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Nub Cigars by Oliva Cigar Company is a brand of four inch short cigars created by Sam Leccia and Oliva. The concept of a short cigar is that every cigar has a “sweet spot” that begins in the area of four inches long. If you could get to that cigar sweet spot sooner, it would be possible that the whole cigar could be more enjoyable. After many prototypes and a lot of hard work, Sam Leccia and the Oliva Family got it just right.
Nub Cigar is an example of a great product with mass appeal that will practically sell itself. Really, though, does anything sell itself, or is there more to the story?
Nub Cigar Marketing
The reason I use Nub cigars as a marketing example is not only because I am a cigar smoker who chose Nub as a favorite smoke, or because I happened to have a box of Nub Cigar matches in my hand while I was contemplating a new blog topic. I use them as an example of much marketing brilliance, and a product perfectly suited to an Internet marketing and SEO campaign, but that may fall short of goals and expectations by overlooking usability. This is a good example of how you must look at the whole picture, including the effectiveness and usability of existing efforts.
From my first introduction to Nub Cigar in 2008, I was met with a fantastic product, and a team that showed great dedication to branding and marketing of their cigars. When I met Sam Leccia, he was visiting my hometown of Topeka, Kansas during a long circuit around America with a campaign centered around giving away a new Nub Cigar Mini Cooper. The campaign drew cigar smokers from all around to try the cigars, and to buy more cigars and be given an even greater chance to win the Mini Cooper. The Cooper and the Nub were a great pairing, both being short in size but long on delivery.
Sam Leccia Video: Rolling a Cigar
In this video, Sam Leccia shows how to roll a great cigar.
Nub Cigar Webcast and Social Networking
Sam, along with Oliva Cigar Company have been brilliant in their marketing and branding in many ways. During their visit to Topeka, we talked about their online marketing, and I was surprised when they asked me what I knew about Webcasting. Since we were outside the cigar shop and standing near my car, I simply pointed to the hood of the 2008 Corvette Z06 which reads “CopMagnet.com Live Webcast” and explained that I had recently produced a nine day live mobile Webcast crossing approximately 6,000 miles. These guys were making great strides to reaching a demographic of existing cigar smokers online, as well as a younger demographic that has often been overlooked by cigar companies. They produced online profiles, including a Nub Cigar Facebook page, and they launched the Nub Cigar Lounge, an online forum for other Nub fans to discuss the fine cigars they offer. There did not seem to be a lot which was overlooked by Oliva Cigar Company when it came to marketing … or was there?
Nub Cigar Search Engine Visibility
Although a quick search for Nub Cigar will yield much information about their brand, it mostly serves only to reach the people who are already aware of their products. As with too many companies, their online marketing falls short of reaching others who do not know who they are. I often compare this to a yellow pages vs white pages approach to an Internet market. In the white pages, you can find a known business by name, whereas, in the yellow pages, you seek for a company by their product or service offering. It should not take a lot of thought to guess which method is more valuable.
Nub Cigar Website Usability
Although I give great credit to Sam and the Oliva Cigar Company for their marketing efforts, I have to point out where they fall short. They are not alone by any means. I find this to be the case with most companies’ online marketing, so I not picking on anybody.
If you visit the Nub Cigar Website, a couple things to notice are that it is arguably too graphics-laden, causing it to be slow to load for users and search engine spiders alike. Also, the keyword usage is all but non-existent, and the keyword selection does not embrace the many possible lateral keywords people will use to find cigars online. In fact, all of the pages share the same page title, which is one of the easiest and most important places for improvement. These, along with many other usability issues and a lack of a clear call for action make it seem like there is a lot of potential business and market share left on the table.
In as much as these guys have been brilliant in their efforts, it seems that they did not go all the way. I often see this when a company makes a lot of effort to reach their market online, but when it does not all pan out the way they expect, they stop just short of a potential landslide because the initial efforts did not match with their goals. This speaks to the fact that when you do almost everything just right, the one or two missing links in the chain can make the difference between disappointment and utter success.
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