of technological ninjas are open to suggestion, feedback, and helping anyone out on their Facebook page. I feel the app is important, because I know I would use it in a shop for something I may not recognize, even though I am probably more educated then most shop owners, as are my fellow mods. Let’s face it, there are plenty of shop owners that are not as passionate as us gurus on the internet forums, so if I scan a band and it say made by Kelner Boutique Factory, I will flip my wig and #BuyNow. In real time I know if a cigar is a Logan bomb, or a mellow made for Catfish Dominican. For the new smoker, the UberGuide gets you the info you need immediately, connects you to real time social media feedback, and puts you in touch with the manufacturer. As a newer smoker, I was constantly researching blenders, countries of origin, tobacco types, etc…, and found myself spending countless hours in shops. The UberGuide solves that problem in the blink of an eye, which means more time for smoking! One aspect that deserves discussion, is the Sister of the Leaf. In a male dominated retail environment, my guess is the SOTL will find an app like this handy, instead of some greaseball immediately assuming she may want an infused cigar, or that she must be a noob. I know several SOTL that cannot stand going into shops because of the way they are treated. For the manufacturer, the UberGuide connects the consumer with customer service in real time. For the social media world, the app has the ability to drive traffic to reviews, videos, and forums of discussion. To me, it just seemed like this app had a use for everyone in the industry in some fashion, which is why I must commend Solo and his crew for creating the product. I look forward to adding it to my iPhone in the coming weeks. The app is free for consumers, and should be available for all devices by the end of the year. Solo explains this in the video.
For me, there are plenty of cigars to get excited about, but tools like this make me take a step back and realize how much creativity exists in the market. I think a tool like this would work well in many retail environments honestly, not just the cigar world. The functionality and ease of use is what really intrigued me and prompted this write up. Solo and his crew did not ask for this, ask for support, provide any sponsoring of our site, or anything of the sort. Had Solo not grabbed me at the Atabey booth while I was waiting on an interview and gave me the same demo he did in the video, I may not have known this tool existed or given it the time of day. I made it a point to search him out and sit down with him before the show was over as I felt the app held value for all the Fed Heads out there and consumers of the cigar world; thus, it deserved my press and time. I am not associated, nor is Cigar Federation associated with Solo and UberGuide at this time. However, if you guys dig it, please let the MFCEO and myself know. I am curious to see if this catches on.